Monday, May 11, 2009

From New Birth to New Thought: Heresy at Its Best

"Though I may not know where I am going, I am not lost, I am exploring. And I am one with All That Is. And that's enough. . .for today." Jana Stansfield

My atheist friends told me to leave religion altogether. My Christian friends told me I would burn in hell for the heresy I was about to commit.

In 1950, when I was but five years old, my mother sent me to a local Pentecostal church to see if I would like it. She told me, "You don't have to go back if you don't enjoy it." I enjoyed it, went back, and by the time I was six, I had made a commitment to Jesus Christ. I stayed true to that commitment until 1982, when I walked through the doors of my first New Thought church, Mile High Church of Religious Science, in Denver, Colorado. It's not that I abandoned my relationship with Jesus; rather, I strengthened it with a different kind of resolve.

After attending Mile High for a year or so, I was convinced that there was no literal devil. That, after all, is the lynchpin in the entire religious world of heaven and hell beliefs. There must be an evil being to tempt you. Otherwise, it simply becomes our responsibility to live a moral live. In traditional Christianity and Islam, we are fighting a literal evil being called Satan. Without Jesus, according to the Christians, and His death and resurrection, we cannot overcome Satan, who seeks to drag us all to hell with him. Satan knows he will never again be in God's good graces and wants to take as many of us with him as he can. That’s the teaching, anyway.

New Thought teaches that there is but one power, one presence, and one life. That life is my life, your life, right now. There is no part of us that is not God Incarnate. For God to send any one of us to hell would be to send a part of Him/Her/Itself. After all, as Jesus said, "A house divided against itself cannot stand." Awakening to the Truth of our Being is the Ultimate Goal of New Thought. We are Spirit Expressing, and more interesting, we are Spirit Experiencing. There is only One of Us here, in many guises, many activities, many relationships, playing, as it were, an incredible game.

So, when I came into this wonderful way of life called New Thought, I didn't abandon Jesus. Rather, I came into a new and more powerful understanding of His teachings and His life. He told us, after all, that the Kingdom of God is within us. (Luke 17:21)

Do I still believe that Jesus resurrected physically from the grave? No.

Everything in the universe operates through Law. Nothing is exempt, not even the so-called supernatural, if such a realm even exists. Without Law, the universe could not exist. It would still be just an energy singularity with no function or purpose.

Now, I do not suggest that I understand everything there is to understand about the workings of the universe, natural or not. I do suggest this, however: unless the Law works consistently and throughout, there can be no trustworthy Presence. It becomes too flippant, too inconsistent. I believe that the One Power and Presence that is this universe is trustworthy. And because of that, I know that my word, working through Law, has power. I literally speak my experience of reality into existence. It never fails me. It works as I believe.

So goes the universe. It is trustworthy, consistent, and through our word, we create our experience of reality. And thoughts are words.

The Bible says, "As a man thinketh, so is he." The Buddha said, "You are what you think about all day."

Your life is the result of every thought, word, and action you have put forth. Don't like what you see? Change your words, thoughts and actions, change your life. Change your thinking, change your world.

So, am I a heretic? Probably. But I am a happy heretic. I continue to explore. And Jesus is still my friend.


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