Big Rowan Ackison (greensh) wrote,
Big Rowan Ackison
greensh

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Tried Religions

Several times I've bumped into a gentleman named Ben on MySpace. Ben is a devoted on-line evangelist. One of his arguments was:
Strangely, people don’t want to know about it because they are not even willing to check out its claims by actually trying to become one. Throwing out that option (considering its (Christianity) the biggest single religion in the world) seems like a bad idea to me. Unless people here have actually tried? But I supposed that would depend on someone’s definition of "tried."
I answered back with the following words. I feel drawn to post them in my blog because I feel the pain of societal separation from my Christian brothers. Part of my life-journey is to heal that in both myself and the larger world.
Allow me to share my own experience of 'tried'. I was baptized Episcopal. My father was Southern Baptist (Auburn, AL). My father remarried and converted to the Catholic faith. I was raised Catholic from age 4 and up. I fully participated in Church up through my college years. I also attended Baptist services when I visited my grandparents, and I must share that my grandparents were one of the highest examples of people who truly lived their faith. My parents are still devout Catholics, contributing both time and money to the honest pursuit of their spiritual paths. My immersion in the Christian faith/religion was complete, with participation in both the Catholic and Baptist churches.

The Christian faith, in all it's flavors, did not satisfy my desire to connect with God. While I was never atheist, I did go through an agnostic stage. I discovered Ram Dass' book "Be Here Now". It moved my search for God into the Eastern religions (Taoism, Buddhism, Hinduism). I still carry some wonderful truths from these explorations. For a time I considered fully devoting myself to the Buddhist path. I did not. Instead I have found myself embracing a very global version of the shamanic path. I have a Western Cherokee teacher from whom I am receiving teachings that are culturally specific.

Now, before anybody thinks I've thrown out my Christian options, let me share that I remained very curious about what the draw to Christianity was. I was not raised Evangelical, so I considered that maybe that faith knew something the others did not. I also wanted to better understand where people like my brother Ben were coming from. To this end I listened to Christian radio for almost four months. I have a 45 minute commute each way to work, so I have lots of opportunity to listen. The stations I primarily listened to were Calvary Christian and Baptist Broadcasting. I listened and listened and listened and listened, searching for that thing in the Evangelical Christian faith that I could connect with. I heard all the explanations from very sincere preachers and ministers. I saw where their faith was inclusive and where it was exclusive. The exclusive elements drove me to end my radio listening experience.

I do believe in God. I have previously shared my beliefs with you Ben. I'll not list them here again. It is my belief that most pagans embrace God in their own ways. Many devout and spiritually striving pagans came from Christian backgrounds. If their experience was anything like mine, the Christian upbringing did convince them that there is a God. Our 'failing' is that we did not agree with the dogma and religion wrapped around the 'Christian' God. We (I) have met God on different terms. Our God is no less important than yours Ben. You are indeed a devout and driven man of God. There are pagans here that are also devout and driven in their own embrace of God.
Tags: god, religion
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