What is religion but mans vehicle to God, or window to see God? Religion alone is nothing. What to make then of Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism, and Protestantism, each the “one true church?” or each a vehicle? If each a vehicle, must I choose? In each tradition I have found tremendous beauty, as well as people faithfully giving of themselves to Christ, however, in each of them I have also come upon deep caves of emptiness. This affirms to me, religion, on it’s own, is worthless.
Protestantism raised me, giving me freedom of movement and worship, but when I went to her to ask my deepest, darkest, doubtful questions, she had no answers. Not only did she not answer, but she questioned my questioning.
I turned to the Progressives, maybe they’d adopt me? They welcomed my questions and gave me pleasing answers but as I swam in her pools I sensed a lack of authority and was tossed in the waves.
Maybe instead, history, antiquity, Orthodoxy will accept me as daughter? Orthodoxy calmed my mind, and answered my questions through writings of men from centuries old. She showed me the IKONS and a new way to see humankind as light, and truly the image of God. Then when I went to pray, however, I was not in freedom, but in repetition. Her mysticism enchanted me, but her rigidness entrapped me.
I could say that I them scrambled into the arms of the Pope, but more honestly, I went out with Thomas Merton. Everything he said made my eyes sparkle, but when he invited me to meet his parents (The Pope and the Roman Catholic Church), my sparkle died.
Religion on it’s own is nothing, dead end avenues.
God however, on his own, is something. When I ran to God, exhausted and confused, heartbroken from my religious breakups, He told me to stop reading for awhile, and to climb up on His knee. When I was searching religion I began as a daughter, but over time became a widow in need of a lover. When I came to God I came back to being a daughter, in fact, He confirmed to me that even when I thought I was a widow, I was still His daughter.
“You are my beloved daughter,” He said to me as He sat me on His lap and began to show me the story of Himself.
Now, I am still lost and still found.
(I get that these are totally elementary criticisms of each church, I fully believe that each church is equally right and equally wrong, and this is okay, because on their own, they’re just man made constructs. If you have found peace with God through the window of the church you are in, be thankful, and continue in that community, because it is one of the ways that God calls His people to live. If you, however, like me, feel confused by all these different churches, doctrines, beliefs, etc. take comfort with me that you are not alone, and that God is good, Christianity was created by man, but living as Christ did, is an idea given by God. Community is vital, regardless, and I trust that the Holy Spirit will guide us all into communion with others.)