Rethinking My Beliefs about God Apart From Traditional Christianity

The Love Bomb

In Freedom, Love on February 27, 2011 at 12:32 am

I don’t know if the stars are aligned or if love is highly contagious or what, but I’m meeting more and more people who are awakening to love. I’m not just talking about two persons getting engaged, although it might be that too, but I’m talking about people falling in love with humanity.

This also seems to be why some church-goers are no longer church-goers. What Christian churches generally teach and practice as love for God and others is, some are realizing, nothing more than a ShamWow infomercial. Apparently there is a vast difference between love and religion. Even though the Christ seemed to try to get this idea through people’s heads, somehow his followers got way off track.

The most amazing thing about being driven by love for people no matter what their belief, behavior or sexual preference is that it automatically turns sin into a non-issue. Who cares how many drinks one had when there is a real soul underneath that alcoholism?

This really caught me off guard at first. This is because I had a lot of bad habits to change – not habits of “sin” so much as habits of prejudice. At first it felt a little awkward befriending people I previously would have crossed the street to avoid. But deep and meaningful conversations with them quickly erased any felt need to check over my shoulder to make sure no one from church saw me talking to them.

A whole new world opened up for me when I put on my love goggles, which surprisingly didn’t cause me to turn a blind eye to damaging behavior, but helped me understand damaging behavior a little more clearly. In fact, I now have far more respect for people who rely on alcohol to numb their pain or free themselves from social pressure than I do for people who condemn them.

This doesn’t mean we put up with abuse from an alcoholic. It simply means we can relate to them because we all do the same thing under different terms. We’re all crying out for some kind of freedom from some kind of suffering. Some people use an imaginary religion while others use a case of beer. It’s the same thing. We just like to divert the attention off of ourselves onto someone else’s issues.

But love provides the freedom to have issues. In fact, love appreciates real people and has a difficult time getting intimate with those of us who hide behind some kind of a mask. This is because our mask is actually a wall intended to keep everyone out. When we understand that we are loved (so loved!) then love takes away our fear, and therefore also those walls that are masks. We are now free to make mistakes while knowing that we are loved just the same.

Meet reality.

The only downside to reality is that, well, it’s reality (as far as we understand it, that is.) If we want to feel any joy, we’ve got to face the fear and the pain too. Love has this way of deconstructing everything we had relied upon, whether that is a faith or an education or a career, or all of the above. And that can be a little painful and scary.

There is a time to tear down and there is a time to build, but we can’t rebuild until we tear down. I wonder if most people avoid the tearing down as much as possible even to their deathbed. I can’t say that I blame them, but I really think we’re missing out on the essence of life when we do that.

For me, the tearing down has happened primarily with my faith. The truth that my faith was based upon has become to me more of a lie. And I’m pretty ticked off that I seemingly wasted so much of my life not only believing this lie but in a sense, killing people  in order to defend it. I was a Pharisee of the Pharisees back when I was preaching against sin. And I still am to some degree, only the scenery has changed. Now I might be considered a sinner of sinners as I preach against Phariseeism.

Unless I want to keep swinging back and forth on the pendulum, I need to, at some point accept sin and Pharisaism as really one and the same, just like the Democrats and the Republicans. It’s a distraction of competition that keeps us from seeing, and dealing with, the real issues. The real issues in my case have to do with me, not some kind of problem outside of me such as a war on terrorism.

If the modern day Pharisees are preaching hate under the disguise of love (and I know how deceiving that can be) the only way to be at peace with them is to understand them. And I certainly do understand, being in that place myself. They don’t know that they are loved, and they are also not yet in a position to accept it. By allowing them to simply be, I am allowing myself to “be” as well.

“It is easy enough to be friendly to one’s friends. But to befriend the one who regards himself as your enemy is the quintessence of true religion. The other is mere business.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

It ain’t no fun if the homies can’t have none. ” ~ Snoop Dogg

This does not mean that I allow people to walk all over me and take advantage of me. Instead it empowers me to tell people to get lost if necessary. Take your terrorism elsewhere. It’s not accepted here. Love and respect for others means nothing if I don’t have love and respect also for myself as well as my own.

But I think that passivity has a lot more strategy to it than what meets the eye. If we’re angered or saddened by some injustice, it seems vital to feel our negative emotions; otherwise that negative energy is channeled into some other form of destruction. There is a way to use that anger or sadness to change the world because it adds fuel to our love.

This is when love becomes a terrifying love, and what better response is there to a terrifying hate? What better solution is there to a loveless religion than a band of friends who love each other?

We can take our passion and use it to supply a greater dedication to those we love. There is simply no argument, religious belief or political view that can stand against the bonds of friendship. But unite friendship with an argument, belief or political action and we’ve got ourselves an army. While it might be rather easy to tear down a religion, it seems near impossible to destroy people who love.

The stronger our relationships, the more power there is behind the purpose of those relationships. If our friendship is built upon conditioned beliefs or views that run only skin deep (as brainwashing does) then what we set out to do will most likely fail at some point. This is because love is our strength.

“If you could only love enough, you could be the most powerful person in the world.” ~ Emmet Fox

I’m not sure what all of this means for the future. The love revolution of the 60’s (which may have been more of a sex and drug revolution) seemed to turn right back into a religion. All I know for now is that truth is nothing without love; but with love, the truth becomes clear. And this love is contagious. While it might go underground for a while, it will remain as powerful as ever, and nothing can change that fact.

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  1. Wow!Sign me up!

  2. You know, love is not hard to do when you realize we all are equally innocent children of Love, living in a pre-planned drama which we all previously agreed to, and which has no relevance whatsoever to our glorious afterlife other than to realize it’s now a done deal.

  3. We can’t really love others until we first love ourselves – but that’s not what ‘churchianity’ teaches!

  4. Elizabeth, your peace in regard to good and evil, phariseeism and freedom is on my mind daily. Where to find the balance.. I don’t know where that is. But I appreciate that you mentioned that we have the freedom to tell abusive people to depart from us if we need to. No matter which “doctrines” I claim to believe in, there’s always someone to mistreat me over those things. I can’t win with people, but Because of Jesus, I won the heart of God.

  5. Yes, indeed this pesky thing called LOVE is exploding on the scene everywhere. Thank you for adding another “log to the fire.” I am like you in that I discovered that religiousity is not really about saving souls as it is about growing numbers and promoting the acceptance of one’s doctrine over all others.

    Love is fleeting and as history has shown time & again, it cannot be taught and carried on – for then does it become religion all over again. It must be surrender unto and it must not be chained by desires. In order for Love to be at its greatest, it must not be limited, filtered or conditional. For when we do these things to Love, we effectively destroy its true essence and failure becomes an eventual reality.

    Bless you on your journey & I look forward to hearing more from you.

    Blessings

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