More than ten years later, I begun to be aware of other Christians who really loved God, served Him but did not share the same beliefs as those of the fundamentalist persuasion. This wasn’t even a new kind of Christianity but these were Christians of many mainstream denominations. However, learning that they didn’t view the biblical texts as literal truths shocked me to the core and challenged my faith even though I had never placed my faith wholly in the bible alone. It didn’t help matters that I learned all this while going through a very difficult time in my life. So I stopped going to church completely and I clung to God in a rather desperate way, no longer knowing what to believe except that He loved me. The problem was that the love of God I had been taught was merciful towards unbelievers wanting to repent but conditional to those who already believed (you should know better). It was the kind of love that we humans often administer, hence God made in our image. So I began to doubt that God could yet love me. I read books of different thoughts and beliefs some by Christians and some not wondering where do I now fit in. I went through this inner struggle for ten years.
The ten years pains me. It is a confession I guess. For during those ten years I lived in my head and I served my struggle instead of actively serving others (outside my own family).
But then came the breakthrough.
*On a dark night,
Kindled in love with yearnings–oh, happy chance!–
I went forth without being observed,
My house being now at rest.
In darkness and secure,
By the secret ladder, disguised–oh, happy chance!–
In darkness and in concealment,
My house being now at rest.
After purging much of what I had formerly believed in, my house was at rest and I was able to respond to God once more. Through writing and meditating, I began to unite with the heart of God and know the depths of his love.
*In the happy night,
In secret, when none saw me,
Nor I beheld aught,
Without light or guide, save that which burned in my
So am I a Post-evangelical? Here is where my heart is:
I believe and long for everyone to be in touch with their spirit and have a relationship with God. I also believe that everyone should be a free-thinker and not have religion forced upon them. There is no value in believing what others dictate to you so it is important to work out your own beliefs. I believe one can be aided in this with a spiritual counselor who doesn’t dictate but helps you to work it out. The reason I wish for everyone to be in a relationship with God is because of my own day to day experience which has led me to believe that although we are all capable of loving one another and serving one another and feeling compassion, our loving compassionate nature becomes charged when we are ‘plugged-in’ to God. However, being plugged-in doesn’t mean going to church or having a particular belief system. It means uniting one’s heart and spirit to the heart and spirit of God. It is with unity that we become aware of God’s heart and purpose for us and it is with this unity that transformation begins. This unity is deeper than being filled with the Holy Spirit but not necessarily exclusive of it. There is a danger of one getting caught up in the experience in that it can become something which we desire for what we can get out of it. God’s Holy Spirit is a gift not something we should selfishly seek as a sort of spiritual ‘fix’. However, to seek a unity with God is to have the desire to sit at his feet, to learn from him, to know his heart and to allow His heart to transform yours.
*Oh, night that guided me,
Oh, night more lovely than the dawn,
Oh, night that joined Beloved with lover,
Lover transformed in the Beloved!
I desire this for everyone because it is wonderful beyond words, essential to one’s spiritual growth, makes life easier on so many levels and can lead to global transformation. However, it is not something you can rush into or rush someone else into. Jesus cared about the heart of a person, the kingdom of God within.
* I remained, lost in oblivion;
My face I reclined on the Beloved.
All ceased and I abandoned myself,
Leaving my cares forgotten among the lilies
*Excerpts from the poem Dark Night Of The Soul by St John of the Cross