Which church is the “right” one? Is there one right religion?
These questions often plague those who are involved in a church and begin to see some problems within their religious system.
These questions while seeming of utmost importance are actually of no consequence once the following principles are fully understood.
All religious systems exist ONLY because of and due to the internal beliefs held by those who subscribe to the system.
These systems are created to support the beliefs already held within individuals – not the other way around. This is a key point to understand.
In other words, people are attracted to a particular system because their internal beliefs are in alignment with that system.
There is no “right belief system” or “right religion”. There are only belief systems or religions that FEEL right to a person because they support their personal beliefs.
Over the course of a lifetime we are exposed to numerous belief systems.
We are also sorting through our beliefs as we go through life, confirming some and discarding others.
As we work through this sorting process, we find that perhaps we are no longer in alignment with the belief system we’re associated with – we don’t fit in with the group any longer.
When this happens we have a couple options.
We may decide to stick around anyway because we love the social interaction and the beliefs aren’t that strong or important to us.
Alternatively, we may be so convicted in our beliefs that we are compelled to move on and we may seek out another system that is more in alignment with our current set of beliefs.
This second option explains how and why people seek and find a new religious system or church, or leave the traditional church systems altogether.
Let’s take an example situation:
Pretend for a moment that we have a friend who was raised up within the Catholic religious system. They’ve been going along with the flow and one day they notice something that just doesn’t seem right within the system, and it brings to their awareness a deeper lack of peace with God.
They’re not really sure where to turn, so they pick up their Bible and begin reading it. They also begin looking online.
What they find is a lot of criticism of their Catholic system – and they find that they’re compelled to agree with much of it – though reluctantly.
In their studies they run across the scriptures where Jesus sent his disciples out to preach and they wonder if perhaps the ministry system of the Catholic system isn’t in error.
As they consider the sexual problems the Catholic Church has experienced they wonder if perhaps these issues are proof of a foundational problem.
So now instead of accepting the Catholic priest system and hierarchy completely, they’re questioning, and feeling like a different ministry may be more “right”.
As they continue this line of study and thought, they start noticing ministries that are different than what they’ve always known. They see issues with all of them however, and none seem identical to what Jesus established.
They gradually become convinced that a two and two ministry is right but they don’t see anything like it – and they’re looking.
Remember the promise Jesus left us? “Seek and ye shall find”. It works every time and yet we marvel.
We now have a person who is seeking a religious system with a two and two ministry.
One day he finds himself in a religious conversation with an acquaintance with whom he’s never discussed religious topics.
Our friend explains where he’s come from and describes his new conviction about a ministry.
The acquaintance ends up being a person who is very familiar with a two and two ministry system. So he invites our friend to attend services of that particular group.
Our imaginary friend attends the church service where he meets two ministers who describe their ministry in a way that sounds very similar to what he reads in the New Testament. He feels a connection and a conviction that he’s found the right way.
Now there are some other things that he hasn’t really thought about and so there are a few surprises as he learns about this new group. But his conviction about the ministry overpowers all doubts that arise.
He begins to feel like he has returned home and soon adopts the system in it’s entirety.
Initially he’s excited and on a “high” having found the “right way”.
As the years progress and he becomes more and more familiar with all the aspects of his new belief system, he begins noticing some things that don’t seem quite right.
The process is beginning again. Actually it never stops. That’s what growth is about.
Eventually he’s faced with those same two options we mentioned earlier.
All this occurs at a subconscious level.
Our friend is unaware that he is sorting through beliefs and discarding those that no longer serve. He is unaware that he is being drawn to systems that support his beliefs and repelled from systems that do not support his beliefs.
From his perspective, it appears that he’s found truth and left falsehood behind – or that there is something wrong with his current church and that he needs a new one.
This process is often a very emotional one. All the associated beliefs and judgments around right and wrong, heaven and hell make it so.
When a person is trained as a child that certain actions please God while others do not, and it’s all tied in with a particular religious system, the result is that the individual cannot entertain contradictory thoughts without feeling physical and emotional stress.
Therefore to leave the religious system of ones childhood is tremendously stressful – and fearful.
Even while the obvious falseness of a belief is staring you in the face, you are afraid to drop it or leave it behind because you fear eternal damnation for turning your back on the beliefs and practice you’ve been taught.
If this is your experience, this single aspect should irrevocably prove that your past religious training is flawed – simply because it is founded on fear.
Nothing in what Christ taught gives us reason to fear. Nothing. Therefore when we find ourselves in a situation where fear is nearly consuming us, there is something drastically wrong.
What is wrong is that we’ve got a belief that is inaccurate. All fear based beliefs are inaccurate.
Christ said “Fear not…”.
He did NOT say “Fear not except for certain times when……”.
When we awaken to this truth, then the belief sorting process becomes much easier.
All fear based beliefs are out.
How do you know if a belief is fear based?
If the thought of letting it go scares the liver out of you, it’s a fear based belief – and it has no basis in truth, because the truth is this: There is nothing to fear.
And letting a fear based belief go will set you free.
And there my friends is the Truth that sets you free.
That is what Christ lived and taught. It is the simple way of Jesus. There are no complicated formulas. No difficult decisions about what is right and wrong.
Just a simple faith and trust and letting go of everything that is based in fear.