I was recently besmirched due to my unconventional way of seeking to understand God, the world, and my place in it over the last several years. I was called a “wanderer” who was trying to fit God into a box of my own design. The conversation began as in inquiry into the importance of crying out about the injustices of world politics and economic events. However, the words were spoken by a Christian, a faith that has truly morphed in my own life from being based on the standardized and sterile doctrines of the Church into a vibrant connection with the Source of All Creation.
My concern is that too many people, especially those of the Christian faith, seem to be submerged in a mentality of negative outcome in the temporal world instead of living the abundant, eternal life that Jesus promised. Politics and finances will pass away, but the light of Christ shines for eternity. While I agree that we need to be conscious of what is occurring in the world around us and act appropriately upon it, I do not think that bemoaning a gloom and doom scenario where we are all destined to be overcome by the evil and thoughtlessness of this world is the fruit that the Spirit of God offers. It’s not that I don’t think we should address and participate in what is happening on the temporal plane; that is what time is for. However, I want to encourage people of faith to keep the end in mind and know that in the grand scheme of things, according to biblical accounts, Christ is victorious and will create a new heaven and new earth where these things will not matter at all.
As far as my own personal journey goes, do not confuse wandering with exploring. When I was young, I connected very deeply with the Spirit of Christ and I believe it to be the Source of all things. In all humility, I accept that my own understanding of things with the roughly ten percent of my brain that I usually use is not without fault. With that understanding, I can live at peace with those who might have a different tradition, come from a different culture, or are walking a different spiritual path. I am less concerned with the language people use to define God than I am with the fruit of the Spirit that I see in their lives. I connect with that source through what I call Christ. It is a very real, very intimate relationship I have forged as I have walked the path He has guided me on.
My path has not always been easy, and it has not brought be peace in every moment. I am still a human with all of the frailties and fallibilities that come with that. Nevertheless, I do have the capacity, in the midst of whatever might be going wrong in the world around me, beyond whatever this illusion called “reality” holds up as chaos, to tune in to the peace that passes all understanding and know that God is who He says He is. My faith is founded on the love of Christ, not in my own understanding.
Being brought up in the Christian church and becoming involved in a variety of Christian organizations and activities, I noticed much of what did not resonate as Truth with the Spirit inside me. I believed Truth to be Christ, the Word, I Am That I Am, and I still do. However, the religion that was spawned in the name of Christ seemed to be, and often still seems to be, a way that seems right to a man ending only in death. I did not see the traditional use of religion as a way to fully become connected to the consciousness of Christ, but more often as a fire insurance policy based on a life of selfishness and fear.
That’s not to say that I disagree with all of Christianity. I see many Christians who are coming alive in the light of Christ and doing the good works that Jesus said they would do. People like Shane Claiborne and Jim Wallis of the Sojourners movement. However, I cannot rationally accept much of the dogma instituted by many churches as the basis of my faith as I have seen this activity result in more bigotry, hatred, fear, judgment, and murder than I have often seen outside the walls of the Church. The reason I am not a member of any particular church is the same reason Jesus had issues with his own religious order of the time. They have become complacent in their faith and now often exist only to promulgate themselves through donations they can get from selling insurance policies instead of doing the work that Christ called them to do by feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, and caring for the sick and imprisoned.
Again, this is not true of all Christians or all churches, but I believe, based on my experience of God walking with me through all of my endeavors, both noble and foolish, that God is going to do what He is going to do regardless of what the organizational Church does. God works in the hearts, minds, and spirits of men. What I am looking for is merely the opportunity and resilience to let Him do it through me, something that He is never negligent in, no matter how badly or how many times I may stumble.
How do I connect with Christ, read The McAllister Code and find out.