Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Taking the high road on the spiritual path

As I look around in Unitarian Universalism as I walk the path of the spirit, I don't find much company. The path is very uncongested. I find most people are discussing social justice issues and socializing, discussing "small talk." Most UU churches I have come to know seem more like social agencies and clubs. There is little interest in the interior spiritual life. That's a shame because the true function of a church is to facilitate the growth of souls into saints.

Gandhi supposedly said one time that he would convert to Christianity if he ever found a church that actually followed the teachings of Jesus.

What Jesus actually taught through His words and actions is miles away from what most Christian churches preach and teach. It has been debated whether Jesus ever intended to found a church. He was very interested in spirituality and He told people to be religious if they are so inclined but He also said that He intended to transform the teachings of religion, to take them further.

Jesus was certainly not legalistic. He taught that people are more important that the laws. The laws are to benefit the people, not people benefit the laws.

Jesus said that the way to the kingdom is "to love as I have loved."

When the rich young man asked Jesus what he had to do to get to the kingdom, Jesus' first answer is "follow the commandments." The rich young man follows up and says, "I already do that and I still am not happy. What more can I do?" Jesus says simply, "Sell all that you have; give the money to the poor and come follow me." The rich young man became sad and walked away.

That's what happens today in most churches. They preach the commandments, but they don't want to sell what they have, help the poor, and follow Jesus. And so churches are losing members. Young people are not following the teachings of the church. They eschew the legalistic teachings, the theological debates, and they turn to materialism, to drugs and alcohol, to video games, to virtual reality, and to suicide.

Churches are failing in their mission to facilitate and nurture the souls of saints. They engage in self preservation and social justice and political work. Churches have failed and are failing to nurture souls on the spiritual path. Nurturing souls on the spiritual path is intended here. Our work is unusual in our modern society.

The spiritual path calls us from the path of the ego. Has it dawned on you yet that there is a better way? Have you embarked on the search? Are you walking the path of Love? As Jesus said, "Come follow me." Indeed.


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