So I was online recently and someone i had never spoken to before began to instant message me on yahoo. The person introduced themselves and told me that they were 19 and in bible school training to be a pastor. We began chatting and exchanging our respective beliefs. I told him that I had complete respect for his beliefs because it was through christianity that I first experienced the spiritual realm and first came to know God. I told him that i thought that our purpose here was to come to a full understanding of ourselves as sentient beings... to experience who we really are by becoming who we are not. He asked me whether I was still a christian and i said I no longer defined myself as anything. He asked me why? And I thought instead of going through everything I believed and didnt believe I would direct him to this blog where I told him I shared my thoughts on spiritual things. The guy checks out this blog and then goes off on me saying you are going to hell and destruction, you must repent and come back to God or else you will end up burning in hell!!
I must confess that I was a bit taken aback. Even though I am fully aware of how bigoted christians have been throughout the ages, how it has been used to justify numerous atrocities committed amongst us, how instead of promoting unity and love among all mankind it has encouraged separatism between the "saved" and the "unsaved", it was sad to see it once again... in someone so young and so committed to submitting his life to the service of bringing persons closer to God. But was this young man really submitting his life to this service or was it service to a particular philosophy or belief?
From time immemorial man has sought to define the mysteries of this universe of our life force, of our existence. Several philosophies and religions were birthed out of this need. I call these philosophies and religions - "boxes". It is the box that we put our God into so that we can understand the mysteries and in this understanding we feel safe and we become secure in the world. For without these boxes who would we be? Why are we here? Its scary to believe in nothing, to not know who we are and why we exist and where we are going if go we must. So we cling to our boxes for without them we are alone and left with unanswered and what we think are unanswerable questions. When someone questions our box we feel threatened, we feel insecure because who we are is all wrapped up in that box.. and so we lash out... we attack anything and anyone who questions our box. Because if our box isnt right then what we think about ourselves is all wrong. And so the Pastors and preachers tell us we are destined for hell and eternal damnation if we dont believe in the box.
I was a born again christian for several years and I soon learnt the difference between having a relationship with God and having a relationship with a belief or philosophy. I held on to God and stepped out in faith into the unknown. I relieved myself of all religious doctrine and structure. Through meditation and prayer I have found my own TRUTHS. Truths that do not separate us but unite us. I respect all beliefs... once your beliefs are serving you and you are not serving them. You know when your beliefs are serving you by the fruit of the spirit, love, joy and peace and all that flows from these. Attacking others for their beliefs doesn't fall in this category.
So to my friend who told me i was going to hell and destruction because i didnt believe in what he did, I say... look and listen deep within yourself and ask of your God...why will you destroy that which you created? Why did you give me free choice to merely condemn me to eternal damnation for exercising it? If you look deeply enough and in the deepest silence you listen closely enough perhaps you might hear a voice saying " Lo I will never leave you or forsake you... even until the end of time".
There really is no need to be fearful of not having all the answers my friend, once we know that God exists and is always lovingly conspiring to ensure our happiness and success and not our ultimate destruction and downfall.