Spirituality and God Unchurched // A different look at Christianity

God, By Any Other Name, Is Still God…..

The mainstream ‘guru’ of spiritualism, Oprah, said she “no longer believes that Jesus is the only way to reach God.” I believe there are various ways to journey with God, but ultimately the journey is with Jesus since Jesus was God embodied in the flesh; in my mind God and Jesus are one and the same. It’s a fairly subtle difference, but a difference nonetheless. Why is it difficult to believe Jesus, or more accurately God, came to different people at different times in history to teach truth and the need for spiritual pursuit? God, by any other name, is still God, as long as the goal is love.

As I have said many times, the heart motivation speaks volumes, yet no man is capable of fully discerning the heart motivation of another. Heart motivations play a part in why we choose to believe the way we do. Many people, including ‘good’ Christians, make snap and often critical judgments about people believing they know the heart motivation behind words or actions when, in fact, they may only see a tiny piece of the whole. Our heart motivations are complex and formed, in part, by upbringing, life experience, education, worldview, religion, or the lack of it. Simply put, judging others heart motivations is left to interpretation without benfit of the whole story. Dangerous ground to trod.

My heart motivation for seeking God other places besides within the church walls was, in part, due to how I was treated within those walls. I was never accepted as one of their own; I was always on the outside looking in because I did not fit their ‘mould’ of a ‘Christian’. Add to that their pre-conceived ideas about ‘proper’ Christian women, and I was placed even farther outside those walls. Not that I had any wild-eyed, off-the-wall ideas about God; rather I didn’t “look the part (I was actually told that!), didn’t act the part, and didn’t adopt the language. The last straw was when the church, more specifically the pastor, determined an abusive family dynamic was more a product of a male “control-issue” than flat-out abuse; not uncommon for Christian men, so I was told. As the pastor teaches, so does the congregation believe. The belief is otherwise known as “submission to male authority” in the home, and elsewhere; its definition left to individual interpretation as church leadership conveniently looks the other way. Fortunately, I emerged from the brain fog of continual abuse and the methodical destruction of my spirit by my ‘controlling’ husband and got out with my kids. Am I bitter? Not in the least! Grateful is the word that comes to mind.

I have also said there is nothing new about New Age philosophy. True, it is a compilation of Buddhism, Hinduism, and a few other “ism’s”, and the philosophies vary from person to person; the one common thread shared by most is acknowledgment of God. And then the semantics race is on! God or Father is right, and any other moniker is wrong, in the eyes of many within the church. Are we to believe Judaism, and even before that, any worship of God is now wrong because Jesus entered the picture? How does that make sense? Oh, I’ve heard all the arguments; the Old Testament was the “Law” and Jesus came to“fulfill” the Law, or the Jews were responsible for Jesus’ death therefore they are no longer legit, and other rationalizations. Truly, I would entertain any reasonable argument God intended for the church and Christianity to develop as we know it today, but at this point I don’t believe there are any. The ‘Church’, the early ‘Christian’ movement, and any variation, are the products of man’s interpretation of God mixed with an unhealthy dose of an insatiable need for control over the masses. In its formative years the teachings of Jesus weren’t written in a book; Jesus didn’t have a scribe following Him around taking notes for a “How to” manual. No one was peddling the latest edition, hot off the presses,  from the street corners. The teachings were passed along from person to person, group to group. A kind of spiritual game of telephone, if you will, and we know how that turns out. So, it is safe to assume what we read in the Bible are not always the intended messages from God.

Each of us is a unique creation of the Divine, an extension of Divine Love clothed in flesh, so it would only make sense we would each have our unique perspectives on life and God. Since the beginning of time people have recognized God and worshiped in ways that made sense to them. In Christian circles the question, “if every man will acknowledge Jesus and be saved, how will the indiginous people living in the far reaches of jungles and deserts hear about Jesus?” And the answer is some version of, “Jesus will make Himself known to them in a way they understand”.  Huh? Isn’t that kind of the same as we journey with God in different ways?

So, my friends, love energy is not journey-specific. My beliefs don’t trump yours, nor your path less relevant as judged by others . The goal is oneness with the Divine, unlocking truth, and radiating Divine love energy, not who is more right. In other words, how we get there is not as important is that we get there. We have lost sight of the importance of the journey, exchanging it for dogmatic doctrine and the need to be right. Do I think there is only one way to God? No, I do not…..

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