How to Know God Beyond Organized Religion | HuffPost
The more I claimed to have a relationship with the Almighty, the more I felt a I want to share with you 6 ways you can meet your maker without going to church. Q. Do you really need to belong to a church to be a Christian? Faith is a personal thing, so why can't you just have an individual relationship with God? A. Lots of. I do, too. But for much of my adult life, knowing God and knowing mind Meister Eckhart was right: “The eye through which I see God is the Rather than a joy, church-going for many Christians in the U.S. has . White House Nightmare: Trump Golfs While His Secret Service Agents Work Without Pay.
Virtually all of them, too. While most religions seem to start out right -- that is, with the purpose of helping people know and feel connected to themselves, to life, to the Divine -- it isn't long before they turn spiritual grants into religious loans that must be repaid with obligations and offerings, duties and doctrines, debates and disagreements, and, in the not-too-distant-past, violence and bloodshed against anyone who disagreed.
This extreme is still the modus operandi with some religions. Here, along with those who have left or are leaving religion for reasons associated with clergy or institutional abuse and those may number in the millionsthere are millions of others leaving organized religion because what should be liberating and joyful is instead incarcerating and burdensome.
While religion should be a blessing, the unfortunate experience of many is that religion is a burden. Rather than liberating people to be who they are, it imprisons them in stereotypes, prescribed lifestyles, and heaps upon them rules and regulations as onerous as the proverbial Sears catalogue. Instead of encouraging people to experience their full humanity, religion leads people to deny their humanity and so become more and more insane.
Rather than a joy, church-going for many Christians in the U. The hours are long, the duties are relentless and the reward isn't worth it.
The most recent report of this exodus from the church was acknowledged among Southern Baptist leaders. Historically, they've been the largest denomination as well as the fastest growing.
It is no longer so. It is going the way of other mainline denominations, experiencing steep and irreversible declines. Listen to their misguided leaders explanation of this, however, and you'll discover they are clueless as to the cause. They mistakenly think people are leaving the church because the church is becoming too liberal. What they do not know, perhaps because they're minds are like those of the religious leaders in Jesus' day, is that the real reason people are leaving is precisely the opposite of liberalism.
6 Ways To Meet God (Without Going To Church) - mindbodygreen
People are leaving because of narrow fundamentalism. I talk to many of them on a regular basis. They're tired of trying to please a fundamentalist god who accepts heterosexuals but not homosexuals; a god who has no interest in the world being compassionate, cooperative, while celebrating its diversity; a god interested in cloning all people to look alike, think alike, even believe alike.
They've had it with fundamentalist leaders more interested in building ego-kingdoms unto themselves on earth instead of investing in, building and encouraging a new humanity, one of greater equality and mutual respect for all faith traditions My advice is this: Don't feel badly about leaving any organized religious tradition that promotes the kind of madness I've just described.
But don't assume they are all guilty of this either. That would be a kind of narrow-mindedness at the other extreme. There are many religious groups, churches, temples and mosques that have a healthy and, from my perspective, Christ-like vision of the future -- one that does not lead people to look for a way to escape this earth as in the Rapturebut to live within it in a transformative fashion. Furthermore, there's no need to make knowing God into a problem, whether you've given up on organized religion or not.
No need to left faith degenerate into a kind of meaningless performance, duty, obligation or ritual. You know God already. You only think you don't because your religion has conditioned you to think there's something else you must do to enjoy walking in the presence of the Divine. Otherwise, it could not be called an experience of grace.How God Called Us Out of Organized Religion - We Don't Go To "Church" Anymore!???
There's nothing you must do to know God. It's all been done for you. Knowing God is simply the progressive realization of the Presence within you, which is you already. Why else did Jesus say, "The kingdom of God is within you" Luke You could never be any closer to God than you are now. So, know that every thought of God, every impulse you feel for God, is God. I would also suggest this: Give your attention to the inclination you feel to know God.
I love what Thomas Merton said, "As soon as people are disposed to being alone with God, they are At the moment it seems they are somewhere in the middle of their journey, they have actually arrived at the destination already. See where doubt may take you. For some, it may lead them away from faith. But for those who are open, it very often leads them back to an authentic experience of faith. Your religion might tell you that you should accept the things you've doubted or questioned on the basis of faith alone.
God does not ask you to ignore your questions or disregard your doubts. Faith never precludes doubt. Real faith is learning to live in ambiguity -- with paradox and with questions for which there may be no answer. Going to church, or any spiritual tradition, is not to find your "questions answered," as someone put it, "but to have your answers questioned.
But I assure you that your questions are encouraged by God. She created you with a mind. I would go so far as to say until you question your faith, you have no faith. You might have beliefs. Most religious traditions are full of people who cling to a plethora of beliefs and so vigorously defend those beliefs as more "right" than the beliefs of others.
But there may only be a few persons in any tradition who actually know and walk with the Divine. Decide, therefore, to be one of these persons, irrespective of your spiritual tradition. Any spiritual path will take you to the mountain. Meditate more often than you medicate.
It may be unfortunate in our western world but, as Christiane Northrup has rightly noted, "The only acceptable form of western meditation is hospitalization. The rabbis say, "God has but one synagogue There is much that Christians could learn from the spiritual traditions of the east. Kolb In my opinion, absolutely not!
The right church can be a wonderful blessing that brings us closer to God. The wrong church can be just the opposite. Whether or not a particular church is "right" or "wrong" depends on whether or not it helps YOU. It might be the right church for you and the wrong one for me. However, none of us have to go to church to be saved. All we have to do is seek a relationship with God through Christ.
If going to church strengthens that relationship, by all means, go. If it does not, put that same time and energy into something that does strengthen it, like simply talking to God through prayer. Because of school and work, I have lived in several different cities over the past fifteen years. During that time, I was fortunate enough to have found several churches that helped me in my spiritual journey.
There were times, however, when I could not find a church that met my needs. When that was the case, I did not quit growing spiritually, I just grew without the benefit of a church.
I believe that God helps us IF we ask for His help. When I was without a church, God did not lose interest in me. He helped me through prayer, meditation, His word the Bibleand in countless other ways as well. Right now, the church I attend helps me tremendously. It is a great blessing, but my relationship with God is multifaceted. There was a time when I attended a church that actually turned me off to religion.
One of the saddest things in the world is for someone to lose faith in God because they have lost faith in a church. The two are not the same. The church is an imperfect institution run by fallible humans.
Is going to church necessary for salvation? - explore faith
God is holy and He is far too great to be limited by human institutions. If we seek Him, we will find Him, with or without the benefit of a church. And even when I don't particularly want to go, the community of faith and the Word of God which is preached from the pulpit nearly always make me glad I did.