Because people cannot agree. And because once a mind believes something, it’s difficult to change it. This is why it is easier to train a child than help a broken adult.
What I believe
I believe in Jesus, and the Christ consciousness that is crying out from within each of us to be Connected with God, however I no longer identify with the Christian label because it seems to align with a belief that Jesus is the ONLY son of God. Yes, I have an issue with the word “only.” I see that as an error in translation.
I follow Jesus’ teachings of:
Not judging. He who is without sin, cast the first stone. This also pairs nicely with my knowing that “everything has value.”
Forgiving. Father, forgive them. They know not what they do. We can learn just as much from those who hurt us, as we can from those who treat us well, though obviously, we all want to be treated kindly, be accepted, be loved.
Loving. Love thy neighbor as thyself. And… love thy enemies, which includes loving all mankind. And if you have an issue with this, read again the parable about the Good Samaritan which makes it clear that “love your neighbor” means to love all persons, everywhere – not just our friends, allies, people of our country or ancestry, etc.
We are to live life and have it more abundantly. This is not talking about greed, this is talking about being able to enjoy all of Earth’s abundance. We do not rob, we do not destroy so that the Earth does not provide to the next generations. We seed. We plow. We reap what we sow. We enjoy. We do not need to deprive ourselves. We should learn about other cultures and enjoy the art, music, culture, and all they have to share with us. There is nothing to fear.
Before Jesus ascended to glory, He said we would go on to do even greater miracles than He performed. We need to understand and use the POWER we’ve been given. We need to learn who we are and use our power for good.
Above all, I believe in the Omniscience, Omnipresent, and Omnipotent God.
We may call God, The Presence, Source, Light, Energy, or The Creator of the Universe.
It’s humans who always feel they must label and name everything. God simply IS.
There exists an Eternal Presence that pulses and resonates through all. And it is Energy. Limitless, Ever-Living, and Filling-All-Space (which is really explains how God IS truly Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent). The Presence also works for me as a name.
God lives in each of us already, most just deny it.
Jesus was a representation of God living in us or He was expressing God fully. Expressing the truth of God in us!
God can shape-shift, choosing to be Jesus, any avatar, or merely a point of light!
“There are many names for the source of knowledge—the Absolute, the Cosmic, God, the Divine Spirit, the Transcendent —yet the concept is one; it is the Universal Manifestation, the Spiritual Essence, that pervades all things. And, it is this entity, this Universal Oneness, that the mystic seeks to know.”
I do not associate or align with LABELS of any kind, including but not limited to:
Christian. For the aforementioned reasons.
Paganism. I do not associate with symbols.
Mormon. Because the original Latter Day Saints church never called themselves that, only the Salt Lake City LDS members were known as Mormons. I have read the Book of Mormon cover to cover and believe it to be the Holy scripture of Jesus Christ’s visit to America. Some call it the Native American Bible.
Vegan. Because I consume honey, some dairy, and fish (to align more with my native American ancestors and my blood type).
I have read other Christian materials like the Dead Sea Scrolls, Nag Hamadi, and the Urantia book, so who was ever to say one book was divinely inspired while another not??? What egos!!
I’ve heard that modern society has lost touch with rituals, however, perhaps this is because the word “ritual” is built into “spiritual” and just by way of Be-ing, that is all the ritual we need? When a person is spiritual, they know spirit is always with them, in fact, that spirit is IN them! There is no need to DO anything in order to know spirit is IN you. So, we’ve let go of religious rituals because we don’t need them. Isn’t that a freeing thought?!?
I do study. As I have a thirst for knowledge. And as the Bible declares, we are to study to show thyself approved. I believe we are here to learn and accumulate knowledge and experience. As we transition, our soul takes this knowledge forward in some way.
I do appreciate and enjoy what each of the various religions have taught me over the years:
The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, now the Community of Christ (Mormon) church taught me:
God is living and ever present
Present day revelation
Healing via Laying on of hands
The Methodist church that my paternal grandfather and grandmother were members of, showed wonderful acceptance and honor of others beliefs. In particular, my grandfather read my mom’s Book of Mormon and had many deep discussions with her about it! He was very interested in it, saying it offered great wisdom and comfort! He never understood why others would put mom down for believing in it, much less persecute her for it! My aunt Gela also had conversations with my mom about it over the years and my aunt was a devout practicing Methodist!
So, I was taught tolerance of other religions from an early age, even though my church taught that it was “the one true church” and I found out by attending others that each thought they were the only true church.
