11 April, 2013

To Unlearn...

For the past three years, I've been cramming every New Thought pioneer author from Cady to Butterworth to E. Fox to Fillmore, all the way to Ponder and other authors.  Certain books I carry with me to read over and read over again.  For the last year and 3/4 I've been attending different New Thought based worship centers, primarily Unity, and most recently I finally pledged membership at the Castro Valley Unity Church.

It's not such much that I need to learn something new, it's more of a need to emotionally let go and unlearn what's been imbedded in me from a spiritual perspective.  If you never had a church background and you decide to embrace the core belief/premise of The New Thought Movement, I border on "envy."  The reason is because you're learning from a much clearer slate than I am.  

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the terms, "New Thought," "mainstream/evangelical" or any other terms common with non-Catholic Christianity, there are many resources out there on the internet, and you can simply look at my older entries on this blog.  Let me clarify what I mean when I used the term "Mainstream/Evangelical Christianity:"  This normally refers to Christian churches not affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church, and their basic beliefs/agreements include:

1) Old and New Testament of the Holy Bible to be the highest authority/Word of God

2) Humanity had fallen as a result of Eve's "disobedience in the Garden of Eden" which caused "sin" to enter the world.
Corollary to 2 is We as in humanity are "sinners."
3) Jesus is both simultaneously God and Man
Corollary to 3 is Jesus was borned by Mary, who was impregnated not physically, but spiritually
Jesus performed numerous miracles
Jesus is "God's begotten Son." (yes, in capital letters)  
4) Jesus was crucified on the Cross during the Jewish Passover festival.  
5) Three days after his death, Jesus was resurrected.  
6) God exist in the form of the Trinity: Father, Son, Holy Spirit
7) Humanity is condemned for their "sin" to eternity in Hell.
Corollary to 7: believing, confessing, and accepting Jesus death and resurrection of the Cross saves them from eternal Hell.  Grace as a result from Christ covers all sins committed by those believers and are pardoned and forgiven.
Corollary to the corollary: those who don't believe in Jesus will go to Hell.  

That's pretty much it in a nutshell.  In a lot of ways, those core beliefs doesn't deviate much from Roman Catholicism, but it gets more complicated to the point I'm not knowledgeable enough to provide a nutshell of their basic beliefs.  I can tell you that after being in a relationship in the last three years with a very devout Catholic young lady, what I do learn I tend to disagree or put up an initial resistance.  

The premise for New Thought:

1) We (humanity) are created in the Image and Likeness of God.

Corollary to 1 is we're divine beings with God present in us. ie, we're spiritual beings having a human experince
2) The Universe is expanding and growing because God is expanding and growing
3) Only one power exist Universally: God.  No other power exist.
4) As an additional Corollary to 1, we(humanity) as Divine beings, are given dominion, therefore what we think, we create.  (ie, thoughts become things)
5) For New Thought Christians: Jesus manifested the Beingness of Christ, however he isn't the only one who can; we all can.  

So for so many years, as a member of The Salvation Army, I learned and it was reinforced to me over and over how my best effort to connect with God was just "a filthy rag" as compared to "His Holiness."  Without Jesus, or without Christ, I was doomed.  When I church hopped from Crosswinds to Cornerstone to Journey, the message was the same, with perhaps a "more graceful" message that "they love the Sinner, but HATE their Sin."  

Here's the irony in all this.  The first description of Man (Humanity) in Genesis (1st book of the Old Testament of the Bible) is that Man was "created in the image and likeness of God." (Gen 1:26-28)  So this whole concept that man is "sinner saved by Grace" is false.  Yet from an emotional and core standpoint, this is one thing that's challenging to let go of.  As a matter of fact, I'm looking over my shoulders out for lightning to strike me as I type this.  

So much need to unlearn and to let go.  

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