Friday, 28 November 2014

Good christianity?


Buy iy now!Sorry folks, been neglecting the old blog lately, mostly because of  trying to publish my book, which I hope you are all cuing up to buy a copy as we speak!

Been a lot of stuff buzzing around my brain cell, but I shall briefly mention my most recent thoughts.

I blogged a while back about why Christianity works, which is kind of a strange statement, especially if you have left the confines of christian dogma. Despite my own theological/spiritual views these days, I'm learning to look at the inherent value of religious traditions and belief systems.

I still battle with the damage that church has inflicted on me. Just when I think its OK, I find myself reacting to things people say, cliches and christianese, religious dogma and bigotry. Still got a way to go!

But I've been trying to respect the faith that kept me going all my life in terms of what it is that makes it "work". I'm not talking about the correct doctrines and whether or not the bible is God's written word or Jesus was actually God incarnate etc. No, I'm talking about why it fills a need so effectively and can bring real life changing benefits, peace and joy to people.

It seems that whatever language and theology we build around it, there are spiritual principles that are just the way the universe is. Christianity provides a way of accessing and utilising these principles, often very effectively. What are these principles? Well, that's something I'm (and millions of others) are slowly coming to terms with.

There are things like the Law of Attraction, Positive Affirmation, Karma (and lots of dreaded "new age" stuff, lol) and even things that quantum physics is revealing, that seem to be at the deepest level of all we are. Of course, its all open to dispute, but the door is open, people are seeing a far bigger universe than any one religion has ever offered. Christianity has become just one aspect of universal spirituality.

Most fundamental/traditional christians will say that everything else is deception and lies created by the devil to deceive us from the truth, that Jesus alone is the way. I know, I used to be one of the most adamant about it! I could define everything in terms of Jesus being the only truth and everything else a lie, and because the devil was so good at creating this deception, it meant that there was nothing anyone could say to convince me otherwise.

Fortunately there were cracks in the system that started to be prized open by discovering the depth of grace - the revelation of God's unconditional love that has now become the "grace movement". But even that has just been a stepping stone for many people, although for most they are happy to stay with that revelation, and once again fall into the trap of everything else being lies and deception.

But despite all that, there are universal principles. Prayer for example. People focusing and meditating, speaking love and blessing, calling things that "aren't as if they are" through a deep faith in that process, brings results, whether its christian or not. There is a law/principle/whatever at work that goes beyond christian doctrine.

Then there is the central aspect of Jesus and all that he stands for - his words and actions, his own beliefs and passions - all that we ascribe to him - that provides a point of deep universal identification with humanity and spirituality. There's something for everyone!

Its a huge subject, and I may keep throwing around ideas and digging deeper as part of another book!

I totally understand wanting to completely ditch christianity, especially after seeing the gaping holes of logic, reason, morality and ethics that are obvious to anyone outside of that paradigm. And I totally understand the pain and distress so many have suffered under the abuse of churches and religion. I really get that.

But I'm learning to respect what much of christianity DOES get right, and how effective it can be in bringing life and love. I will continue to tear apart religion that doesn't bring life - religion that is nothing more than a license for bigotry, hate and abuse. There is a lot of evil in the church, and the institution is past it's use-by date, but the spirit of Jesus and all he stood for can and does bring life and love.

And of course, in the end, all that matters is living loved!