Religion And Peace
There are a few spiritual authors my husband follows and likes. This article grew from a post I made on my blog. First let me say, this is not about bashing churches or religion but stating my own way of thinking when it comes to peace and religion. Peace is not a foreign word.
My husband's new found way of thinking may also be one reason he feels he is being tormented by those that do not agree with this type of thinking. Meaning we know the church we attend does not agree with new age philosophy. No church does. In fact they have called him antagonistic for his views and within a church new age thinking is antagonistic. They don't want anyone who thinks even slightly differently than they do. They want a unified body of people who think exactly as they do and carry that word out into the public and express it as they would. In one sense I can't blame them, there would be all kinds of different views and thinking if people were allowed to sway from their belief and allowed to think any way they wished but on the other hand it squashes people's ability to think for themselves. Of course this all bring me back to my original thinking and that is churches don't want people thinking for themselves, they want acceptance of what they say without ever questioning it's authenticity.Unfortunately, my husband thinks he can get them to open my minds. I've tried to explain this is not going to happen and trying to push your belief system on them is no different than a christian trying to shove religion down your throat.The big question here: Can you have a new age belief system and still be a christian? My answer is yes definitely. Ask the anyone in a church and the answer will be a profound no. You can't follow one belief system and still be saved by Jesus. You must follow only Jesus and the churches view and repent of your sins for even considering another way of thinking.Is this correct thinking? Not in my opinion it isn't but the church has the right to run it any way they want. Right or wrong. If they can get people to follow their teaching whether they are right or wrong really doesn't matter because it all comes down to how many people follow it. This is what keeps them going and in business. I'm a big promoter that churches really are out there only to make money. Perhaps my view is skewed. But modern religion is not about getting people to be more spiritual and show love and peace and humanity towards their fellow man. It is about making sure the people follow one view and one view only. Their View. If you disagree you are antagonistic. You are shunned. Perhaps you are even asked to leave. This is all done under one guise. The guise of money. There is this overwhelming fear that if people listen to what you have to say and realize that spirituality and being closer to Jesus isn't going to church and putting money in the offering plate every week, people might discover they only need Jesus and love and they don't need to give money to hear what they already know, these people will leave and that will be that much money lost to them. Churches don't want to lose money because it is a big and thriving business and they aren't going out of business any time soon.So it's with this mindset they try to make sure every one is on the same page, the same unified set of rules and thinking. You may never be told there is a set of rules regarding your thinking while in their establishment but there is. And it consists of thinking the way they think and putting away any other thinking and if you don't you face the wrath of God for idolatry. If you think any other way you are worshipping idols and that is against biblical teachings. Not only must you think the same way they do you must take their teachings out into the public and get other people to come to Jesus, that is get the people to come to their church and give them money.If you think I come at this subject hard, I do and I do for a very good reason, That reason being I've seen too much that goes against every grain of love and peace. I've seen far too much that waves it's wand at hatred and bigotry and those things are not love. Teaching hatred of anyone is not love and is not following Jesus. Quite the opposite.Would Jesus teach hatred of other races, cultures, religions. etc.? If you think the answer is yes then church is the place for you. There are many out there who are going to read this and completely disagree. I will not apologize for my view. It is my view and I have a right to it.
Just like churches have a right to run their business any way they want. If you happen to be a part of a congregation that really is focused on love and not on the money then I commend you for finding a place that is trying to put the love out there. Unfortunately, most people think love is what is in their pants. This is not the case. Go outside and look around and see the life around you. The birds, animals, trees, plants, etc. and you see love. The nature around you offers love in it's purest form every single day. The animals and trees know no hatred, They know only love and peace. Being in nature offers some of the most peaceful experiences you can get. It is a proven fact that being around rivers, lakes, etc. raises the endorphin levels within the brain and eases depression. Why? Because nature offers peace and love in it's rarest and purest forms. Nowhere else can you be free from the day to day encumbrances that make up our daily lives.The churches talk about being closer to Jesus and being more God Like. Well, first, before anything else, they would have to give up all their earthly possessions or most of them anyway. Their new cars, new houses, big screen TV's, computers, ipods, fancy cell phones, the internet and find a place that is nothing but nature(peace and love) and stay there awhile and find the path they need to take to not just talk about Jesus but be truly more God like. After roughing it awhile they might be ready to talk to others about Jesus and the true meaning of peace and love and living a life that God would approve of.There is one small problem with this. Again it boils down to money. Aside from the fact no one wants to give up their earthly belongings, I don't blame anyone for not doing it, I'm not going to either, the church does not want people to do this. Doing this means giving up everything and with everything that means giving up a job that often demands you do things that not only do you disagree with but is against God. Being forced to treat employees or customers