I have been struggling with my faith in recent months. Okay, that’s not entirely true. A more accurate statement would be that I have been struggling with the church in recent months. Not MY church per se. I mean THE church as an established institution.
Every institution on Earth is manipulated and corrupted to benefit the few. Political, government, financial, educational, media and even religion. Especially religion.
I see sheep mindlessly following false prophets building enormous personal financial empires instead of following the one true shepherd. I see people sit beside me on Sunday only to spew hate across the internet just hours later. And the one thing under my skin more than anything is that I hear men stand at the pulpit with a personal agenda using quotes from the Bible with no context to fit their own narratives.
It’s all enough to turn someone away from God entirely. I don’t find myself there. Instead I find myself wondering what it’s all about. Who or what is God? What is reality? So I have decided to stop just listening to those ordained in in the matter and begin diving in deeper myself. I have no plan. I’ll just go down the rabbit holes I find most interesting. Or perhaps it will be God guiding me.
So I started with one simple question- what did Jesus say? What do I find if I ignore all the black letters and focus solely on the red ones? I’ve read the Bible cover to cover four times but I get lost in the clutter. How do I declutter?
That led me to The Complete Jesus by Ricky Alan Mayotte which includes all reported sayings of Jesus Christ from the New Testament, Christian Gnostic writings and the Apocrypha. This is where many people will comment that some of this should not be included and may even be heresy. Thus you see the problem with institutions. It’s all political. If my church will fight with other churches about the ownership of property, surely men have fought about which words were actually those of Jesus Christ. My personal decision was to read them all and then do more research into each source. As I said earlier, rabbit holes.
I loved this book. It will now be a daily reference for meditation and guidance. “Seek, and you will find.”