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What does it mean to be Born Again

Updated on January 27, 2011

Born Again and Baptism

My religious upbringing taught me this principle. At an early age I learned that if I did not accept Jesus, give up my sinful ways and be baptised,  I would surely burn in hell. Well to use the term literally it scared the Hell out of me.

At the age of twelve I can't truly say that I had done much that I needed to be saved from but I decided just to be on the safe side I should get baptised. I allowed myself to be immersed in the biptismal pool and prayed over. I was pronounced "Born Again" and told to go and sin no more. This was not followed up with any special instruction or attention.

Well by the age of 16 I learned what it meant to be sinful and my baptism went by the wayside in favor of my libidinal appetites.

It occured to me years later that at the age of twelve I had no idea what it meant to be sinful and much less to be "Born Again". What rational adults thought they were doing by allowing me to be baptised without a proper understanding and some instruction, I have no idea.

Overzealous Christians Often Do More Harm Than Good

Do not those who call themselves Christians have a responsibility to look first to their own spiritual walk before they attempt to save others from a life of so called Sin. In an effort to be a "Good Christian" much harm can be done and good intentions may in fact drive a person who is in emotional distress to a life of doubt and disbelief.

When persons who are in severe emotional distress they often are not in their right minds and are incapable of truly understanding what it means to walk with Jesus. Their dire circumstances may cause them to turn to a sudden belief in God and they may even believe they have been saved from their life of pain and suffering for a time.

Inevitably one must go through yet more suffering and one who does not have a firm grasp on what it is to have a relationship with the Lord may become dissilusioned.

Christianity as a Quick Fix

When we first begin our relationship with God it is a very moving experience. One who has gone through much suffering may often see this as a way to escape a life that is no longer bearable. For a time this does seem to be what has happened. Like the newly married however the Honeymoon must come to an end.

Suffering in life is inescapable and when one becomes a Christian for these reasons, simply because they no longer wish to suffer, they can convince themselves that they are true believers and are changed individuals.

In life we all must face loss. A loved one dies, we have financial setback, serious illness occurs, etc; We cannot escape pain and suffering, much as we try to forget it exists. If we begin our relationship with God believing that he will not allow bad things to happen to us, we are setting ourselves up for a fall.

We must face the reality of impermanence and not simply accept it but be conscious of this aspect of our lives with every breath before we can find peace. As long as we persist in trying to block out and resist pain in our lives we can not keep our hearts open to the healing love of God. God does not bring us suffering or allow it. Suffering as well as joy is inevitable as long as we are in human form. We must give up our human form before it ends.

To Be Truly Born Again

Being Born Again truly means that we must die moment by moment to our old ways and with each new breath become reborn as a new being with God. This is the only way to find the true peace of God. This is a day by day, moment by moment process. It is not something one does on Sunday and then puts aside until next week. We cannot expect in this lifetime to ever be perfect but we must be conscious of our action as much as our stage of awareness will allow.

If our hearts desire is that with each moment we are walking closer and closer to God. If we can see God in the face of our neighbor and accept them without judgement, I believe we are headed in the right direction toward being finally "Born Again".

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    • Dave Mathews profile image

      Dave Mathews 7 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

      This is a really nice introduction to your walk in Faith with God. Keep up the great work.

      Brother Dave.

    • Ashmi profile image

      Ashmi 6 years ago from Somewhere out there

      Hi slock62,

      You raise some good points. The problem with orthodox religion is that there are very few genuine teachers. And by that I mean people who really understand the message of Christ. What it means to live with and walk with Him. Their lack of understanding has created a great exodus of established traditions....too many contradictions and the hypocrisy is appalling!

      To love God and to love our neighbour as ourselves. Who does this? I know of very few (one of which is a carmelite nun; a dear friend of mine)

      Too much importance has been placed on rituals and ceremonies, the superficial appearances of righteousness have overshadowed the true virtues of humility and simplicity. Greed and corruption are evident everywhere and the obvious result is mass confusion or downright hostility.

      It is not easy to die to every moment; to walk in His Presence constantly is extremely difficult. Especially in the beginning. But with constant practice it eventually becomes a habit. One that replaces all our destructive habits. And for that reason we must persevere in the work.

      Not to repeat our past sins is true repentance. The real meaning of being born again.

    • profile image

      slock62 6 years ago

      Your insight is amazing and I am totally insync with your expression. I truly was beginning to question if my understanding was missing the mark. I seem to be so removed from traditional thinking. Do you have any particular source of inspiration, of course aside from direct inspiration? Any particular study?

    • Ashmi profile image

      Ashmi 6 years ago from Somewhere out there

      Hi Sandra,

      What is TRUE, is so way of the norm that most people simply will not accept it. The mind is a finite instrument and cannot comprehend what is essentially infinite.

      If the mind cannot understand it, it becomes a threat and will rebel against it. The teachings of the wise even today are grossly misunderstood. Even so called spiritual people are totally baffled by what they were trying to convey. They used all manner of devices and systems in order to facilitate understanding; only those whose minds were prepared sufficiently were ready for revelation. Few were chosen as they say.

      The truth is not beyond our reach, we must simply go beyond ourselves and give It a chance to show Itself. God is near and the way to Him is easy. I am a contemplative in spirit without belonging to any tradition. To me, all traditions in essence teach the same. I made it my business to get at the root of all religious, spiritual and mystical systems. But I was only interested in the seed of the teachings not the superficial trappings endorsed by man.

      Because of my temperament the path of devotion was not for me. Not in the beginning anyway. I doubted everything and everyone until I was fortunate enough to meet some very enlightened people. From the christian faith as well as an old man who followed the Taoist tradition introduced to me by a nun friend of mine.

      They taught me to see with new eyes. To see without seeing they said. To be without being this or that. Anyway; I follow their guidance in meditation and contemplation. My own experiences confirmed their words as true; that has given me the confidence to continue the work.

      I have a long way to go before I can say I am no longer under the sway of the ego; but the insights have brought me to another world, completely alien to the one of violence and death I knew before. I questioned my existence as a conscious being. I wanted to know what I was, and what it was all about. This is the first step on the path to nowhere.....

    • slock62 profile image
      Author

      slock62 6 years ago from Florida

      I really like your take on the subject of not following a particular dogma. I am os that same belief and want to investigate any school of thought that comes my way.

      Some interesting material to be found here http://www.greatintegralawakening.com free online seminar.

      If you have any thoughts you like to share please enter conversation on Conscious Evolution. Thanks for your comments

    • slock62 profile image
      Author

      slock62 2 months ago from Florida

      I have always been a seeker of the truth. My early education was in the Christian belief. Having become dissolusioned with much of what I read and after witnessing how the professed Christian believers behaved. I was lead to investigate many schools of belief. If I had to claim one way of believing I would call myself a Christian/Bhuddist,with my faith in a forgiving God intact.

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