I have recently gotten into a discourse on not religion but the existence of God. I agree I do not believe in the limited vengeful God of most religions. That is why I have studied every religion I could find out information about and rejected most of them. Not because most of them don’t have some truth worth while, but because most have them have become perverted.
Take Christianity for example. Not to pick on it because I disagree with it but because it is the religion that I encounter the most. How can a religion whose founder is called the “Prince of Peace” be so war like? How come preachers don’t teach the simple truths and way of life he taught? Why do they pick out certain Old Testament versus and ignore other verses sometimes following each other. Why to build power for them self and a government that is anything but Christ like. It seems to me that according to what I know about the New Testament the Old Testament only points to Christ and no longer is in force. So why do these religious so called leaders pick and choose what they use as excuses for their teachings. Could it be they don’t want people following the teachings of their founder? Could it be they pick out minorities to attack rather then expose them self to criticism?
What then did Yeshua bar Yusef purport to teach? How about turning the other cheek when struck and not just turning the other cheek but doing it seventy times seven? Not very warlike and according to early church history that is what his followers did at least during the first three hundred years. How about the fact that in spiritual matters there is no difference between men and women? Once again the so called leaders turn to the Old Testament to justify putting women in a subservient position? Even Paul admitted to at least one woman in the early church being his superior. What about Yeshua giving a detailed and doable code of conduct or way of life for his followers? What do you think the so called Sermon on the Mount was and is? People if the so called founder of your religion gives you a way of life why aren’t it being taught and helped to run his follower’s lives?
I could go on with the same points about every religion from Judaism to Buddhism or even my own Native American teachings. People spiritual teachings and growth require the individual to choose to follow the dictates of your own spirit, not blindly follow the teachings of someone who only operates from blind faith. It to be successful and meaningful has to be something more then just a pick and choose type of religion. It has to be something that is lived and internalized. It can’t be just a nice sounding collection of rules codified by some leader. It has to be something that respects the differences between people. It has to be something that says it’s ok not to follow me and my path because maybe your path is right for you. It has to be not a once a week or even five times a day duty but a way of living and way of thinking beyond platitudes.
Spiritual growth is more then just getting high singing hymns, it has to be your own choose in living and can’t be forced on any other. This is just my two beads worth and probably I have my head where the sun don’t shine but I have to say what I believe because our current direction can only bring disaster on all of us. Religion shouldn’t be about what you’re against but what you stand for. Above all remember that every religion started as a person trying to share a personal truth with others. Only when they became state sponsored did they end up departing from the founder’s truth. I will continue to walk my own path and allow you to do the same.