Today I am curious about my need to say that I am spiritual but not religious. For me, I believe that religions are more influenced by man than by God. Each religion has had strong influences by God as defined by man. I am a born-again Christian who doesn’t go to any church, a white female who found recovery in 1976, and a deep seeker of all spiritual truths. Since 1978 I have used the Buddhism principles of meditation, deep breathing exercises and centering myself. I have been using mindfulness for several years. I also study the Bible. pray, try to ask God for direction throughout my day. When I am in crisis, I have continually surrender to God’s will as my will to “solve” things is so strong.
Does my study mean that I no longer believe in Jesus Christ. No, it does not mean that. Does my study mean that I will become a Buddhist? No, it doesn’t mean that nor is it leading to that choice. I was led to my current study by the fact that the believers of Buddha are always smiling. I wanted to know what they were smiling about.
I don’t go to church although I have tried several. I was a Presbyterian growing up who sang in the church choir every Sunday. We lived a few blocks from the church and my family was one of the leaders in that community. So I went to church even when I wasn’t feeling well as all good things for the week started there. I am very grateful for that experience and enjoy singing the hymns I learned. They are a source of comfort and joy to me. Also, during that time, my home life was very turbulent so church was a safe place for me.
The main reason that Christian churches and I don’t mix is that God made me a leader and He made me female. Most of the churches I’ve checked out in Florida have white male leaders. I have studied the phenomenonal growth of the emergent movement and the Calvary Chapel which I did a previous post on. I thought that the Calvary Chapel and I would be a good match. But in studying the Chapel in Florida, I found over 100 chapters and not one female minister. Hello!
Many of my favorite bloggers do have a church that they attend. I believe the main thing I miss is the community of believers. AA gives me that when I go through a spell of needing more physical support. Also, AA has taught me a great deal about tolerance by allowing eaach member to define his/her God. Of course, many AA members have made AA their church. For that I say that it is better than sitting in a bar soaking up a drug that makes them crazy.
The good news is that all I need to follow the God of my understanding is the willingness to surrender my will. One of the main ways that I use to know God’s will for my life is that it is generally something that I don’t want to do. One of my favorite prayers is:”Lord God, I believe, help my unbelief.”