It’s been a strange week.
On the one hand, I have continued to say that Christianity is my home but I have cottages everywhere. I’ve also continued to say that Christian is my family of origin. I have also said that even though I’m out of the church I’m still in the game.
In other words, I’ve believed that I’m still a part of Christianity even though I’m also very aware of the fact that I’ve lived way out on the margins.
Until this week. I’ve run across people in Facebook groups and elsewhere trashing me and what I do, many basically asserting, “He’s no Christian and is doing no good, so why is he here?!”
Ouch! It made me both sad and angry… for me and others like me. It throws many people into spiritual refugee status that no country will accept and every country rejects. Can we just be citizens of the world? Apparently not.
I don’t know what happened. Could it be that I published my Z-Theory (you can get this at nakedpastor)? Could it be that I’m making my coaching business more prominent where I help people become spiritually independent (also at nakedpastor)? Could it be that a few recent interviews have brought clarity to other people’s minds about where I stand (again, nakedpastor, LOL)?
In other words… my words and my actions along with the testimony of others… perhaps they’ve all combined to make things clear for others.
On the one hand, I’ve always abhorred labels for myself. On the other hand, I respect distinctives. The problem is when a group claims exclusivity. I refuse to.
One of my spiritual mentors, Krishnamurti, wrote some years ago:
“When you call yourself an Indian or a Muslim or a Christian or a European, or anything else, you are being violent. Do you see why it is violent? Because you are separating yourself from the rest of mankind. When you separate yourself by belief, by nationality, by tradition, it breeds violence. So a man who is seeking to understand violence does not belong to any country, to any religion, to any political party or partial system; he is concerned with the total understanding of mankind.”
I’ve quoted this before and been reprimanded for being too brutal. But I’m believing it more and more to be true.
Is there a way to live without our labels while respecting the distinctives of others?
Yes, there is, because I’m doing it. And I see others doing it too.
I met a Sufi mystic on Twitter this week. She and I have been talking. We share a common mission that she articulates on her page: “my interest now is the roots of religious conflict and promotion of religious understanding.”
If we want peace in this world, it can’t mean the conversion of others to our point of view. World peace begins with personal peace. It means the conversion of our hearts to love all unconditionally and inclusively.
Thanks for listening.