Many years ago I found myself at a crossroads in my spiritual life. Having been sober for several years I began searching for an extension of the entity I called HP. Believing that sobriety had cleared my mind sufficiently to venture into the world of theology, I found what I believed to be a true path to a better understanding of God. Sincerity and fervor was not an issue; I wanted to be one of those ‘normal’ people who worshipped in churches.
A local community church promised to be the answer to my searching; it offered to me the ‘black and white’ of every issue which life raised; there were no gray areas. Promoting itself as inerrant, literal and true to the Word of God, this fellowship of Godly believers covered me with their version of righteousness.
Unfortunately, it did not accept the recovery program of AA as Biblical and I was encouraged to abandon the AA fellowship. They told me the AA program was an unacceptable theology for a true believer. In retrospect I know today that it was only by the grace of God that I continued to stay sober while worshipping in their version of godliness.
The dilemma of breaking away from AA and then leaving the church was not part of the sobriety script. It left me with a foot in both doors; neither fellowship fulfilled my need to fellowship or worship. I learned from this experience that theology, religion, and spirituality are not interchangeable words.
Theology is knowing about God or a God-belief system; religion is a personal walk with God; spirituality is the inner change as a result of that walk. Thirty years after that near fatal encounter with the inerrant literalists I joyously practice religion, graciously accept spiritual blessings, and warily keep an eye on theologians.
This evolution leads to the gist of my post: gaining knowledge about varying theologies is important to discernment, practicing religion is soul food, cherishing spiritual gifts from differing sources honors God’s inherent intelligence.
My self-identity as a Jesus follower does not ascribe me to any particular faith or theology. This journey I am undertaking has led me to revere and trust the historical Jesus as presented by numerous non-religious sources as well as the writings of early Jesus followers. It is my personal belief that when Rome established Christianity as its state religion, theology overshadowed religion and spirituality; thus resulting in the loss of the true message of Jesus Christ and the 1st century disciples.
My quest for spiritual sanity demands that I learn about other faiths and their messengers who have presented the truth of God to an unbelieving world; the God of my understanding, my HP, is universal and omnipotent using differing avenues to approach the unbelieving world.
“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”
John 14:2 kjv
The author is not speaking in terms of the physical world, rather in the spiritual realm which in essence is what all scriptures are about. It is the spiritual manifestation of our desire for God. This verse speaks to me very clearly that my HP has room for differing religious persuasions, that there are many differing relationships with the Supreme Being.
4 Replies to “WHO I AM”
As I was reading this I found myself nodding and repeatedly saying “exactly”. I am constantly amazed at how people of faith meet. Who ever would have thought that there was someone so spiritually attuned to what I believe and that I would find him online in a blog?
Now, on a completely different note, and why I actually wandered over here this afternoon…..I am presenting you with a blog award……..yes, i know, I know..these are chain mails in disguise..but this one actually means something to me. It was designed by Cyranny for ….of all people………..me! and it is all about the people who make a blog just a bit better through their commenting. You have made my blog so much nicer, so much funnier, so much BETTER with the comments you leave me. so go to this post for the stuff, the info, the down low (or whatever kids say nowadays)…..http://suziland.net/2016/11/and-the-award-goes-to/
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Suze, I just reviewed this post from last year. I amaze myself. LOL. I am so pleased to know you. We seem like old friends.
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Hi! Thank you very much for imagining a(n even) better world. You are right that the world needs “dreamers,” and logic and reason. Spirituality is a deeper reasoning, part of human nature too (while religion is more culture than nature), and very necessary to access our eternal kindness. Thank you very much also for having sparked a discussion I am very passionate about on my blog. You are doing exactly the right thing in my opinion if you seek answers, but do resist “black and white” self-serving opinions. We have the higher intelligence, force, energy within us. Let’s listen to our hearts:-). Thanks a lot and all the best!
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Hi there Larry
I would need a little help, and I believe you could be just the person to give it. I can’t say much here, but if you could just send me a note at firstname.lastname@example.org, I’ll tell you about it 🙂 I looked for a ‘contact’ page on your site, but didn’t find one…
Thanks in advance!
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