Last night I got a call from my daughter. She was with her mother, driving by Waynesville, MO (where Mrs. Merlin grew up) – and they wanted to know where a good place to get food on Sunday night was.
Somehow, that innocent beginning evolved into a hefty theological debate on salvation and spiritual views. This morning, I wrote an email to my ex-wife, which I think is self-explanatory. Rather than go much farther with this, I’ll just copy it below.
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I don’t like having conversations that include a relay point. They usually don’t work very well.
As for what we were trying to say – what you consider true is true for YOU. That does not make it an “ultimate truth for everyone.” When I believed what you still do, I was a selfish, conceited, arrogant asshole who wanted his wife to be submissive to him in all ways. Would you wish that person on Barbara? Would you deliberately seek even a friendship with him again?
It wasn’t until I permanently turned my back on modern Christianity that I began to change, and become a better person. I see that what is taught today as Christianity isn’t what Jesus taught his disciples – it’s a corruption of His teachings which serves only to keep people in the dark about the reality of their own spirituality.
Last night you said you “pray daily for (my) immortal soul”. Think about that – you admit that my soul is immortal, yet somehow think I’m in the wrong to openly state it. If my soul is immortal, then it is not in danger – it can’t die. Now or ever. Get your dictionary and look up the definition of immortal. Then, look up the definition of energy. Then look up the definition of God.
In a nutshell – they are all the same, with minor differences. When we say “we are created in God’s image” – what we’re really saying is that WE ARE – EACH OF US – THE GOD OF OUR OWN LIFE. When Jesus said, “I and the Father are one” – he did not say that there was anything preventing the rest of us from being God, too. It is our own thoughts that make our life what it is. If we focus on what is negative, bad, or unpleasing in our life – we will get more of that in our life through the law of ATTRACTION. The reverse is, because of the law of ATTRACTION, if we focus on happiness, gratefulness, success, peace, harmony, and love, then those will be the things that we get more of in our lives.
As for the answer to your question about “what are you going to do when you die and go to hell?” – well, I have this to say – if an alien spaceman were traveling around the universe looking for hell, and suddenly landed on Earth, it would suffice. There is more than enough hate, misery, bigotry, insensitivity, war, crime, etc. here to make life a literal living hell – and that is what most people do focus their thoughts on. Life here is the only Hell – and the only way out of it is the path to enlightenment. Sadly, it is far more than “salvation in Jesus”.
I’ve said all the above – not out of a belief that I need to persuade you to what I believe, but in the hopes that you might understand my faith enough to accept that IT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE NEW ME. In this country, you are supposed to be free to believe what you wish, and so am I. This world will take a huge leap toward permanent peace when people of all religions are able to allow each other to practice whatever they choose, without judgement, prejudice, hate, or attempts at conversion. Each of us walks our own, unique, path through life. I can’t walk your path, nor you mine.
If your faith is bringing you nothing but happiness, peace, safety, joy, and love – then it’s working for you and I congratulate you. Those same teachings did not produce that effect in my life. It’s as simple as that.