Image by Karen Warfel
One of our most ingrained belief systems, and one that evokes the most fear whenever challenged, is our religious belief system. Conflict will surely arise every time anyone challenges our programming regarding religion. In the beginning, I was told what to believe about God, salvation, and eternity, by people I trusted and depended on for my well-being.
However, whenever that thought system was challenged, I'd protect not only my belief system, but those I loved. For if they were wrong, I'd have to blame them for my ignorance and subsequent damnation. I denied my ability to reason in order not to heap more guilt upon myself.
My fears are an illusion —
a block to the awareness
of Love's Presence.
I was eight years old when I stood up in the back of a Baptist church and boldly walked down the aisle to accept Jesus Christ as my savior. Why did I do this? For attention? Or did I really believe that if I didn't I would die and go to hell?
At the tender age of eight years old, I already had guilt in my life that needed absolving. Did I believe this act of faith would wash away my guilt? It didn't. Maybe it was just a little girl's way of exploring all the possibilities in this world.
The good church people said I had a calling. If it was, it was in the form of wanting out of this life and opting for a better one. Well, my life didn't get better. In fact, it got worse...a lot worse.
Religion or Truth?
I have since come to recognize the calling as my Truth barometer. Yes, I still consider myself a Christian; unfortunately my brand of Christianity is not welcomed in many orthodox churches today. The Truth has set me free. Freedom from religion. I no longer fear my damnation because I found out that God had never condemned. I took my questions to the Source and discovered the One Answer — Love.
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We live in a world where some people believe they can derive power by controlling others. And many people give their power away, willingly. It is easier to blame others for our misfortunes than to take responsibility for them. The world of fear was made to prove the non-existence of God. God and fear cannot co-exist! The only place where God is, is the one place no one wants to look — in the eternal moment of NOW.
The irony of all this is that every religion teaches the same thing. But it is the fear of being wrong about our religious beliefs that keeps the veil of denial in the forefront of our minds so that we cannot see the Truth. I did not find God by believing what some minister told me. I found God by experiencing It. That's right! I said IT.
When I was 35 years old, I got back in touch with the God of my childhood. I picked up the Bible and started reading Jesus' words. I was not influenced by any minister interpreting the words for me. I was not intimidated by any well-meaning brothers and sisters in the faith telling me when I was straying from the path! I simply listened to what Jesus was saying to me. I did this for an entire year. I did not watch television. I did not turn on the radio. I read the Bible and continued on with my normal life. (I was a secretary in a bank at that time.)
One day, I decided it was time to find a Christian community to share the joy and knowledge that I had received as a result of my year's communion. I wandered into a place that professed to teach practical Christianity. I sat in the back of the church for one solid year waiting for the minister to make a mistake. I knew my Bible and since I had heard this church was of the devil, I was being very cautious! Well, guess what? There are places on this earth that create a safe, loving, environment for people to think for themselves and discover God within.
It was in this environment that I discovered A Course In Miracles. The Course states, a universal theology is impossible, but a universal experience is not only possible, it is necessary. The experience for me is the sheer joy in knowing my fears are an illusion — a block to the awareness of Love's Presence.
What does freedom mean to you? For me, freedom was discovering my ability to choose! I have a choice between Love and fear. My freedom lies in my ability to choose Life or death. And since Life is all there is, my inability to choose Life only postpones it! That is basically what this world of fear is all about — Life postponed!
No More Fear
Freedom to choose between Love and fear. This is somehow the way our world's religions managed to get so confused. We fear what we love and then give it the power to destroy us.
Fearing God is one of the silliest beliefs that man ever conceived. As long as we fear God, we continue to play at being god and blame other people (or religions) for everything that's wrong in the world. Therefore, as gods, we absolve ourselves from all wrong-doing and continue the cycle of hate thy neighbor (as thyself). We hate ourselves because we know what we're doing. Every unloving, spiteful, disempowering thought we have ever sent to our neighbor shows up on our doorstep eventually.
Becoming aware of this truth was the freedom that set me free. I am free from the hate, free from the fear, free from the edict to love my neighbor. I am only responsible for loving myself and extending that love outward to all who show up on my path!
The religions of the world could be peace keepers. Some choose instead to be power brokers, hoarding land, money, prestige, and the truth as if it belonged to an elite few. God's laws were not set out for an elite few, and everyone is subject to the same Universal Principle. "He who would be first, will be last."
Let us give to our sisters and brothers generously, without thought for our own good, and it will be given unto us. How could there be lack in an infinite universe? Only in our minds... only in our minds.
Windows of the Soul: Hearing God in the Everyday Moments of Your Life
by Ken Gire.
Ken Gire has created a book that gently pours forth, like water out of a garden bucket, cleansing our thoughts and opening the petals of our spirits, providing us with a new sense of clarity in our search for God. —Manhattan (KS) Mercury
Each word, each phrase, is painstakingly wrought, loaded with thoughts and prayer, and filled with new glimpses of God’s love, grace, and strength. —The Christian Advocate
Windows of the Soul will surprise you with the many and varied windows God uses to speak to us. With the heart of an artist, Ken Gire paints word pictures in prose and poetry that will thrill your heart. —Mature Living
Info/Order this book. Also available as an Audiobook and a Kindle edition.
About The Author
Karen Holmes Taylor is a free-lance writer, a member of the National Speaker's Association, and a Total Quality Management Consultant. She is also the founder of the Church of Profit-Sea. She resides in Titusville, Florida, USA.