Baptist churches taught me boldness and encouraged me to study my Bible to “show thyself approved.” They also taught me humility–by going to the alter on more than one occasion! As well, they caused me to question my faith because they said the Mormon faith followed a different Jesus! I remember how confusing that was as everything I had learned about Jesus in my church was the same as they were preaching!!
Pentacostal churches taught me music in church can be fun and fantastic and that dancing for the Lord is glorious and healthful! My daughter and I were even “praise dancers” for a year while attending one of these churches years ago. My second husband and I were baptized in the ocean by a Bible believing non-denominational pastor whom also counseled us before marrying us. Though our marriage ended I learned so many things from it that I cannot think of it as a complete failure.
Also, that specific pastor taught me:
1) he asked the congregation to raise their hands if we thought he should drive a Lexus
2) they put multiple christmas trees on the stage
3) he said if we truly “got” what he was preaching we wouldn’t need him anymore, because God could speak to us and we could choose to listen and follow God on our own!
As soon as I understood what that pastor was saying, I left the church! (My ex-husband quit after the Lexus question.)
One of my co-dancers told me to look at algebra like a puzzle (because I had asked for guidance about math classes in college that I was struggling with). This later all became very important to my career!
Jehovah’s Witnesses taught me how they control people (a friend of mine relayed his very personal story to me years ago) and how they taught that Christmas is a pagan holiday.
The Church of Christ says the Mormon church is a fraud, yet another friend I met years later (who was Church of Christ) said her particular church didn’t teach that. She invited me to attend her church–I always felt she had a hidden agenda to convert me!
So, no, I do not believe in ONE church, one religion, or one way. To me, those very beliefs are at the root of many of today’s societal problems.
I’ll take the “live and let live” approach over all of that divisiveness.
Remember who the father of confusion is. A house divided against itself cannot stand.
Any religion that uses the active vibration of human beings and teaches a practice of movement (dance, waving of the arms, etc.), and breath (such as the yoga breathing called Pranayama, or chanting and singing to open and move breath through the body) are wonderful ways to heal yourself and reach towards the Divine.
What’s wrong with “new age”, or “new thought” stuff really? What are we afraid of?
God is bigger than anything, certainly larger than anything we humans can devise! In actuality, I believe in a LIMITLESS, Source Energy Creator!
We humans are always seeking to think of God in our terms, that God has a gender or certain bodily appearance, and that God sees us the way we see ourselves. But the truth could be vastly different! How grouchy of us to imagine how God thinks! Or even that God thinks at all!
Perhaps God only KNOWS.
So, yes, I can enjoy, yes, “IN JOY” all the fruits of EVERY religion! Why? Because I believe God does!
All the people AFRAID of never pleasing God, they can let that GO.
The Limitless, Ever-Living, Omnipresent, Omniscient, Omnipresence that exists is not sitting on a golden throne somewhere waiting to smack you upside the head!
And as for FEAR, as Jaime Foxx once said in an interview, “There is nothing on the other side of fear.”
I love the word “representation” oh yes! I read the book years ago also, and loved it. I feel a lot of people who judge the Shack book and movie, do so because they can’t see an Omnipotent, Omnipresent, Omniscient Creator God as appearing to anyone as a woman. I guess they forgot about that burning bush Moses saw.
I’ve heard it said that the Catholics only resisted Hitler marginally.
What can today’s religious people do to help preserve the universal freedom of religion?
Are Christians able to live their values under stress / temptation? Perhaps this is now their time of trial?
Admittedly, I align / identify more with Christians than Muslims, but I love the Zoroastrian, Sikh, Hindu, and Buddhist religions / traditions and I do not count them out or less than because they believe some things differently than I–after all, I still contain my previous conditioning.
Where’s the love?
And what about all of the Peace and Love tribe? Where is all that peace and love when a president is elected of whom you do not approve?
How do you practice the first commandment? Love the Lord thy God with all your heart, mind, etc.
I embrace Buddhism because I do not believe in evil. I have a knowing that what Christians deem as evil, is when we, each one of us, get in the way and block the light of God which wants to shine through us! We cast a shadow much larger than ourselves when we can’t get out of the way! Jesus knew this and called evil the “darkness” that blocks out God’s harmonic life-giving light.
I embrace the teachings of personal responsibility in Zoroastrianism–as they say to, think good thoughts, speak good words, and do good actions. And perhaps Ahura Mazda is not Omnipotent, but how do we know?
Spirituality, I believe, helps us get out of the way, so that our LIMITLESS God can can light the darkness and allow Divine Love to fill every heart.