Learning what to believe

There is an interesting opportunity that comes with forming a new spiritual community that has no ties to any denomination, we are not bound by specific institutional doctrine or dogma. In fact, we formed the community, in part, to get away from it. For me, that means that I’m not expected to preach certain “traditional” theological belief systems. Now, mind you, I wasn’t very good at preaching traditional doctrine even when I was in the institutional church. But this is like having a “Get Out of Jail Free” card!

As I approach Holy Week, I feel a freedom to explore these events in a way that I couldn’t before. I feel free to ask questions that couldn’t be tackled out loud. As a result, Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter are taking on new life and new meaning for me. I find it exciting – but I’m a theological geek in that respect.

In the readings for my Religion class last semester I found this wonderful quote from Buddha:

Do not believe what you have heard.

Do not believe in tradition because it is handed down many generations.

Do not believe in anything that has been spoken of many times.

Do not believe because the written statements come from some old sage.

Do not believe in conjecture.

Do not believe in authority or teachers or elders.

But after careful observation and analysis, when it agrees with reason and it will benefit one and all, then accept it and live by it.

How wonderful! Don’t believe in something just because you’re told to believe in it, but weigh it with what you know and experience, and see if it is based in love for everyone. Yes, that takes a lot more work that listening to the pastor on Sunday morning and simply buying everything they say. Yes, it takes more work than blindly┬ábelieving every word of the Bible to be true. But, I believe this type of engagement with one’s faith brings us to deeper levels of truth, because we learn to trust the truth and knowing that already lie deep within each of us.

In the next week or so I will attempt to share some of what I’m learning and discovering, but I hope that you’ll join us at Meadowbrook Country Club for worship if you are able:

Palm Sunday, 10 a.m.

Good Friday, 7 p.m.

Easter Sunday, 8 a.m.

Peace, Kaye