with a lack of respect, being forced to take a bosses insults and bad treatment is not Godly. Because when you get treated badly you are more likely to treat someone else badly. You can't talk back to your boss so you treat the next person you encounter like crap not because you are a hateful person by nature because you were simply freeing yourself from the frustrations of a poor work environment. Now the poor cashier behind the counter at the gas station that can't say anything back to you without losing her job goes home and takes it out on her innocent children. They in turn take it out on another child or the family pet then the family dog bites a jogger taking his nightly run. The cycle goes on and on and continues uninterrupted through most of our lives. Whether we realize it or not we absorb all the negative energies we encounter on a daily basis and it's very difficult to shed that negativity and sometimes even though we don't mean to we take that negativity out on others. It's important to find a way to get rid of the negativity we encountered every day and not take it home with us and not take it to bed at night.Now if you tell your church you can take your bosses insults no longer and you are going to quit and if that means living in the woods that's what you are going to do because you are tired of being his/her punching bag, you more than likely will not hear that that is a good idea. You will hear that you should pray about it. Pray that you will find a better job. Pray for the boss. There is nothing wrong with that. But what if you don't find that better job and you're okay with roughing it in the woods. That's your right you shouldn't feel obligated to someone else to continue in an unbearable situation. If you have kids you can't take this path. You know the unfortunate toils of being a parent that does truly mean taking whatever the boss dishes out until you find a better job and prayer is the only thing you can do except look for something better.Back to my point, you will not hear your church tell you they think woods living is good idea even when you have no encumbrances of a family to hold you back. Partly because they may fear you may not be able to come back from it and partly because without the income you get from that crappy boss you will have nothing to give them.As I said before I hit this topic hard because for the most part I don't feel churches are truly out there for the business of saving souls they are in it for their own agenda of making money just as internet gurus come up with new ideas constantly to make them even more money.I've seen firsthand the love and peace some churches hand out. I once went to a church where the Pastor preached every week about getting people into church. Every week he thumped the bible hard about getting new people there but when one of the young girls there decided to bring a new boy there it was frowned upon. It was frowned upon because this boy was african american. The people within the church touted that they frowned because they thought the boy wouldn't like it. Well, it wasn't up to them to decide if the boy would like it or not it was up to the boy to decide whether he wanted to come back or not. They said if she brought the boy to their church they would openly call him racial names and to this day this still bothers me. I went home and told my mother and cried. I couldn't believe anyone would be that hateful and sadistic and this was within a church. He was only 15 years old and my mother told me this might have been an opportunity for them to change someone's life. This was an opportunity for them to show love and show this young man that there were good people out there. They had an opportunity and when presented with the opportunity they passed on it. My mother said now this boy might not ever attend another church because of this and it is their fault. It would have been. How could any church think that racism is love? I remember the time when I asked the pastor at my church to pray for my grandmother. She suffered from Parkinson's disease and a number of other problems. When I returned to the church I found out that no one there even knew my grandmother was sick. I was appalled. I couldn't believe it. How could they not know? The pastor was supposed to pray for her. Well apparently he didn't. He certainly didn't ask for the congregation to pray too. How could they, they didn't know. When my mother died my dad foolishly asked my uncle to perform the service, he's a minister. He got up and condemned my mother to Hell at her funeral. Why" Because she didn't attend church. My mother was never a big believer in modern church as I'm not but that doesn't mean because she didn't go to a church that she was a sinner and went to Hell. Nevertheless she got condemned to it. Under that thinking everyone who is condemned by someone to Hell is going to Hell. Sorry, that is not the way it works. When my Dad died he too got condemned to Hell. I don't think another person has the right to condemn another person to Hell regardless of their beliefs or lack thereof. In another incident a couple my aunt knew got shunned at the church they attended because they were poor and didn't have anything and didn't have nice clothes to wear. This is not love and it certainly is not peaceful. And let's not discount all the people I've met, befriended or dated that called themselves christians and in fact were anything but. There are other stories I could relay but I won't.You may think these are isolated incidents, perhaps in the great big scheme of things they are but these incidents shouldn't happen in any church anywhere. Teaching hatred and this is what teaching racism is should not happen in any church. Not praying for my grandmother was not right but I'll give that one a pass. Someone made a mistake. The church that shunned the poor people I'll give that one a pass too. They were snooty. But what about when this happens all over the country every week in many churches? You can say it doesn't happen but we all know it does.There should be more love and peace but many things need to change before love and peace can be at the forefront of human thinking. We'll start with not celebrating the death of anyone. And no not judge others. I've heard it said if you clean up your own house then you have the power to judge others. No no one has the right to judge. No one. That's an attitude we must also lose before true peace and love can happen.
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