I received an email from a follower who asked me what I believed as a nondenominational interfaith minister. Great question…thanks for asking!
My answer is evolving. My clients and those I serve are my greatest teachers… more so than the sacred texts I study from religious traditions. Here are some initial thoughts:
WHAT I BELIEVE
-Spirituality is that dimension of reality beyond the mental, emotional and physical.
-Sitting quietly, closing my eyes, staring into nature, I’m aware of greater than me.
-That which is greater than me is God.
-There are many paths to one deity I call God, Sacred, Divine, Light, Universe.
-Each path is valid/true for the people that honor it.
-God has many names, faces and manifestations.
-My understanding of God is historically, geographically and culturally relative.
-I respect Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Hinduism equally.
-I’m most in sync with Buddhism and Christianity while a recovering Roman Catholic.
-Buddhism is my philosophy of life, guide, path to self-discovery/understanding.
-God does not have a religion… but She is fond of Pantheism.
-Interfaith has potential for solutions to many problems-social and religious.
-Religion is a large part of many of our problems.
-Love is better than fear. Forgiveness is an underestimated power.
-I believe in free will and ability to choose from among alterntives.
-Existence is multi-dimensional and beyond death.
-I believe in reincarnation and karma.
-Sacred texts are culturally-relative stories meant to teach how to be happy and coexist.
-Big differences between religion and politics. Often confused and/or co-mingled.
-Religious fundamentalism is self-centered, self-serving and narcissistic.
-Synchronicity, power of myth and our abilities to create our own experience.
-Many ways to pray, to meditate, to contemplate, to be mindful.
-Contemplation without action is never enough.
-I believe in the mission of my ministry: hope=compassion + forgiveness.
The problem of evil is an enormous problem that philosophy has wrestled with for millennia. I do not know why bad things happen.
WHAT I DO NOT BELIEVE
-I’m not Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist or Hindu but honor each tradition.
-People do not need religion to tell them what to do or how to act.
-No one religion has a monopoloy on God, truth or morality.
-I don’t believe in original sin, predestination or cults.
-I don’t believe in clericalism.
-I don’t need religion to be redeemed, saved or to get to heaven.
-Medieval structures of power, authority and governance are irrelevant today.
-Scientology is not a religion.
-Buddha is not God.
-Gods/goddesses don’t endorse revenge, excommunication or human/animal sacrifices.
-Homocide, suicide, torture, genocide, rape or slavery isn’t of any God or religion.