Today is Easter Sunday in the UK and it’s the first Easter Sunday for a long time that I have not been in church. It is a great day of celebration for Christians. More important than any other day in the calendar. It celebrates a day of huge transformation and change, when Jesus was seen again by his disciples after his terrible, brutal and tragic death. The day when everything changed for his followers – a turning point for the history of the world.
It got me thinking about the significance of turning points in our lives. Mary has written recently reflecting on and discussing the significant effects of darkness, despair, depression and doubt and how wise advice and encouragement helped people trapped in these conditions. it was a turning point for them.
For myself, there were a few turning points that led me to Divine Truth teachings in the first place. I’m not going into them in any detail here but now I feel that I must have received a little Divine Love to allow me to no longer accept the normal Christian viewpoint of Christ’s death being a necessary sacrifice required by God and because Jesus was (in some way) God, God had actually made the sacrifice and paid the price. It just became abhorrent to me and I tried to force myself to believe it (how dare I not believe something that Christian scholars had debated and assured themselves for almost two thousand years) but in the end that was not possible for me.
I really wanted to bring to your attention something that really had eluded me as a Christian. I definitely feel some degree of shame still on the matter that I never really got this. The quotation is from a book called Through the Mists
“We recognize but one religion here, that is – Love; and all its disciples have but one denomination – lovers of mankind. No one of all the man-made religions holds a monopoly of this attribute. But earnest and conscientious followers of it may be found in all. Its worship is service to humanity; its litany, noble deeds, its prayers, tears of sympathy; its sermons, simple lives, known and read of all men; its songs are lullabies to soothe the brokenhearted; its faith the immolation of self; and its hope – Heaven. This is the only religion which can write the passports of heaven for the pilgrims of earth. Systems of theology have no more charm for us here than they had on earth; but in every heart there is a latent ideal towards which all mankind is blindly reaching out, a vague and undefined hope to which all the nations are ignorantly aspiring, a settlement of political problems that is only just beyond the reach of statesmen, a method of international arbitration by which peace shall reign on earth; these are all generating in the womb of futurity.”
It was a deep shock for me to discover that entry to the Kingdom of God was going to involve becoming one of the “lovers of mankind” – this was not a joke. I was not going to be in control of my own place in God’s Kingdom by saying I believe this or that or by pretending to be nice to people. I felt I had been blindly reaching out and in no way did I understand the point of religion in this way. In fact, I came to the conclusion that I had been arrogantly assuming that following a religion and attending a church gave me some special insight into God and I was doing what God required of me. Facing this truth was hard.
Another turning point, was a talk I went to in the UK on Pseudo Spirituality. Initially I didn’t feel the talk applied to me and it was a hard talk to be at, because of the continuous interruptions and the challenge to the audience’s beliefs. The outline to the talk contrasts the attributes of real and pseudo-spirituality:
If you are in a religion and you believe you’ve got it all sorted then this list might not touch you, but it you feel there is a little possibility that all is not what it seems, that you are not really satisfied by what you hear then this list might be a useful place to start looking at what might be the cause of your unease.
Turning Points can be huge experiences at first, difficult to navigate but my experience is that we will have to get used to them and then welcome them, as God’s truth confronts every error in our soul bit by bit and we move into harmony with his world. Inevitably this will cause some trauma and challenge us and the people around us as we change and grow.