When I was young, going to church wasn't an option. Sunday mornings you got up and went to church. That's just the way it was. It wasn't until I got older that I even contemplated not going to church. I'm very grateful for my mother taking me to church. It has a lot to do with me being who I am today. I learned some wonderful lessons for life.
As I got older I started to think out of the box. I was told to fear following the "wrong" religious denominations because they do not lead to God. I wondered how I could be "lucky" enough to be in the one religion that leads to heaven. I often wondered how those in other religions could be so "unlucky". We hadn't picked a religion in most cases. We followed our parent's footsteps. I was told what I needed to do to go to heaven. I was told to let the Bible be my guide. One day I wondered about those who have never seen the Bible. I wondered about those who didn't give their heart to Jesus Christ. What about primitive cultures that weren't exposed to the Bible and the salvation of Jesus? Was that their fault? Did they all burn in hell for eternity? What would a God of love get out of that?
Some have used religion as a tactic to keep others in a state of fear. Those in power used religion to get the masses to do what they are told and not question why. As a result, many people look at religion one way only. They are fearful to think out of the box. They believe, follow and ask no questions. They do not allow new ideas or theories about religion or spirituality to enter their mind for a second. After all, who wants to burn in hell for eternity? This creates the box.
I stepped out of the box never to return. I am a spiritual being. The Bible has changed lives too numerous to count. It is a wonderful tool for life. I'm all for whatever works. However, I thank God for the day I realized my salvation has nothing to do with which church or religion I am affiliated with. My salvation and guidance comes from within. There is an unlimited amount of peace and understanding when we enter a meditative state of stillness from within. I have everything I need. No outside direction of any kind is necessary. My life is a product of my own awareness. It is my creation. It emerges out of stillness. Those familiar with the writings of Eckhart Tolle know of stillness. It's the origin of life itself. It has no shape or form but all shapes and forms come from it. Psalms 46:10 starts with these words: "Be still and know that I am God". The Bible spoke of stillness ages ago. The Bible and religion can and has helped so many. But, who has courage to explore even more? Who has courage enough to think out of the box?