I was baptized and confirmed in the Roman Catholic Church. However as I entered adulthood I grew saddened by the Church’s stance on three key issues, discussed below, which led me away. It was for this reason, that upon receiving a message from The Greatest Love and experiencing a vision of Hell, I did not consult a priest. The Church had been lost to me for some time.
Instead my family and friends, The Greatest Love, and others were there to lead me to a place of personal solace. A place where I could be true to myself by believing based on love.
But I am also thankful to the Roman Catholic Church for having influenced my childhood. My beliefs about Jesus Christ were sown in the Church. But my views on Jesus Christ in some critical areas differ from the Roman Catholic Church to the point where today I no longer consider myself Catholic or Christian. This did not happen all at once for me. What started out as a disagreement on three key issues grew into a larger set of beliefs centered around love. And I believe messages and visions were sent to me, by my god, to help me discover this new faith.
Today I believe Jesus Christ delivered a Divine message tailored for his time and place. I do not believe it was the Divine’s final message to us. Instead I believe They will continue to send us messages that will incrementally guide us closer to Their Divine Plan. To be even clearer, I believe, Jesus’ message is not the complete word of God. For example he did not condemn slavery widely practiced at the time, or the unequal treatment of women. He did not speak out against the immorality of an eternal Hell while at the same time presenting an apocalyptic vision of humankind’s future within a generation of his death. A vision which never came to pass. For me such omissions and commissions in his messages are not a indictment against his entire ministry. Instead they point to occasions where God was not providing him guidance. God did not guide him, possibly because it would have been too much for his followers to understand or accept at that time. It would risk Their entire message being lost. So it is with us today. The Greatest Love provides us enough to lead us closer to Their Plan but not so much as to overwhelm us. And as we embrace more of Their message more will be forthcoming. They will never abandon us.
All this does not mean the teachings of Jesus Christ should not resonate today. They absolutely should. But certain passages and decisions Jesus made should be viewed in the context of the ancient world in which he lived and not be used as a justification to disregard the secular rights and freedoms of today. We must remain open to The Divine being available to teach us more. The ancient teachings of Moses, Jesus, Muhammad, and even the Abrahamic god of the sacred texts, I believe, must not be considered timeless and immutable. Future messages from The Greatest Love, made possible by humanity’s deeper understanding of love, may not only augment but even supersede Their earlier teachings. I believe as humanity progresses we must never allow ancient dogma to close our hearts to modern discoveries, rights and revelations.
The three issues that initially drew me away from the Catholic Church had nothing to do with whether I believed Jesus Christ was The Divine sent to Earth. My views on Jesus’ divinity would come only later, after I had left the Church for some time. Before then, while still in the Church, there was doctrine and dogma that I grew to become morally opposed to. After much prayer and reflection my opposition grew only stronger. The issues, in my opinion, were antithetical to a loving god and I felt my god, whoever They were, was leading me away from the Church. I never lost faith in that one god, but I was not sure who They were or what They wanted from me. Only later, after much prayer and reflection about the messages and visions which I received did I become comfortable with who my god was and what my beliefs were.
The three issues I had with The Roman Catholic Church which would begin this journey for me were as follows:
Discrimination against women. Jesus never chose to select women apostles but this must be viewed in the context of the highly patriarchal society in which he lived. It does not mean he would not approve of women priests today.
Discrimination against members of the LGBTQ+ community. Marriage should be allowed between any two consenting adults. Such discrimination has no basis in love and fails to take into account modern genetic and psychological theories underpinning sexual orientation and gender identity. No such science was available to the ancient world. It is available to our modern world for all those who are willing to see.
Discrimination against atheists at the gates of Heaven. Jesus said in John 14:6 (“Jesus told him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me’”). That was an important message when trying to attract non-believers to a fledgling Church. Those words helped inspire followers to spread Jesus’ message to all corners of the World. However it does not resonate in today’s pluralistic society. Nor does it show the necessary compassion and mercy to other faiths and non-believers. It may have been the right message for the time. But it’s time, I believe, has past.
Today I believe The Greatest Love judges not on the contents of our beliefs, or lack thereof, but by the loving actions we perform throughout our lives.