My Spiritual Journey?

As I reflect back on my spiritual journey I am aware that the evolution of my beliefs have been astronomical. Many things I believed for many, many years along my journey are no longer things I believe now. This has caused a rift that some of my spiritual siblings are unable to span and subsequently has strained our relationship somewhat. So why would I subject myself to such emotional stress? Because when I started to think for myself while reading the bible I was constrained to question the validity of the doctrines and practices I was taught to believe as truth. I learned that much of what I had been taught was misguided or false because of man-made manipulation and contextual disregard nullifying  interpretative integrity therefore, I no longer could subscribed to the deceptions as doctrinal truth.

We are all on a spiritual journey seeking “truth,” but what I believed to be the truths of yesteryear do not line up with the truth Jesus the reveal-er of truth reveals. I realize that the “truths” I wholeheartedly now believe, may not be accepted as truth by the majority of people claiming to follow Christ. I am of the persuasion to grow and mature, we have to realize that developing our sense of truth is a lot more of a thoughtful, intentional, and open-minded journey than accepting the denominated truth that was programmed into us.

But, you may ask "what of those historical, essential doctrines and orthodox teachings of the Christian faith? Surely we can have utmost confidence in our orthodox doctrines being true"...to be honest with you...I can't?

I am a questioner. I especially ask questions when I come across things that don’t seem to add up, especially about God as revealed by Jesus, His express image. For a long time I asked questions and received denominated answers and kinda accepted the answers that the professional  bible learned seminarian gave because he was supposed to be "the bible expert".  It took me a long time to realize that reasoning on my own, with my own God given common sense (as little as that may be) was not anti-Gospel, or anti-God. I began to notice more and more things that didn't add up logically...things I’ve come across that challenge some of the core beliefs taught and accepted by me for most of life.

It was not long before I found out that to kick against the pricks involves risk. I soon found out that raising honest questions about tradition that appear to contradict what we have been told or that goes against “orthodoxy,” the status-qouers become suspicious about my “spiritual condition”. And when people did attempt to answer my questions, they often give pat answers like, “some things aren’t meant to be understood now,” or “we just have to take that by faith.” Eventually this leads to people being ignored, intimidated or shamed into silence and keep the questions to ourselves...or...worse still, stop questioning all together .

If our questioning is particularly contrary to what is all ready believed, or if we begin looking “outside the denominated corral” for answers, we may be scoffed at, ridiculed, and marginalized. People may label us as rebels, liberal minded, apostate and heretical. Such labels seek to intimidate the questioner and end the questioning, to ultimately prevent people from learning to think for themselves or from attempting meaningful dialog. We lose the childlike freedom and inhibition to ask honest questions, and are expected to be more like the “competent and worthy denominated men” who don’t dare challenge the status quo or state the obvious fables that one was led to believe.

I wonder how many condemners of those of us who dare to question actually take the time to listen to learn rather than listening to refute? Listening to learn does not necessarily mean listening to accept what is learned! Questioning without fear is the way of the child. It is only a childlike faith and trust...the one with nothing to gain and nothing to lose in honest assessment...who is the most willing to ask uninhibited questions, and to acknowledge and proclaim the simple, apparent truth, despite the dissenting religious majority.

God, may I be endowed with a childlike faith and trust in listening to and believing the "Spirit of Truth" over long held traditions and doctrines of men.

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