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Why I left the Catholic Church
I left Catholicism in my teens because it never seriously satisfied my deep soul yearning for God and for the true meaning of life. I didn't like the way they labeled everyone a worthless sinner, just for being alive! Even the sometimes lovely "Hail Mary" prayer is another affirmation of sin -- "pray for us sinners...". I was constantly guilt ridden, and it still reaches out to me today. People do have character flaws, but it is crushing to a person's sense of self and motivation to be constantly frowned upon for no reason by such a powerful organization that is supposed to love people and have their welfare at heart. There are some lovely souls within the church, but the overall atmosphere is not loving. Happily, I found guidance elsewhere in a Yoga organization. However, reading your book has helped me to understand that the church we have today is light years away from the wonderful message and life of Jesus. The bizarre and barbaric history of Christianity clearly shows why this is so. Perhaps there is hope for the creaking, dying Christian institution yet!
Yes, I agree! The churches, both Protestant and Catholic, have a lot to answer for, and have a lot of apologies to make to our society for the way they terrorized it in the past, and the way continue, even now, to abuse it in more subtle ways. But I believe that those parts of the church which really do renounce the theology of fear, and embrace the God of love Jesus knew, have a great future in store for them. So many people are searching for this loving God, who helps us grow, but accepts and loves us just as we are. Intuitively, people know this is what God is like. . (The Author)
It's time to tell the truth about Christianity. It's time to admit that various and philosophical, cultural, and religious movements have contributed to the formation of Christianity. I'd like to recommend the books of Alvin Boyd Kuhn. His writings are well researched and readable; immediately accessible to the average reader.
Also highly recommended are the books by Joseph Campbell. They will give the reader a background in understanding the common core of myths that every culture reveals. The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammmadi library are also great resources. Any of the books of John Spong and Elaine Pagels are also great resources. The writings of Matthew Fox and his translation of the sermons of Eckhart is profoundly exciting.
There is a wave of mystic spirituality sweeping the world. The Christian faith need not surrender to the New Age Thought. Our faith has a deep and abiding tradition of mysticism and has been waiting to be explored. The time has come; and I, as an ordained minister and one who had become disillusioned by the traditional orthodox approcah with its dogmas, doctrines, creeds, and convuluted theology - I have experienced a renewal in my faith - a faith much deeper and more "real"; with a deep ecumenism, and a love and respect for those of other faiths and persuasion or lack thereof. We stand poised on a new era of Christianity. Let's embrace it as another step in the spiritual evolution of humankind.