As a member of a fairly unique church that combines spiritualism with Christian teachings, we have some interesting beliefs. The foundations of our spiritual principles include an acknowledgment of a higher power, also-known-as God, and the Golden Rule. Nature as the expression of the Creator is also a core belief.
According to Matthew 22:36-40, Jesus responded to a questioner that the greatest commandments were to love God, and to love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus said that these two teachings were the foundation of the law and the prophets. The statement to love your neighbor as yourself requires that you love yourself.
The principles of spiritualism specifically include these two greatest teachings of Jesus. The problems in dealing with many Christians is that the Christian religion has lost Jesus’ core teachings in a sea of dogma involving exclusive access to the higher power only through their specific religion, requirements for baptism, ritual cannibalism expressed as communion with Jesus, and a declaration that “salvation” is only accessible by declaring allegiance to Jesus.
One major example of dissociation of Jesus’ teachings from Christianity is the fact that a declaration of a belief in God and Jesus are key requirements to obtain membership in various versions of the Ku Klux Klan. Here is a link that explains the requirements to be a KKK member.
When someone asks me if I am a Christian, I reply, “No, but I am a follower of Jesus.” This generally gets a response of, “What is the difference?” The difference is that I believe Jesus’ primary teachings were a declaration of a belief in a higher power, and the requirement to love yourself so that you can love your neighbor as yourself. There are a lot of Christians that show no love for others.
Spiritualism insists on personal responsibility. While no soul is ever beyond redemption, there is no provision in spiritualism that belief in anyone or anything else can allow escape from the consequences of our actions. These consequences may occur now, or in the next life. Spiritualists know from direct experience that the soul and the consciousness that accompanied that soul continue.
If we want to be free of debts owed to us, we have to forgive everyone, including ourselves. Forgiveness of those that have harmed us frees us up from the offender’s karma and the resolution of their actions. I have experienced some people claiming to be Christians that I do not want to encounter again, now or in any future life. I forgive them, and I am moving on.
Spiritualism teaches that no soul is ever beyond redemption. Jesus forgave those that put him on the cross. Those that cannot forgive others or their selves have a great difficulty in being happy, and in progressing on the Spirit Path. They are focused on the wrongs that were done by others instead of the good things that they have experienced for which they could be grateful.
In the Spiritualist Manual, the key to our progression is found in the following statement: “A correct understanding of the laws of nature on the physical, mental and physical planes of life and living in accordance therewith will unfold the highest aspirations and attributes of the Soul, which is the correct function of True Religion.” Understanding the laws of nature is a challenge, but you can deduce these laws over time by observing what is happening.
There are many Christians that truly follow Jesus’ core teachings. There are many pseudo-Christians that have no regard for anyone or anything except what they feel benefits them personally. There are good and bad examples of followers of each and every religion. The vast majority of people are good. A minority of people are very bad. Look for the good and deal with the bad when you encounter them.
The Golden Rule exists in some form in every religion, and every religion recognizes that there is a higher energy force that created the Universe. I suggest that COATI, the Creator of All That IS, is the higher organizing energy. The COATI precedes all of the gods that were defined by humans when they established the religions that now exist around the world. We are not like COATI. We are human beings trying to represent the best of the Creation. It isn’t an easy path.
We are all part of the Creation, and we are here for a purpose. Whatever religion you claim, know that you are the expression of that religion as well as the expression of the Creator. Live your life in joy, with love, peace, and grace. Look within yourself to find the divinity and guidance you seek. If you choose, be a follower of Jesus.
© Copyright 2018
Rev. Jim Hetzer
January 28, 2018