28 August, 2015

Lack of Activity

There has been a lack of new entries on this blog lately, and it's not because I abandoned my spiritual journey or anything.  On the contrary.  I'm more immersed in it.  It's just that as of now, I'm currently a Masters of Theological Studies candidate through The Samaritans Institute.  The courses are short, sweet, to the point, and are well grounded in the fundamentals of New Thought Christianity.

It's what I was looking for since 2011 when I first read Eric Butterworth's Discover the Power Within You.

When I was a part of The Salvation Army's Service Corps program back in 1997, as a person who didn't complete his undergrad work, it was indirectly implied that I was to be groomed into a ministerial lifestyle.  My heart has always been in the performing arts, and they offered me opportunities to perform through that channel. On the flip side, I witnessed first-hand "behind closed doors" type of ongoing regarding the ministers and I completed the program with absolutely no interest in any type of ministerial endeavors.

It may appear as a "change of heart" because I'm studying for an MTS in Divine Science as well as pursuing a Divine Science Practitioners credential, but I'm doing so because of the lack of channels to voice this teaching that I personally find valuable.  It's out of necessity.  Very similar when I started as an actor with absolutely no interest in writing; I began to write out of necessity after a year of auditioning for roles that did not have my best interest at heart.  It's a similar situation here.

Theology and teachings that fall into the category of New Thought, has become influential not only in theology, but in business, psychology, and especially the personal development movement.  Yet very few centers and churches rooted in New Thought are thriving.  Outsiders may easily conclude it's because the teachings that's considered New Thought has become irrelevant and obsolete.  However one needs to simply turn on Oprah Winfrey Network, Joel Olsteen, or pop in the DVD, Secret to see that elements from New Thought is a $13 BILLION a year business!

That's why it's upsetting to see the current state of New Thought churches and other establishments.  I know first-hand how the teachings have benefit me, and the personal development has created a money making mechanism to become an outlet to teach what New Thought teaches, but at a price.  I just simply want the teachings available to as many people as possible, period.  Plus I am well aware that one of the "band-aid" approach to the current situation is that the established New Thought entities are distancing themselves from any affiliation with Christianity resulting from the media backlash such as the notoriety of Westboro Baptist Church, the Duggar scandal, and the recent John Oliver expose on the Prosperity Gospel.

That is where I disagree with such an approach.

To me, this is an opportunity to show the world that a good message, a great message can be associated with Christianity without the judgment and hypocrisy.  Also, it can show and distinguishes the difference between New Thought approach to prosperity as opposed to the Prosperity Gospel, the more new agey Law of Attraction, and the more accepted "Think and Grow Rich" approaches.  Yes, there are definite overlaps, but there needs to be a distinction communicated to the general public.  For example, yes in New Thought tithing is important.  However unlike the Prosperity Gospel, it is not a "seed" nor will you be "financially cursed by God" if you choose not to donate.

And that's another reason the urgency to help spread the message.

No one should be coerced into anything.  Whether it's signing up for a personal development course, giving your time, treasure or talent, or making any sort of purchase of goods or services.  What I learned from New Thought is that any actions or decisions motivated by fear will only allow the fear-based mentality and results to multiply.  True religion, true spirituality is to set people free, and fear does not set anyone free.

I spent the last two years angry and frustrated with the powers that be who run the Unity establishment.  They have been making decisions to the detriment of the people they're supposed to teach and to the teachings itself.  But expressing that frustration will not resolve anything which is why I'm focused on what I've been focusing on lately.  So I may post a response or two whenever a decision or announcement is made from them, but I will not dwell on it whether or not I think it's consistent with my perception of the teachings.  There are enough resources out there to teach and reinforce the teachings.  I will no longer "wait" around for any organizations to get its act together and lament out loud that I'm not learning anything because they won't, nor will I wait for any splinter group to step up and fulfill that role.

If it's truly true, it'll surface.

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