A New Religion
Why a new religion?
I am trying to establish something new. First I tried to discuss some religious issues with a variety of religious persons. I was not very picky as far as my choice of addressees goes. I tried Catholics, Protestants, Jews and Muslims. Could not find a common ground broad enough to communicate fully. All those people stick stubbornly to the texts and interpretations they have read some time ago. I do not think that any of those persons was open minded enough to accept my point of view.
The problem is that I have never been educated in any religious practice or teaching. I was circumcised as a baby and baptized when 18 months old. From that time on I did not have any contact with religious teaching or practice.
So, why would I write about any religious topics if I have not been through the religious teachings? Because, I have been experiencing God's presence throughout my life. And thus the problem became evident. I have my personal experience of God, and the learned persons have their books to rely upon. We do not agree in a number of important places. I tried to talk about what I know from my life experience, they say that I do not know anything, and am in error. It is like me saying that jumping into water is hard on your skin. They say that water is supposed to be soft so it can not be so. I must have been jumping from a high stand then.
Thus, a point came when I found myself in situation when any reconciliation with the commonly enforced ways of believing is not suitable for me. I can not go back, and I can not go any further. All I can do is to establish a new route. This one is like a seed that has died within the old way of believing and is putting its fresh root unconstrained by the demands of the old teaching. My way is based on my spiritual experience only and nothing else.
Thus a new religion. Not a new church. Surely you will coin a label for this new religion some day.
Individual Salvation Only
One of the things I know about God is that God communicates with individuals only. There is no such thing as group salvation. This is what I do in my life as well. I see every person independently of the community that person happens to be within. This is contrary to the teachings of Christianity where St. Peter baptized an entire household of a centurion only because the head of the household wanted to be a Christian. In Christianity a king may accept this religion and the entire country is considered to be converted as an effect.
Instead I demand individual declaration from a person who enters my religion. You are supposed to pay me some money, and the amount is associated with you personal and subjective assessment of your own value. You may not assess others, pay for them or enroll them into my religion. How much you pay is up to you and your views about yourself. If you put a single dollar that is still proper provided this is how you see yourself.
Money as part of the lifestyle
Another point comes from the above. I demand that a person pays some money when entering this religion. There is a number of reasons for that.
The first one is the problem present in other religions (most notably in Christianity). In Christianity you may not be a saint and posses material goods. If you do not know that then you just do not understand Christianity. John the Baptist was totally poor, Jesus was absolutely poor, Jesus taught poverty as the absolute necessity within his religion. I have experience of practicing this religion in this very form and have no doubt that Christianity provides no other way of salvation to her members. If you think otherwise you just fool yourself.
The second one is closely connected to the above statement. In order to address the problem of labeling money as a sinful object one needs to incorporate it at the very fundamental level of the religion. In fact one needs to make it to be a part of the act of initiation so to place the financial element as a building block of the entire structure. Therefore the act of initiation (a form of the baptism) contains the financial contribution as its key element.
Goodness of God with no Guilty Conscience
You could wait until I die and then label me as a saint. You would have some guilt on your head but would expect my favors anyway. This is what Christianity works like. From the time of Jesus the Christians are motivated by the guilt they experience. Either for crucifixion of Jesus or for poor treatment of his saints. I do not want that. My objective is to create a religion that would be based on love of God and on recognition that God seeks goodness in individuals. My proposition is: "give me some money now, when I am alive and feel content and good about yourself". Do not be moved by scruples but by the recognition of your good nature and high intentions. Good thought are constructive and lead toward self fulfillment. It is much easier to live like that for everyone involved.
I have written a book that describes God. It may be used as a basis for personal growth but also as a reference book. You may read it if you have enough patience. The book is difficult to read and I do not advise it as the needed text. At the same time it contains my and my wife's vision of God. We constructed it together and tried to make it as complete as we could. The text is published on line (free) and you may wish to purchase a printed copy. As I state on my home page "paid is better than free"
Paid is Better than Free
We live in a world where most people want free stuff. Everyone is searching for a bargain, and free is just beautiful. To me it is the other way around. If you go to have something to eat I do not want it to be free. I value much higher good restaurants than the soup kitchens.
Some people appreciate the value of paid service. Such service is associated with true and real effort from the side of the provider when delivering his or her service. Otherwise the service is suspect to some degree.
Christianity is different. This is a religion provided by those who do not want to be paid and for those who can not afford to pay for it. That is the reason why Christianity is always most successful in the underdeveloped societies. As a matter of fact when such society experiences financial uplift most of the Christians loose their interest in their religion. Christianity has been designed to be like that from the very beginning. A religion for the poorest of the poor.
In Christianity poor are supposed to be helping other poor people. Notwithstanding the problem of difficulty of realization of such assistance, the method places great burden on the notion of help and hope. To have hope one needs to see possibilities of being successful. Total poverty prevents those.
The Two Opposing Views
The problem is with the approach to the human nature and spiritual salvation. When God created human beings he did not make any definite statements about this particular creation. The question of goodness of a person lingers to this day.
In the book of Job there are two contradicting views expressed about a singular human. According to the manner in which God treated Job, he must have been seen as being of good nature. Thus, God nurtured him as a gardener nurtures a quality plant, providing food and riches in abundance. This is in line with the current way of thinking when we would like to provide our children with as good environment as possible to grow within.
The second approach was shown by the Adversary. He wanted Job to experience hardship and struggle (both mental and physical) in order to show his goodness/badness and to school him in this manner. Such approach was in fashion for many centuries when it was considered that the hard hand upbringing is most beneficial to the youngsters.
Suppose later on, God requested the Adversary to come to the Earth and to live among the humans. "Show them how to really love God in your way". Most likely there would have to be some sort of miraculous birth involved with such a descend. He would be born of a woman, and he would seem to be just like any other man.
What he would teach us would be very similar to the things he demanded from Job. Live a life of total commitment, be absolutely poor, and suffer all the time. Even give your own life for the sake of love of God. Make all possible sacrifices of your own body and soul only to show how deeply you love God.
The message would be pure and complete, even to the end, until he would realize the thing he demanded from Job (skin for skin). Through the sacrifice and pain, through the poverty and rejection of any earthly pleasures, be holy as God is holy and love God and your neighbor with all your heart and soul.
There is no other message he would have sent to us. He would also teach this to his disciples. He would tell them how to serve to the end and to be the smallest of the small.
And the world he would have fashioned in this manner would be like himself. Totally committed to God, through the poverty, suffering and service. There would be no money, nor possessions. People would live in the darkness of lack of education. And the rightness of upbringing could be a part of the schooling.
Thus, there are two ways of looking at human creation. Either from the point of God, who would give so to see the growth, or from the Adversary's point, who would take away, so to school in spiritual and material sacrifice. Each one of those has a place in a garden. There are plants that gain most when nurtured, and there are others that need to be trimmed down to give better fruit. Depending on which plant you are you need to choose the method that applies to you.
Do you understand what I have written above?
so you have found the Antichrist