I guess the biggest problem in any religion is human interpretation, as we tend to interpret in our own ways (based on our preference, knowledge, culture and experience).
I always believed all religion is about goodness. Being kind and compassionate, help each other and to build a better and peaceful world. If we are good, then we might to go heaven; if we are bad, then we go to hell. That’s the basic rule or principal which I assumed I understood, so that all of us will do good.
One day someone told me that is not true for Christianity, where you will not go to heaven just by doing good. You have to accept Christ, or to be judged. To my interpretation, that means I am doomed if I am not a Christian. All other religions are doomed! And why does Christianity get this VIP treatment for 1st class ticket to heaven (is it a monopoly?)? What about doing good? If Jack the Ripper is a Christian, will he still go to heaven? I never quite buy the idea because I just cannot accept the concept, no matter how true it may be. Is like the Malaysian Government ask everyone to drive a Proton or else we shall tax you KAU KAU!
After many years (in fact, it’s yesterday), I realize perhaps it’s a problem of interpretation. It may be due to the translation from the original text to English, or perhaps it is supposed to be symbolism, or we didn’t read in between the lines. What if we exchange the word Christ for God. To accept and believe in God (and it can be any God based on your believe and culture and religion). Not just believe in God, but his teaching and believes, such as be compassionate, loving and kind. If you are Compasionate, Loving and Kind (like God had been), then you are welcomed to the VIP club in kingdom of heaven for eternal life. If you are a naughty boy who didn’t listen to God, you get to spade coal for the rest of you life in the hot basement (or is it in the center of the earth?).
So, isn’t that better? It works for me at least, now that I have less prejudice against the religion. Again by not joining any of the club, I became more open minded and get to explore and understand more without being told that it’s haram.