I have felt the presence of God within me since I was very young—even before I was told that I was a sinner who would go to hell if I did not accept Jesus into my heart. I thought He was already in my heart. But, at nine years of age, I came forward at the altar call and gave my life to the Lord. I didn’t feel any different afterward. I got baptized the next Sunday. Still, I did not note any change in what I was already experiencing inwardly.
I was raised in church—it’s all I knew. I was taught that God punished those who do not do what He or the church said to do. It was all written in the Bible, which was said to be infallible. I was taught about the rules to be kept, and if I did not conform to them I would be separated from God.
After I left organized religion in my early 40s, I learned how the Bible came to be a collection of writings. Certain writings were chosen, others were omitted in order to form a canon of scriptures that everyone was expected to follow. Books left out of the Bible were those that gave credence to the significant role that Mary Magdalene played in the life and ministry of Jesus. She was the apostle that Jesus loved more than the others. I have recently been reading the Gospel of Mary Magdalene and it feels very much in agreement with the teachings of Jesus that we do have in the Bible.
The canon was approved by the Nicene Council in the 3rd century A.D. There would be one religion, and everyone would follow it. Those who rebelled or chose to believe something different were persecuted or killed in the name of God. What god? What kind of god would be so cruel as to despise his creation and send them to hell for having an opinion different than the powers that be? Where is the relationship of walking with Creator in paradise as described in Genesis? I was having that kind of intimacy as a child before I was tainted by religion. I still have an ongoing heart-felt conversation with Creator all the time. I never feel alone, judged by or separated from Source.
Last week I was invited by my neighbors to attend the church at the end of our subdivision entrance. I was not surprised about that because I had an inner knowing that I would someday be sent back into the Christian community. I felt a strong desire to go; so, I agreed. That may not seem like a big deal to some of you. But I had not been to church in almost two decades.
What changed? Me. I have been praying for unconditional love (the 5th element that I talk about in my book, Celestial Shamanism. It was time to see if my walk matched my talk. Would I be able to bridge gaps in terminology and find similarities that unite our hearts? I did my best to apply my metaphysical terms to the sermon offered by the preacher.
It was a lot of work to just sit and listen without scrutinizing every word of every song and scripture shared. I had to constantly remind myself not to judge or see others as less than me just because they have a different belief system. I was doing pretty good staying in my 18-inch personal field until they brought out the communion elements. That is when I started really feeling triggers. Learn why and what I did to resolve my inner conflict in this “Conversations of a Different Kind” with Brenda Williams.