Q. What is the most usual cause for de-conversion?
A. Life is about growth and this includes our spiritual
lives. The stages along this path have, since the earliest times, been recognized and understood. They are not unique to Christianity
because they follow a universal law, much the same as gravity does. They have always been recognized in genuine spiritual
traditions although what they are called may differ from one tradition to another.
The part of this journey which
de-conversion relates to is a very significant one. It begins in what is called blind faith. Most of the people in the Church
are at this stage of growth which is a spiritual nurturing ground. They need to cling to belief and often feel threatened
by anything which appears to attack it. Dogma is very important here, as it helps to build a solid foundation on which the
spiritual life will be developed. Dogma is not unique to Christianity. Unfortunately, there are some areas within the Church
which have taken advantage of the belief needs of blind faith and use it to exert unnecessarily excessive control. Some other
individuals use this need in others as a means of satisfying their own desires for personal power and financial gain.
Transition from blind faith to a more mature understanding is an awakening process which begins with an individual having
doubts, asking questions, and needing to find answers. This is accompanied by an inner feeling, urge, or call to a deeper
spiritual life. Often this means stepping out into the unknown. We fear the unknown and sometimes we resist this call, which
only adds to our inner turmoil and confusion.
Sooner or later the light dawns and the individual awakens to the deeper
spiritual life. He or she will continue their own journey, either in the tradition they have been nurtured in or in another.
With this awakening a new light of understanding and perception of spiritual realities dawns and the individual can perceive
and know things that they could not before.
Q. Does the Bible make reference to the path of growth?
A. Repeatedly. It speaks of all stages of the journey. Its teaching regarding what has been discussed in the question
above can be easily recognized in Mark 4:2-20 and (Acts 6:5-7:56), Acts 7:57-8:4; 9:1-22.
Q. Why does Christianity
not teach these things more openly?
A. It follows the principle that Jesus taught which is found in the text
from Mark above. This method is understood and used by all schools of the ancient traditional spiritual wisdom. It is well
understood that until individuals are ready to receive these things they will fiercely reject them. Nurturing is accomplished
by the use of sign, symbol, image or parable in a variety of forms of expression.
Q. Do those who are awakened
consider themselves better or superior to those still in blind faith?
A. No, they do not. They are well aware
of their own personal failings and appreciate the fact that you do not condemn a second grade child in school because they
do not understand tenth grade work. Your grade in school is no reflection of your being a better or a worse person.
Q. Why do so many Christians remain in Churches which are predominated by Churchian attitudes?
of their love for God, their love for Christianity and because they recognize that they have become servants to the Churchians
and the Church. Theirs is the responsibility of bearing the torch of the Inner Tradition from generation to generation.
Q. What about all the false teachings of both the Christianity and the Church?
A. The vast majority
are not false teachings. When one moves behind the symbols by which they are represented, and they are properly understood,
their veracity becomes obvious.
Q. Why should we pray? Prayer does not work. Besides, if it changes God's
mind then he is not sovereign. If it does not change God's mind then it is superfluous.
A. There are four categories
of prayer. These are Supplication (or request), Thanksgiving, Confession and Adoration. As we grow the type of prayer which
predominates in our acts of worship changes. Of these four Churchians most frequently use Supplication. Before offering a
prayer of supplication several things need to be considered. First, is that which I am praying for entirely selfish or in
receiving it will I be benefiting others also? Will what I am asking for cause hurt or harm to another? Have I first made
the personal effort to attain what I am asking for? Am I prepared to continue to make this effort? Am I prepared to pause
and listen for the answer, even if it is one that I do not want to hear?
Those who offer prayers of supplication
with these considerations in mind often find that they do work. The other three forms of prayer also work, even if we do not
notice their effects immediately.
Q. What about all the discrepancies in the Bible?
accepts several different levels of Biblical interpretation. Often these are identified as the literal, the allegorical, the
moral and the anagogical/mystical. It is frequently found that
discrepancies are there to encourage us to look more
deeply into their meaning. When we do, we invariably find that a new understanding emerges which not only further elucidates
us but which also contradicts neither of the apparent discrepancies.
The Bible was written by men who were inspired
by God. Other men have also written works which were inspired by God. The books chosen to be included in the Bible were selected
on their relevance and ability to convey the teachings of the Judaic-Christian religion.
Q But surely belief
is only based on a persons personal opinion?
A In general terms perhaps this is so, although there is a bit
more to it than this. However, the awakening which leads into the Inner Tradition of Christianity or any other valid Inner
Tradition converts belief into a knowing or gnosis in which one recognizes truth because they have experienced it for themselves.
Here it is no longer a matter of personal opinion, with its many defenses, but a harmonious quest for further elucidation
and enlightenment regarding truth. This harmony also exists between those who are of different schools of the Inner Tradition.
Each respects the others way and the exchange of views can be of great value. As the Rig Veda (one of the Upanishads) says:
Truth is one, the wise name it variously.
Q. What about all the other questions?
A. Any spiritual
path which claims to give quick and easy answers is not a valid path. If one wants to know then he or she must set out on
a journey of discovery.
If you have more questions that you would like answered you are invited to join our
discussion group. Please click below and contact us from our Home page.
copyright: Janet Gentles