Most follower of various belief systems, who want to make the world a better place, can't agree on almost anything. But we don't need to. If you follow your heart and your convictions and truly believe that you are serving God in what you are doing, what more can God or anyone else ask of you. All we can do is out best. And all we can believe is what makes sense to us and follow our consciences. And you do not ever need to decide for sure what you believe, until you are on your death bed.
All true believers believe in something greater than themselves and often more than one thing. It is often thought that the way to convert someone, to our position, is to engage in a gentle and respectful argument, but this often ends quite differently, than we think it should. When is the last time someone talked to you about religion or politics and do you remember a time when you changed your opinion, solely due to their argument? Most people change their views because of one or both of these things: life experiences and repetition.
You can never have the power to change someone mind that doesn't want them to, but you can choose to change your remind and the way you treat others. From a religious or ethical point of view, is it more important to be kind and patient than to be powerful and wealthy? An argument can be used to persuade someone to do something like a commercial when it is repeated multiple times, but another use of an argument is to support what someone already believes (this is used in advertising, as well.
As you know I am very jaded and cynical about most things. One of the things that upsets me is the mixing together of purposes: business plus charity, religion plus politics, and non-profit or business plus government. I believe that you cannot do 2 opposite things at the same time. Business is there to make money, non-profits are their to help others, and governments should do different things, depending upon your politics.
Another thing that bothers me is when someone claims to be objective. Most of the times I run into some writer who makes a big deal out of being objective, generally they are the least objective of all. I think it is a mistake to try to please everyone all the time and it is not bad to have an opinion, even a wrong opinion.
I think when we say something should be a certain way, we should not feel ashamed of our opinions. We might change our opinions over a period of time and we may find others who share our opinions, but most things in life do not have just one right answer and having the correct answer does not always solve our problems.
People worship God in many ways, even within one religion. Worship can be one of ritual/sacrament, education and scholarship, leadership and management, or one of service to others, or many other things. The hindu paths of yoga are different for people of different personalities and stages in life. Christians have a very specific set of spiritual gifts that the Christian God gives his followers miraculously and can be very different from genetic or learned abilities.
But the point of worship in religion is both of intention and of focus. The focus is on God and the intention is our love of God. Worship is the key component of religion and doctrine is there to help guide us to beliefs more fitting of scripture/tradition and of conscience. Doctrine is essential but it can distract us from the main things of religion and many divisions according to doctrine make sense and are worthwhile but they all have a cost in unity and in reputation.
I have talked about how the ends do not justify the means. It is great that you have good intention in what you want to do to change the world, but from the object of your intension likely is more concerned about how you do something than what you mean to do. One of the things that emphasizes how we are physical beings better than anything else is pain and/or fear. Fear and pain distract me from my worship and trust of God and my hope for deliverance from anything that might hurt me in the future.
I still do not know how to answer the situation that keeps on coming up between religions and between sects within those religions. The situation is that different people often growing up in different circumstances and with different experiences come to different conclusions about religion while they all believe that there is one path to God. I think we must realize both that being right does not solve our problems or anyone else's, I also think that it is ok and still faithful to God to change our minds or allow a certain degree of disagreement, within a particular tradition.
God is all powerful and perfectly good but still merciful and forgiving. His intent is to spend time with us and intervene within our lives, to make us better people. We were never designed to live without God. We cannot even breather without God. And God obviously is not afraid to let things be complicated and deal with things that give us uncertainty and puzzle our intellects.
How do we know if we go to Heaven? I know what I believe. Other people will disagree with me, but I do not feel a need to justify or explain it to someone else's satisfaction. I think there are some things that are very clear about God and religion and most other things are clear as mud. What are the obvious things. I think they are obvious enough that you will find the answer if you are honest and truly seek God and are willing to believe Him, not me.
Lets work together to make the world a better place and let God sort out the details and determine what to change and what not to, according to His will, not hours. There are as many ways to serve God as there are, were, or will be people in existence. God is in the details.