10 April, 2011

The Faith Entry Pt 8: Faith and Spiritual Perspectives from a Spiritual Orphan

Principia is the name of a conference and convention for the graduates of PSI Seminars. More specifically Principia is for those who took all three levels of the main curriculum that PSI offered. (The Basic, The Life Success Course, and The Leadership Seminars) Putting everything on the forefront here and having nothing to hide, PSI Seminars along with other large group awareness trainings (LGAT) have been classified as "cultish." At certain points throughout my trainings with PSI, I too questioned whether of not I was placing myself in a situation to be manipulated. Well, that issue became mute for me during my first Principia. Mrs. W who's the top person with PSI came up to make an announcement after one of the guest speakers made a personal political commentary about the Presidential Elections. (My first Principia was in 2008) Her announcement was that she wanted to re-iterate the fact that all of us who's participating in Principia are "leadership graduates," therefore who we vote for, how and where we worship is totally up to us and ultimately, our own choice and decision. She wanted to remind us that PSI will never endorse any political candidates, suggest which church or pastor to follow, or any other lifestyle suggestions. There's no point in us taking a leadership course and then allow others lead us. She received a standing ovation afterwards. I received peace of mind.

Bruce recently shared with us that his blog was published nationally on what it is to "be a Christian." The reaction was negative from those who were from a more conservative, fundamental persuasion. His list was simple, short, to the point. No fancy "Dos N Don'ts" like the convenant I signed for my Salvation Army membership.

I'm going to take my observations a little further which will not only rile up the conservatives, but may even have them call for my imminent deportation to another remote Asian country even though I'm a U.S. born citizen. Most of my spiritual basis comes within the context of core Christian doctrinal beliefs, though my personal development has allowed me to broaden my scope slightly.

Sorry you anti-abortionist, but God IS Pro-Choice. If S/He wasn't that Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil would've been chopped down before Adam and Eve came across it. Evidence that God empowers His/Her creation with the power of choice: Think about the angelic beings and demonic beings. According to the Bible, they're identical, but what separates them from each other is CHOICE. (Don't worry, also according to the Bible, I believe the Angels, outnumber the Demons like 2 to 1)

The Fall had NOTHING to do with the fruit eaten. My own take on this: earlier in Genesis, it states man was created in the image and likeness of God. If you follow the wording on the temptation itself, it tells Eve "you will be LIKE God." The temptation is the lie that you have to "DO" something in order to "BE" something you ALREADY are. Even now. When my friend Bruce wrote that blog about "You know you're Christian when____", the response from the conservative circle protested that Christians need to "DO MORE."

I'd rather skip church service if I'm entering church hopeful and leaving church ready to strangle someone. In fact, as important it is for people to meet regularly, don't goto church if you're in that situation. Take a nice stroll, drive, bike ride on that Sunday if you find yourself leaving church in a rut. About a month after my mom's passing, I left church located in Castro Valley deflated, then got a ticket from a police officer a couple of blocks away. I came back to the church hoping to find a window to break. Just skip out.

Sometimes getting advice from someone who has no spiritual path (ie "non Christians") is more affective than getting advice from those @ church. Follow it. You'll be much happier.

There once existed an American terrorist training organization. Watch Jesus Camp and you'll know what I mean. They're nuttier than the so-called terrorists a half world away.

I personally believe that the terms, "carnal Christian, backsliding, Baby Christian, and God's Will" is a bunch of manipulative church terminology B*LLSH*T. It's what's thrown out verbally by those in charge of church who are unable to come up with answers.

Ultimately the person I really need to listen when "listening to God's voice" is me. What appealed to me the most about Jesus is the fact that he deliberately broke social and religious rules all the time. It's funny how by definition a "Christian" is someone who believes and follows the likeness of Christ, yet within the church settings, you're considered to be a "Good Christian" if you just followed the rules. This is probably why so many Bible, God, and Christian naysayers conclude that the Bible contradicts itself.

Very few religious institutions succeed in fulfilling that I truly believe is the real purpose of their existence: to heal and to build up humanity by empowering them in reminding them of their likeness to God. Instead most institutions tend to create very unhealthy power structures that belittles the average man or woman who step foot into their place of worship.

I do believe in the concept of 1+1=3. Having said that because of the corruption and disconnect created by the religious institutions, I do not believe that anyone is obligated to spiritually meet only during a religious service. I also do not believe in the concept of "Spiritual Orphan" due to the absence of a church membership. Like minded people who share similar spiritual beliefs should meet each other under their own whims and their own terms without the rules and regulations as defined by the social mores created by man. For example, if a group of friends meet at cafe to discuss and encourage issues of a spiritual matter that's not on a Saturday or Sunday, and the people involved do not meet at church that week, who's to say that they're wrong? Here's my challenge to the church who insists on regular church attendance: eliminate the tithe and offering rules and perhaps I'll see the sincerity in the importance of meeting regularly.

Theological degrees and credentials have little to no significance on spirituality. I'm not knocking those who work their a$$es off and sacrifice their time to earn their degree. It's just that it's not an "end all be all" deal. My ex gf was a licensed MFT (marriage family therapist) who vandalized the restroom of a restaurant because of rude waiting service. Her specialized therapy credential: ANGER MANAGEMENT. If anyone had the "credentials," it was the Apostle Paul, and he wasn't recruited until AFTER Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection. Apparently Jesus felt that his originally hand-picked group of men wasn't in need of any credentials. Why should we allow someone else tell us what God said just because they spent 2-4 years of additional schooling?

All in all, the choice is ultimately ours. It's by design.

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