One of the first lessons I learnt as a Spiritualist, over 21 years ago, was the simple principle that our way of life should make itself open and available to all.
Although at the time both myself and the one who taught me that lesson were not ‘officially’ classified as Christian Spiritualists, there is no doubt in my mind that in our hearts we were. I refer to Rev Lyn Gibb-de Swarte.
When we both joined forces again in the name of Christian Spiritualism, seven years ago, when I was invited to open a Church in the area on behalf of the New Christian Spiritualists’ Society, I finally had the chance to fully fulfil that first lesson.
Religion has had a rough ride in general for quite a few years; many people – even within the ‘modern’ Spiritualist movement – suggest that there is no place for religion in the world, that outdated man-made rules have no place in modern society. I must challenge that sentiment, for many reasons.
There are those that would say Spiritualism is a ‘way of life’ and a ‘way of living’; hence no need to be a religion – this is pure semantics. Religion is exactly that sentiment! If you look at every religion throughout history, the core intent of its creation is to give us mortals a better way of living by inspiration from Spiritual sources.
The ‘human’ influence always comes later – after the chosen representative of the higher realms has taken the transition to the place where no shadows fall – in seeking and keeping, power over people. It is not the fault of the religion, but the perpetrators, and us, who allow it to continue.
Let me give an example; either at work or home you have a PC, that you share with others. You get it all set up, set perfectly for the task it is there for; then someone comes along and changes the desktop image, then moves the folders around, changes the angle of the screen. Would you allow this to continue, or put it right and tell them to stop changing things?
Jesus did this with Judaism. He never intended a new religion, just to liberalise some of its practices; and to make his take on how things should be to other Jews in the Israel of 2,000 years ago, he walked its length and breadth with a group of followers of his Spiritual Way as it was then called. He made his ideas more understandable to the masses, by using parables. He taught his disciples, students, a group of people from all walks of life, who then went out to share those teachings. I often think if Jesus came today, he would use memes to get his message over.
Spiritualists acknowledge that there is a heavenly realm to which all may aspire. That this spiritual spirit world from which the divine influence comes can be accessed through teaching mediums whose spiritual connections continue to give us that guidance to make our lives better, our world a better place. Therefore, it is an absolute contradiction of fact to opine that we are not a religious denomination.
Here, in Littleport, every Thursday night, we seek to make the religious movement of Spiritualism, the principles of better living and a more peaceable world, available to all, by following the example of that Greatest Teacher, and our Elder Brother, Jesus. Not by quoting or referring to the scriptures, although he often did that too, or using obscure or degree level language to explain it, but by applying those lessons to modern life and modern understanding, with humour, and by proving that the place from which that divine inspiration comes is real, through genuine mediumship and contact with those we know and love who have gone before us.
We have also just launched our programme of spiritual development courses for the next year, which will further our ability to spread the word of Spirit. Why not come and judge for yourself, at Littleport Village Hall, Thursdays from 7pm.
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