~ R. U. Wacko
Experience with religion has given me both hope and questions. Often I have felt that some religions and some ministers allow no room for intelligence or even emotion. If you don’t believe a certain way, if you are not caught up in the spirit you are not seen as a true Christian. They say: “If you are healed, you are a believer. If you are not healed, than you must not have believed enough.
I say you got an illness and sometimes it is healed and sometimes not; faith and hope and a positive attitude often help you get better.
My God, intelligence is not seen as a block to believing to me, emotions are more of a way to truth and understanding than the Devil himself. I hate to even mention the Devil in any form as realistic. There is a God that I cannot define. There is an intelligence. Than there is stupidity, like rolling in the aisles. I have been a Lutheran, an Evangelical, a Morman and a Methodist. I liked them all and I liked none of them for different reasons.
I was excommunicated by the Mormans many years ago for not attending their Church I guess, and officially for not being willing to say that Joe Smith is the one and only true Prophet. Well, Joe Smith is Dead. I remember getting a notice that I should appear to show cause why I should not be excommunicated. My young son also got the notice. We did nothing wrong. We were just silent.
Certainly my son did nothing wrong – he was too young.
None of it mattered to me, but my son should have had the right to choose when he is old enough. Without encouraging one way or another, I explained the notice to him and asked if he wanted to go. He simply asked me, “Does it make any difference?” I ask that if a child knows that such formalities make no difference to God, how is it that adults who run churches come up such stuff as excommunication? Priesthoods? Elders? Exclude blacks and women? What kind of church sends a written request to appear before them and testify of your faith or be excommunicated from the faith?
Does it matter? No, churches are made by man. Money changers included.
I told my son that I did not think it mattered if we went or not. That in my heart and mind I liked my God, and He does not excommunicate or exclude anyone from His Love. We did not even respond to the excommunication notice, as my God would save me from their church’s excommunication.
I have had nothing but good ever since. But that does not mean every member of a church should become a me-thodist or a More-Man. I am not sure why the Morman Church choose to exclude me and my son for any reason. Even if we had done any wrong in anyone’s mind would that not be a good opportunity for the church to include us?
Many years earlier I had told a Bishop in Salem Oregon that I never did believe that I could hold the priesthood and that a woman or Black man could not. At that time Mormans excluded blacks and women from their priesthoods. Notice I did not say God’s priesthood. God would not exclude any of his creations from his religion. Think about it? I said that I felt the day would come when they realized how wrong that position was. For me to support such religion even by attending church meant that someone might think I supported discrimination in any way against any one. I do not. Discrimination is against my religion.
Years later, another Bishop met me the streets of Belleville at the Citgo Station and asked if I believed in Joseph Smith as the true and living Phophet. I said I did not think he was any more a prophet than any other man. Soon I got the ex-communication notice. I was never aware of the churches official position on blacks not holding the priesthood, until after my family had joined church.
I believe it was 1978 when Mormons allowed blacks to be part of their priesthood. Notice I did not say God’s priesthood. God does not need a priesthood or organized religion of any kind.
The members were wonderful people and their family orientation is worthy. Some years ago a few blacks were allowed to hold the priesthood.
Someday women will be allowed into the priesthood when a new Prophet sees the profit in it. When this does happen, I will note that I was a greater prophet than Joe Smit because of my prediction. If the current prophet of the Morman church would listen to “My God” they would allow all God’s children all of God’s benefits and all of the churches benefits.
There is good and bad in all organized religion. To me, organized religion is a business. It is big business. If anyone believes in any religion, fine. It can be a wonderful social outlet for many. Just so he does not harm anyone with his belief. There are many fine religions and churches like there are many fine restaurants. Go to them if you want. Eat from their menus all that you want.
But, don’t swallow anything whole. Chew on it for a while.
Eat what you want. Just don’t throw it up on me!
You have to take your church menus with a little humor and spice and intelligence. I know that God understands my questioning of the church and even of God, and that God still loves me with my questions.
When you believe that God loves you no matter what, then will you be able to love your God with all your heart and with all your mind. It is not the work of a prophet. I could claim it is, and many might believe it. This is the belief of a common man, a man who loves and is loved by “his God” just as you can be.
To me God is love. Jesus said so!
Could I have these beliefs if I was made in the image of God? Obviously yes. Could I have these beliefs if God was made in the image of man? Obvious yes.
Establish the same intelligent understanding and mutual love with “Your God”. Every man has his own God. Every woman has her own God. All of our Gods are slightly or greatly different from our neighbor’s god. I can tell you just as sure as if I were a Prophet that this is true. We make our gods in our own image. Man is not made in God’s image other than we have free will that God must have given us – the same free will He has. It is the other way around. If God is perfect, man would be perfect if made in the image of God. It is far more likely the we make God just like we want him to be. If our God is to be angry, revengeful and surrounded by fire, we have that.
If we want a God that is loving, giving, understanding, surrounded by angels we turn on the Hour of Power and listen to Rev Robert H. Schuller. I have done that too. I can choose my God, why in God’s name pick one that is mean, revengeful, punishing and unforgiving? I can choose my own God, and why not pick a God who is loving, understanding and forgiving. That is my kind of God. That is my choice in god’s. Thus I do not deny that there is a God. I will be honest and say I do not know 100% for certain if there is or is not. If there is one, he has been very good to me. I do believe. I often believe. I do doubt. I often doubt. And, my God forgives me for doubting.
A good minister friend once said that some of the best believers are the biggest doubters. I liked that. It fits my thoughts.
See R U WACKO at GaryBahr.com