Archives for September 2015

What is the greatest challenge to your religious beliefs?

Small B&W MG_6032Hill Country News Faith Roundtable

By Chuck Robison

This is a tough one. During the 90’s I was a Protestant Chaplain at the United Nations in New York. While at the UN, when it became time to make decisions about services such as weddings, funerals and baptisms I started hearing people say: “I’m spiritual but not religious”.

Now twenty-five years later this phrase is how many people define their religious orientation. And I am one of them. I experienced many deep profound moments in church religious services from the time I was a little boy. I still define myself as a Christian Pastor, but my spiritual growth now occurs mostly outside the confines of an organized religion.

Working my way through this process has been a great personal challenge. Our society and our religions are not geared to having leaders and followers stray from the herd and we are not sure how to deal with that. But it is happening more and more all the time.

Going through this process has been neither easy or comfortable, but at some point I realized that keeping an organization going by forcing binding rules on participants is not the way I have experienced my own spiritual growth. My spiritual practice now does not need any mediators, organizations or group defined rules for behaviour or growth.

Today my spiritual life is defined as my daily journey as a powerful eternal spiritual being having a human experience. Generally speaking, churches are not addressing this definition of who we are. So the challenge for me came when I realized that I could not hang around and wait for everyone else to catch up. And, of course, I could have been wrong about this radical change in my life.

I fully understand all the positive work the religions do and the power of supportive community that religions attempt to create, but the cost is the requirement that we all get in line and believe alike as the leadership tells us we must.

By following the leadership of my soul, every moment of the day and with every hallowed breath I take, I find a much deeper spiritual experience. In this personal spiritual environment I learn that I am a tiny part of God and God is all of me. And this connects me with every other being on this planet and beyond.

Today I have few religious boundaries and binding rules. I like that. Try it, you might like it too.

 

 

 

The One Thing from the Hill Country News, September 16, 2015

Faith Column
The One ThingSmall B&W MG_6032

By Chuck Robison

I am not a Biblical scholar. In fact, like Thomas Jefferson, I believe the key to the Bible is contained in the red letters of the New Testament. Having studied my way through too many heavy volumes of systematic theology and searched everywhere I could find for answers, I have come to the conclusion, for me, that Faith Answers are best kept simple.

Here’s an example. In 1983 I had an opportunity to meet privately with Pandit Gopi Krishna the day after he addressed the United Nations along with the Hopi Elders. Gopi Krishna was the only person in the last century who wrote of his experience of Kundalini as it was happening……..and in English. Kundalini is both the trigger for rapid evolution, and also the mechanism that must be activated to become enlightened.

Toward the end of my time with this rare and very high spiritual being, I asked him the one question had I prepared prior to the interview: What must I do to become enlightened?

There were all sorts of ways he could have answered me. Do more meditation, wear an orange cap, change my name, chant an ancient hymn and many other possibilities. When I asked my question, this is what happened.

He looked me directly in the eye and said: “Just this. Everyday, as often as you can, just think about God, and God will take care of everything else.” That was it.

I knew from my Bible that Jesus said almost the same thing when he admonished us to “seek first the Kingdom of God and all these thing will be added to you.” But sitting in a New York skyscraper talking with a truly enlightened being face to face is quite a bit different than reading about Jesus saying almost the same thing in the Bible. But the truth is always true.

In the brief explanation that followed his answer, Gopi Krishna made it clear that thinking anything about God is encouraged and permissible. The point is to keep the focus on God.

Over the next couple of days I decided that this was simple enough for even me to understand and I committed myself right there and then to follow this directive until I could prove it was wrong. That was thirty-two years ago. Today it is the one thing I know to be absolutely true.

After practicing this discipline for all this time, I have a long list of things that have changed in my life for the better as a result of simply thinking about God. I think about all the possible things I can imagine about Him: What does He do all day? Who are his friends? Why is it difficult for people to even imagine Him? Does he take sides? And, exactly where is Heaven?

In a way, the questions and answers are not important. The important thing is that this discipline has changed my life. I find that my problems get solved easier and quicker when I stop trying to imagine solutions and simply think about God and assume that his answer is both forthcoming and the best one.

Give it a chance, yourself. What If It Really Works?