For a brief time as a child in early grade school, I was enrolled in “religious instruction classes” a bus would pick us up before regular school was over and basically we seemed privileged to get out early but not till decades later did I realize what I’d been indoctrinated unknowingly into.
On Sundays for a time (formative years) taken by the hand by either any one of my three elder sisters or my Mother to that big scary Church.
My Father and brothers rarely attended.
They had very good cause to be afraid I learned much later in life.
(“it is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God” Hebrews 10:31)
I’d hold a few copper coins in my anxious sweaty palms just anticipating dropping them into the wicker basket on the long poles held by the unidentfied, unknown “smilers” that seemed to just ooze out between the cracks of the woodwork and stained glass images like just so many cock-roaches when the light switch is in the off position.
No different than other typical opportunistic vermin scavenging in the dark.
B.T.W., it’s only tithing when it is applied properly and not corruptedly otherwise in the worldly sense it is considered theft.
None of this meant much to me…the murmurings, the rituals, little was explained to me suffice to know a misleadingly portrayed angry God said that it was obligatory. That much was made clear, this angry God loved me but He always seemed angry really grumpy about something or another?
Then one day it all abruptly just stopped!
Through the eyes of a child it was all rather confusing, no reasons were given or explanations.
I’m not going to delve in detail about some of the stark contradictions that would later in life become so clear to me…or the things that were done to me while simultaneously having religion and fear foisted upon a tender young pysche’. The initials unconsciously being etched in that wet cement by the workings of the enemy…his plan to “divide and conquer” during times of greatest vulnerability.
But I will say this: During all of my trials, travails, tests, I did eventually after much anguish and suffering reach a conclusion…not of my own doing, solely by accepting.
And for years, decades in fact after feeling so empty searching church after church, face after face, Pastors, Priests, Ministers, Sisters, Monks, Deacons etcetera, etc.
In buildings, beneath tents, under highway over passes, in gutters, alleys, even philosophical drunks, thieves, thugs, prostitutes or while dumpster diving for sustenance…I realized that all along I had still through all of it been taken by the hand and led into a church unseen, unwitnessed by human eyes it was one on one person to person, a most amazing grace became so very clear:)
And “church” is no longer a destination, no longer a place, or a building, no nothing is as it was then in the presence of the eternal “Now”.
The veil was torn…the temple crumbled/sundered…in three days raised once more…forever more, alive and ever relative.Talk to twenty different people, from twenty different places, on twenty separate days and they might direct you to twenty different churches each one “the best”.
Perpetually missing the point and failing the tests…(sigh).ENOUGH ALREADY!
To this day we are still attempting to provide shelter for…The “Shelterer”,
such vain futility and pure arrogance!
1After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. 3Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.
4Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”
5While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”
6When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. 7But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” 8When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.
9As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”
10The disciples asked him, “Why then do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?”
11Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah comes and will restore all things. 12But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.” 13Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist.