In recent days, we have all been rocked by the scandal that has faced Eddie Long of Atlanta’s New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. What has surprised me most is how strong MY reaction to this situation is. Firstly, I don’t follow Long, but then I don’t follow ANY pastor for that matter. Now I could get on my soap box and go on and on about following God instead of man and yada, yada, yada. But we all know this (don’t we)?
So why has this affected me so? Well my primary emotion is sadness. Sadness for Long, his alleged victims, his followers, his family and the entire Christian community. I’m not dealing with whether the allegations are true or not, I’m dealing with human pain. Something that I think many ‘religious’ folks negate. This should not be about laying blame or judgement, it should be about healing some serious pain.
For many years, I tried churches and religion to soothe my soul. But there was something much different that stilled my spirit. Quite simply it was LOVE. Love for God, myself and my fellow man (in that order). Some religions punish you (kick you out), if you don’t adhere to their rules. Others accept your mistakes but don’t offer any guidance or teachings to prevent further error. And very few offer counsel for the broken or damaged spirit. In addition to prayer, the injured need tools for recovery!!
So it should not surprise you that I am not very religious. My belief system is a hodge podge of all the things that I believe drive the human spirit. Thus, Christianity, Buddhism and other religions are all part of my belief systems. Why??
Here are my 5 simple reasons.
- I believe that LOVE is the root of the tree to salvation
- I believe that God can be called by many names
- I believe that there is more than one path to the same destination
- I believe that I need to be lead on both my heavenly and earthly journeys
- I believe it is NOT my place to judge what others believe
I’m NOT throwing shade on religion. It just doesn’t suit ME as the sole strand of my belief fabric. But I think folks aught to be able to believe or worship as they are led without any judgement. So whether you believe in God, Budah or The Great Light, just understand that there is power greater than yourself, and we must answer to it.
We answer by offering love and healing. Everyone is in need and deserving of this very simple ingredient.