Sunday 5-18-14 Influences

“The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are.” ~ Joseph Campbell

Happy Sunday!

This week has brought many Christian influences into my life; unfortunately this has brought me down.
Can I accept Jesus back into my life and still keep my distance from Christianity?
I am not saying that I want to be distant from Christianity, I just can’t help feeling an aversion to it.  The basic principle of Christianity that always disturbs me is the idea that there can there be only one way to God.  This to me is an idea that creates judgement, that some people are included and some people are out.
I am still working on the daily lessons from Rick Warren “the Purpose Driven Life” but I have been tempted several times this week to put it down.  It makes me feel my old resentment and guilt rising.  One of the lessons this week was on fellowship and was written in such a way that I took from it that going to a Christian church is a requirement and is stated in the bible as such.  (Who’s interpretation of the bible I wonder?)
I spent a couple of days troubled by this as these ideas do not resonant with my heart.  I just don’t see me returning to a church community where I feel I will be told what is considered acceptable thought and what is not as it relates to God.  But, I also experienced a great connection with Jesus last week so I am conflicted.  Can I be connected to Jesus and not be connected to his church? (Is it his church?)
On Friday night I watched a portion of a PBS show on the early Christians called from “Jesus to Christ”.  I was unable to watch the entire program yet but what I saw of it spoke of the times right after Jesus’ death and of his followers growing Christianity by forming tight groups of believers who met everyday and shared their meals together in memory of Jesus and the Last Supper.  I saw in this the importance of gathering.  To me it supported the message that Jesus intended us to come together. Is the church what he intended?
At lunch today I brought up my questions about Christianity and my feelings that I was not comfortable with many of the teachings that exclude people.  My family (my fellowship) also supported my feelings and we discussed what parts of the biblical stories of Jesus may be true and which may have been developed or interpreted incorrectly to serve church doctrine and modern society.
I appreciate that I received from my family acceptance of my feelings and support that I must listen to my uncomfortable feelings and not fall into the old trap of youth, that of doing what I am told just to be accepted into a society.
Perhaps there are those people who benefit from acting with a church environment, those that need to be given direction and told what to do to stay on a righteous path.  I am not looking for a path that will make me right.  I am on the spiritual path to understand and know Truth.
“I was blind and now I see.”
I am thinking back to a time when I was one of the sheep just listening to the voices outside of me that were telling me what I must do, how I must act, so that I can be seen as acceptable to this world of form.  I thought of myself as not worthy of understanding.  I could have been handed Universal Truths written in diamonds and gold and would not have understood them or recognized them as Truth.
As I have been on this journey of ‘Self’ where I follow the voices of guidance from within and feel my connection to God; my awareness knows that I am worthy and, with purpose, I seek understanding.  God doesn’t seem resent me for being bold enough to want to understand as he is continuously leading me deeper in understanding Truth.
A funny thing about Truth, when you are connected inward, Truth resonates quite loudly within your being.  Something I didn’t experience when I was being told this through religious doctrine.
I have recently been introduced to Eric Butterworth who founded the Unity Church.  I am looking forward to starting to read his book “Discover the Power Within You” this week but in the interim I was reading some of a webpage about him.  One page is called “The Truth in a Nutshell” and list three basic truths.  They are:

The Omnipresence of God
The Divinity of Man
The Creative Power of Thought

Yes, these are the Truths that my ‘Self’ (God) guided journey has taught to me that I had not learned from religious doctrine.  Perhaps there are churches out there that teach the things I need to learn while I am here on Earth.  I will have faith that if I am meant to go find one that I will be given that message.
As I go deeper into understanding my self and God, I more and more want to be with and support others whereas before I did not understand Love, compassion, and acceptance – the journey within has been teaching me about these most important of feelings.  These are the feelings I had to find within myself so that I can understand how to give them to others.
“True love is born from understanding.” ~ Gautama Buddha

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