Want to change your life? Change your mind.
What’s my religion, if I have one? Officially I don’t, or perhaps in the strictest sense of the word religion I do. I adopt a Gnostic view and see the spirit and the universe as one, however you choose to characterize these principles.
I see neither a reason to anthropomorphize divinity, nor to view it as having no personality. I see devotion as valid but most “worship” observances as ignorant, or rather undertaken in ignorance of the value of ritual.
Much of religion is politics, and I eschew that component. I see the wisdom in Christ’s comment, “Be still and know that I am God.” No agenda is valid, just the path within. We can better our own lot by our practices, but that is missing the mark if we think our “works” are the way of the spirit.
I’m not actually a critic of the substance of any faith. I may criticise the form though. Wisdom or “gnosis” is where you find it. This has been my experience. It is written in the Bible that the word of God is written upon the human heart. This is often overlooked in orthodox Christianity, but it is there. What is more tangible than your conscience?
There is also reference to the body as being like a temple unto the Holy Spirit, so why do we deny the place of spirit? When inspired, we still defer to dead cannon or to the temporal authority of the church. There are bits of writing that were conveniently left out of the cannon in the papal bull of around 900 AD, and some that weren’t left out and actively speak against the primacy of any priestly caste, but is again overlooked. The communion was to unify the Christ with his followers. He did not establish the apostolic succession. He spoke of brotherhood. He did not establish the divine right of kings, nor do any of Christ’s teachings legitimize the Pope, and yet there he is.
I think if Christ returned, the rage he showed at the temple would show again, but many times more powerful. He did say he came not to refute the law, but to embody it and he perhaps did. Yet most of his followers still embrace the canonical law without regard to the original Jewish teachings. A criticism voiced by some Christians about the Jews was that they debate Gods law. They say it’s faithless.
Jesus did not teach that his sacrifice was to be remembered, but that his life was. The sacrifice was foreseen and viewed as necessary, but he did not excuse us from following his teachings as many evangelical thinkers seem to now believe. They think that repentance and sin and repentance and sin as a cycle is excusable. They don’t even understand the concept of repentance. They think it’s apologizing. They loose the meaning of the word or interpret it to suit them and reject the context which did hold the meaning. Sorry, I have strong feelings about this. I was once rather devout.
Christ said in all your getting get wisdom. He never spoke against getting or seeking. He did speak against being married to what you have. The rich man who came to him sought to be his disciple like his other students. He was told what he needed to do. He wasn’t called a sinner, wasn’t reviled as evil, but he did have to forgo what he supposedly desired. His desire was questioned by Jesus but not rejected. He wasn’t found at fault because he could not leave his household. Jesus did not order him to dispense with his wealth. Just told him that if he was to become a disciple, he would need to. He did say that a wealthy man who lives as such could not know peace, but he left it up to him.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.