So I have spent the last few months visiting many local churches in the area. This adventure came about when my youngest daughter asked me what religion we were and I could not give her an answer. I have my own view of spirituality and found it rather hard to explain. Yet I told her that we could attend a few different services and see if there were any that she felt drawn to. Before we started on our journey to enlightenment, we said a basic prayer asking for divine guidance if there happened to be one true religion out there that we would be given a sign of some kind. A dove over our heads or a rainbow, something. Just let us know we are on the right path.
So on the first Sunday we decided on the First Baptist church. The outside seemed nice enough. People filed into the parking lot five minutes before the services were about to begin. It was quiet entering the church. Most of the people seemed in a hurry to get it over with so they could get on with their day. There was a separate room for the younger children to play in while the grown ups sat and listened.
Now my theory is simple. I work hard all week, I get very little sleep. On Saturdays I am running around trying to get all the things around the house done that need to get done. Sundays are my days of rest. So if I am getting up early to attend church you can’t make me fight to stay awake. If you just read from a book and then sing me a lullaby, I am gonna be snoring through the Amens.
A sermon should come from the heart, involve the entire congregation in the conversation, and be as simple as it can possibly be while still maintaining depth. I was doing the head bob after just ten minutes. My daughter afterwards told me they colored and watched t.v. Not a reason for me to attend this church again. I looked up leaving the church…no dove.
The following Sunday we went to the corner Catholic church. It had an even more sterile environment to it. It was an overly large building and felt cold and damp. Few men wore ties and fewer women wore dresses. In the house of the lord you should always be at your best. The showing of disrespect was amazing. But at least they worked us out through the entire thing in order to keep us awake. Up, down, kneel, up down, sing. Please. And again all my daughter did was shoot pool and toss a ball around. No rainbows there either.
Next up was a Lutheran church. This one seemed a little more cozy, a lot more comfortable. There was no second room for the children. And the dialog was simple and interesting. But again, it seemed to be filled with jeans, t-shirts and tennis shoes. And my daughter was asleep this time way before me. I did hear a bit of thunder outside however.
I did not bother with the Mormon or Jehovah’s witnesses. I always felt the whole door to door preaching thing was very out dated. I mean with the birth rate in this century, it is absolutely impossible to bring the word of god to every single person. And with today’s technology the information is right at their finger tips. If they do not seek meaning to their lives, then they will not listen to you anyway. Although The Jehovah’s witnesses do have the best teaching format. They do not have a single priest or reverend. But the entire congregation takes turns giving a kind of book report or a speech on a certain topic. It’s very interesting and usually not boring. Although like the other churches, it has no real program in place for the children. After all, I have already made my peace with God, it’s really about the children isn’t it?
Up next was a non-denominational community church. Very relaxed, people seemed to all know each other. It was nice. Most of the people dressed appropriately. But I just couldn’t get past the woman pasture. No idea why, it just bothered me. Also there was no sense of original thought. You can read the pages of the bible all you want. What makes a religion is the way they interpret the words.
Then we went to a Calvary chapel. probably may favorite. No one dressed up, not even the reverend. He wore jeans and a polo shirt. yet it was okay for this was not really a church but a hall to congregate. They had a rock band that played in between talks. It was not like being at church what so ever. But they did have a nice program for the kids. They played bible related games for a change. It was pleasent, but in the two hours I spent there, I learned nothing and felt nothing.
Now I have always had a basic belief in matters of the spirit and religion.
1. Your relationship with God is personal and not a refection upon the church you attend. The relationship the church has with God should be a reflection upon you.
2. A church does not have the power to hand out punishment of any kind, or blessings or forgiveness. It does not judge. It is a place for learning, period. Only God can do those things.
3. Evil and corruption fuels most organized religions and give its followers a false sense of righteousness.
4. God does not want our worship or praise, he wants our appreciation. After all he gave us everything and we just walked away from it. You either find your way back to paradise or you stay out here in this crap. It’s totally up to you.
5. You get what you give. Negativity breeds negativity. We are all from the same force. We are all a reflection. If you give love you get love, understand and be understood.
6. and the most important. Nothing in this world matters, everything in your life does.
But no one teaches those things, there is no money in it. So becoming very discouraged and remembering all the things I always disliked about organized religion, something very strange happened. One day I was on an online bookstores webpage and looking for some books to order. (I have somewhat of an addiction to reading). I came across a book entitled “Satan: the autobiography”. Well with a titled like that I did not hesitate ordering it. The seller was from Ohio, but after six long weeks the book finally arrived from Russia.
Little did I know it was written by a Kabbalah teacher. As I read through the pages of this book, I felt a very strong connection to it. Everything I ever believed about life, God and religion was right there in this book. It was very strange. Now I am not going to get into the whole preaching thing, that’s not what this blog is about. But I finished this book in three days. I couldn’t put it down. In all my years of soul-searching I never knew there were others who felt the same as I did.
I never bothered really researching this religion before mainly because of how old it was. Back in the 2nd century men were pretty one-dimensional. They thought the sun was god, fire held magic powers and if you danced well enough you could make it rain.
Who knew that it was inside of me all along.
Now I have since done extensive research on the subject and although I find quite a few things I disagree with in its teachings. I also find it to be true to many of my own personal beliefs. Crazy I know. You don’t need to go looking for spirituality, it will come to you. All you have to do is desire it. Now I am not saying that Kabbalah is the one true religion, actually it’s not a religion at all. It’s merely of system of beliefs and a way of percieving interpretation.
Religion: Part Three…coming soon. (and by the way, my daughter is still churchless but a little less clueless).