Following In the Masters Footsteps

In these interesting times of change, millions of people the world over are struggling to find their personal truth - a truth that will sustain them through their present moments and through whatever the future may bring. There are as many definitions of what will happen to this planet in the next fifteen years as there are belief systems, but in the midst of the dissension is one commonality, and that is worldwide agreement that change - in whatever form it takes - is inevitable. The world just can't go on the way it is; something has to give, somewhere.

In many ways, things are very much the way they were 2,000 years ago, when Jesus of Nazareth began his ministry. He taught from the perspective that the Jewish culture in which he was raised had lost their focus, and with it, their relationship with God. He warned the Pharisees - who were much more concerned with doctrine than with truth - that they had missed the point, and he offered clear and simple instruction for anyone who chose a path that took them back to a level of God consciousness in their lives.

He invited all who would bring God back into their day to day lifestyles to "follow him," and the growth of the Christian church that was founded on his teachings has culminated, these 2,000 years later, in the largest group of "followers" in modern history. But now the roles have been reversed.

The church that was founded in his name has taken the same course as the ancient Jews: the emphasis has moved away from truth, as Jesus taught it, and into doctrine and physical expression. "Being a good Christian" is, for many Christian sects, not based on following the spiritual example set for us by Jesus himself, but on doing and saying certain things that - somewhere along the line - "those in authority" thought was best for us.

Many of us left the church years ago, protesting the doctrine by which we were required to live if we wanted to be "good Christians." Statistically speaking, two-thirds of all baby boomers raised in religious households found churches to be irrelevant and unyielding, and dropped out during the 60s and 70s. Approximately 42% of those who dropped out haven't returned to church, compared with 25% who found their way back to organized religion. That 25% who returned - having taken their solitary journey to personal truth - brought with them the higher understanding of Jesus's life and Jesus's teachings - and have changed the face of religion as we know it.

It's important to our own growth to recognize the personal courage of those individuals who chose to walk away from the religion of their family and friends in the name of inner conviction in a higher truth, and that we, as a society and as individuals, encourage and support others now facing the same challenges in their quest for spiritual truth.

Respect of every individual's right and responsibility to find and follow their own spiritual path in life should point out to us that every person who works on their own level of awareness, based on their own relationship with God, and their is no such thing as a "right" or "wrong" belief system. There are only souls, experiencing the effect of following this belief, or that belief, and exercising their God-given right to choose for themselves which path to follow.

If we would, indeed, be "Christians"-in the sense that we are following the examples set for us by Jesus as the teacher-then we, too, must be willing to explore new options in terms of how we can most comfortably express our personal relationship of God, as revealed through the life, death and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.

Lois Grant-Holland is a Life Path Focus Counselor offering Life Path Focus Sessions, Karmic Astrology Charts, Channeled Guidance, Intuitive Readings and Classes and Workshops to spiritual seekers on all positive paths, and is the site facilitator at The A.N.S.W.E.R. - (The Seeker's Resource Guide to Alternative, New Thought, Spiritual Growth, Wellness and Enlightenment Resources.) You can visit her website at http://www.loisgrantholland.com

In The News:

Giving Up on God  Foreign Affairs Magazine
Religion Briefs  Post Register
When the news becomes religion  Columbia Journalism Review
Church News  Sioux City Journal
USCIRF Releases New Report about Religious Prisoners in Turkmenistan's Gulag  United States Commission on International Religious Freedom
NICHOLAS PHILLIPS: The power of religious humor | Religion  Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal
Americans Oppose Religious Exemptions From Coronavirus-Related Restrictions  Pew Research Center's Religion and Public Life Project
Timely investment for religious harmony  Malaysian Christian News
Ontario community divided over loudspeaker religious broadcasts  Radio Canada International - English Section
Racial justice: The new religion?  Minneapolis Star Tribune

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