There was a period of many years in my life when I would not utter the word, “God.” When I spoke of that concept at all I used terms like “the Universe,” or “All That Is, or “Love.” I rejected “the God of the Bible,” and moved on. I rejected then and still do the notion that “accepting Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior,” was the only path to salvation. I rejected then and still do the idea that Christianity is the only “true” religion.
Today, however, I find myself enthralled by God, Jesus, Christ, Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit . When asked today if I am Christian I hesitate and usually ask, “define Christian first, and then I will respond.” Nevertheless, Christianity is in my DNA; it is my heritage; it is the language I grew up with. The years spent attempting to deny my Christian identity were instructive and valuable, but did not, alas, eradicate my roots.
The primary, but not only, teaching in my life is A Course in Miracles. It is chock full of references to God, Jesus, Christ and the Holy Spirit. When I began reading the Course in 1982 I squirmed at all the references to Bible characters, Bible terms…terms like forgiveness, salvation, redemption, holiness, or brother. I told myself I could overlook all that and still benefit from its metaphysical teaching. I was correct—it takes a little work to overlook so much, but it can be done.
As I read the ACIM Text from beginning to end for the fifth time, God and Christ, the Holy Spirit, Inner Teacher, forgiveness and salvation are singing to me. As I welcome those concepts back into my consciousness my worldview changes. It feels like home. And those concepts best express what I am experiencing.
For years I have associated myself with spiritual groups and organizations that eschew these Christian terms and concepts in order to signify that all seekers are welcome and that no one path is touted as The One. I wholeheartedly concur.
Though I have studied and greatly benefited from teachings from Judaism, Sufism, Buddhist philosophy, and various eclectic metaphysical texts, I remain Christian at heart while respecting other religions and the followers who adhere to them. The language of Christianity does not and cannot contain all truth.
My groups and classes are open to anyone of any faith tradition, or none. But with those who at some point in their life threw their western Christian baby out with the bath water I feel a close connection. The expression, “recovering Christian fundamentalist” has been aptly applied to me for more than 30 years. The recovery just keeps on keeping on.