Sunday, January 8, 2017
Most religions are striving to do the right thing. Their followers hear the small still voice. They serve with open hearts and hands. They follow God in whatever way they see Him/Her.
It would make sense to me, that if you are God, and you don't want to hand your people everything, but instead want them to strive for it, and you want them to learn faith and humility, and to work with others, that you don't give the entire puzzle to one group, who can then look down on others and use it against them in some way.
Instead it would be wiser to give out the puzzle pieces and hope that people will realize the importance of sharing and working together. It eliminates the "I'm better than, know more than, am chosen by God," mentality that would happen to one group holding all the pieces.
Sure, instead there are many religions who have that mentality. "You have to be wrong because I'm right and I speak for God". But it would perhaps be better to have several believe this and be wrong, than to have one believe it and be right, for then there would be no need for humility, for helping, or for sharing information.
I come from a church that has the mentality that they speak for God and that no other church has that ability. It is taught that when the leaders speak there is no reason to question. Personal revelation is fine unless it goes against what the leaders say. Those who leave are on the road to a sad fate.
But inspiration is all around. God speaks to all who will listen.And sometimes He/She gives different directives to different people because He/She has different plans for them. It doesn't mean that anyone is wrong.
We need to learn to work together and fit our pieces together, not fight about who's right and who's wrong and come to the conclusions that if someone claims they've received guidance from God that it has to be wrong because it's not what we would do.
Our souls rely on our personal relationship with God not on what others tell us to do. We don't need intermediaries between individuals and God.
Now that's not saying that everyone can do what they want. There are basic human rules that must be followed to live in a free and safe society. But as long as those rules are not broken, then we are each free to have a personal relationship (or not) with the one we call God, and we should not give that away by handing over our free agency to a church that tells us what to think and what to do.
Because if we eliminate God from our worship, and replace that God with men (or women) who dictate to us, then we have lost the whole point of humility and faith.
Many are leaving church now often because they no longer believe the one size fits all draconian rules of their religion allows them growth, relationship with God, or fills their needs.
And frankly it's sad to see churches close. The church has historically been the center of community and still is for many people. Churches can do great good. They feed the poor, offer social activities and opportunities, provide a place of worship, have programs that fill in holes in the community, offer a place of sanctuary, and connect people.
But the "we're right and everyone else is wrong and if you don't agree you're going to hell" rhetoric doesn't work anymore with a generation that recognizes free agency, the intelligence to think and has copious examples of dishonest controlling leadership in every type of community and business, which makes them suspicious of everyone.
So instead of arguing over who has the most correct information, or shutting out those who have different beliefs, or having lists of criteria that a person must meet to be accepted into your group, why not just share the pieces we do have.
We may discover something wonderful.
Because not one of us knows the truth about the universe. We're all just stumbling along and trying to figure it out.