Galatians 5.1 (yes, I quote from the Bible!) says, “For freedom Christ has freed us. Stand then, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”
I have no trouble affirming Church and the task it has played in society over the centuries. It is not an accident that Church was established those many years ago. But there are those who find Church to be quite limiting. I believe this occurs most in people earnestly seeking God and his Spirit.
For myself, I feel I have grown to the place where I really do not need Church anymore. I continue to associate with Church for reasons other than Spiritual growth. I do not believe this puts me into any sort of danger, as some would assume from reading these words. In fact, on the contrary: I would be in graver Spiritual danger if I returned to earlier and more limiting beliefs than I hold now. I feel so free in the place I find myself I am filled with nothing but the most profound gratitude to God for where he has taken me. I am more sure and certain of my spiritual state than I have ever been in my entire life.
Some would think me deluded. I would encourage those ones to consider the biblical example. When Jesus appeared on the scene, his most vigorous opposition came from those who appealed to the Bible as their authority. And since Jesus did not match the scriptural record, he must be of the devil. (For a more in-depth discussion of some of these issues, see my chapter on “Trust” in “Out of Winkler.”)
Those today who appeal to the Bible as ultimate authority are the ones from whom I receive the most vigorous resistance to my beliefs. Therefore I consider myself in very good company indeed!!!
Over and over again I am hearing how much of a restriction to freedom organized religion is. I hear this from those who have gone beyond (as in NDE’s), received profound wisdom, and returned to share with us what they learned. I hear this from those who have devoted the greatest energy in seeking God and his truth. I hear this from those most acutely attuned to the Spirit dimension who hear messages from beyond.
I believe what we are experiencing in society in the present day is more and more freedom to seek truth in ways hitherto not embraced by Organized Religion. I believe God is moving in today’s world in new and exciting ways. Not “new” ways in the sense that we haven’t seen this before. After all, as I referred to above, Jesus came revealing truth outside of Organized Religion. I think what is “new” is the degree to which this is happening. There is almost an exponential growth in people seeking truth outside of Organized Religion. This growth is both numerical–more people than ever before are on this spiritual quest–but also in spiritual depth. The truths about God, heaven, the universe, the Source, Spirit, are accumulating and growing deeper all the time.
I have absolutely no idea where this will lead! Where does all this end up? The passage I quoted above from Galatians, in the Bible, goes on to say that our freedom is to be used to love one another (verses 13,14). Once again, the overwhelming message from heaven is love. We are to establish God’s presence on earth through the medium of love. It is in loving that we experience God. It is by loving that we show God to those around us.
While Church anticipates some sort of divine interruption to our existence on this planet, we are to be bringing about God’s authority through love. There is definitely the feeling in the world that a shift is occurring. There is no consensus of how this shift might ultimately happen. It could very well be that there will be some catastrophic events which bring about this shift. But I think it could also occur very quietly as each of us who are being enlightened continue to live faithfully in the freedom to which we have been called. Stand then, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.