Monday, December 19, 2011

The Evolution of my Spirituality: Truth At All Cost

I was afraid of the questions in my heart so I pushed them down.

The moment I realized I was pushing them down it seemed as though they would so effortlessly float up again.

Doubling my energy this time, I pushed them down once more. Only to watch them float back up to the surface of my heart like a dead fish in the ocean... or perhaps more like a beach ball being pushed down below the surface of the water only to slip beneath the pressure of my hands and spring up above the water into the air nearly smacking me in the face on its way up.

Yes. These questions were here along with the realization that the effort I was using to rid myself of them was in vain.

The fact is, the answers, or lack of answers to these questions would change everything.

Everything I thought I knew. Everything I found my identity in. Everything I found my hope in. Everything.

I concluded that the energy I used to suppress my questions had to be directed at the fear that accompanied these question and in doing so I was finally able to confront my heart.

You see, my faith has always been a big part of who I am. If someone were to ask me to describe myself in three words one of those words would undoubtedly be "Christian".

I am the daughter of two ordained and licensed ministers. My mother tells me she read me scriptures from the bible when I was still in her womb and when I grew older I learned them for myself.

I was taught that Jesus was the son of God and that he died for all the sins of the world. Believing that meant I could go to heaven, not believing meant I was guaranteed a spot in hell. So you can understand why I would chose to believe...I did not exactly fancy the idea of going to Hell.

Along with the gospel there were many other stories I learned from the scriptures. Beautiful stories, dark stories, stories of triumph, pain, heart ache, joy, love. This Bible, this holy book, was jam-packed with action and controversy. This book, I was told was where all truth was found- the words of God Himself.

Before I could form the questions in my heart they were answered for me as a young child. My beliefs about who I am, and who God is and how we were to relate to Him were shaped for me before my mind was even fully developed.

I don't say this in a negative tone... these are simply facts. Facts free of regrets or resentment or any negativity attached.

My upbringing, not free of mistakes, was done with the most sincerity and Love one could ever ask for. My parents are two people that will always have my utmost respect and Love and I am grateful for the amazing job they did in raising me. They are devout in their faith, and they taught me the same.

However, what I was not taught was to ask questions... or I should say I was not taught to ask questions that came from a place of doubt. I was taught that one does not question God and if there are any questions, any questions at all, they would be found in the Bible and only in the Bible. And if my answers were not directly from the Bible they had at least line up with the Bible. To seek knowledge outside of that would be in vain because the only things to be discovered are lies and Satan is the Father of lies.

So you can imagine the fear and anxiety that rose in me when I noticed these questions in my heart about two years ago. Was I moved by fear? No. I could move once that fear in me was dispelled.

That began an evolution inside me.

I wondered if I believed what I believed because I knew it for myself to be true or because it was all I'd ever known. I knew, and I still know, that as a bible-believing Christian I encountered God- that formless, infinite, eternal Being. I did not doubt that. Those encounters in prayer and meditation were not  fake, they were real- more real than anything I had ever experienced.

BUT, what about people who were not bible-believing Christians? Could they experience God this way? Could they experience real Love? Was a real God- experience something reserved only for bible-believing Christians? Was belief in Jesus the ONLY way?

Jesus. He is what it really comes down to in terms of Christianity. He is what separates the Christian faith from any other faith. You can't call yourself a "Christian" and not believe that Jesus is the only way. The very word "Christian" means follower of "Christ". To be a Christian means I have to believe that there is one way and that Jesus is that way and that anyone who disagrees goes to hell for eternity. Period. No gray, just black and white.

The truth was, I wasn't so sure. I wasn't convinced.

My heart and mind were at war.

My mind was conditioned to think one way and my heart wanted Truth. absolute Truth, not relative truth... at all cost.

Separating religion from spirituality was one thing. I knew I had no need for religion, I never really did...
but what happens when you separate culture from it all?... What's left?

The impact western culture has had on the church has always dishearten me. It seemed as though many of Jesus teachings have been distorted in order to fit in with the way our culture and society operates. It seems as though the church is not at all above the ugly affects that fear, greed, and desire for power have plagued upon the rest of the world.

I am not taking this opportunity to air out my list of grievances with the church. What I am saying is that there is a clear dysfunction in the minds of humanity as a whole. Christians call it "original sin". Hindus call it
"maya" or the veil of delusion. Buddhist call it "dukkha" or suffering. Whatever you call it... you can't really deny that its there. Just turn on the news. Look at the way we treat each other, better yet, look at the way we treat ourselves...

I can't disagree with the church when they say we need a savior, I can't even disagree with people that say they've found what they were looking for in Jesus. However, I also can not disagree with people who say they found it in the teachings of Buddha, or the Hindu gods, nature, or even themselves. I will not oppose any belief simply because it is not my own. I will only oppose indifference and hatred. I will take time to listen to my heart because it is forever connected to the formless, infinite, eternal Being and that will point me to Truth always.

So far in my personal spiritual evolution I have come to realize this:

Perhaps its time to take back the mind-shaping powers that other people have held over my lifetime. Perhaps I should let go of the anxiety that comes with doubt and embrace it and allow it to push me to search for Truth. Perhaps I should stop clinging to ideologies, beliefs systems, or doctrines for fear of hell and rejection. Perhaps its okay if people don't "get it" or agree and support me as I evolve. 

Because the fact is if I don't evolve I die.


  1. This is what I am going through now.
    In church and Sunday school, they always refer to doubting Thomas in the negative light. But is it do wrong to question and have doubts? Why give us a brain and free-will if it will only lead to hell if exercised.
    What if religion was created by man to make others confirm?

    My bf of 5 yrs is Muslim. I was brought up in a Christian community and country in the Caribbean. I had so many negative stereotypes of other religions and people.
    Now, two of my best friends are Muslims and one is hindi.

    I have met so many kind and sincere people. I cannot believe that they will go to hell, just because fate doomed them to born in a different culture.
    Great film to watch "My name is Khan".

    Beautiful post... I understand because I am going through similar struggles now.

    I want to know and find God for myself. I want to know the truth.

  2. It's a good thing to make sure you know what you believe and WHY you believe. Never take someone's word for it. Especially if you believe in heaven... do you really want to stand before God and say, "Yeah, what she said." I mean come on. We should KNOW what it is we believe. One thing I always try to find out is the source of the questioning. I question things all the time, but I always know why I am. Am I doing it because I don't like something or someone? Am I questing because someone in this faith did something I don't agree with? Because if that's the case, that's not good enough. But I will say, Pilate asked Jesus, "What is truth?" And I think you know what his response is. I had a Philosophy professor that said to me, "You can not believe everything. By the sheer definition of truth, there can be only one way. The question is which truth is right? Someone has to be wrong." That was profound to me. I've always known what the truth was since that day. I haven't wondered. I don't agree with hatred or violence. God never forces anyone to believe anything. And if someone is forcing you, they're wrong. God never will... that's why we live in the world we do. God gave man free will. And it's totally your freedom to chose to believe anything you want. But just remember, there has to be truth and it can't be everything.

  3. I disagree 100% lol

    First of all, you say "We should know what it is we believe". I disagree. Our human minds are limited that makes it's perfectly okay to NOT know.

    Second. You say it's not good enough to question something because we don't like it or agree with it. Personally, I believe those are very good reasons to question, not that we need a reason at all.

    Thirdly. You say there can only be one way, that, I also disagree with. The Truth is not concept that can be described with words. It just is, just as I just am... stands the reason the bible says I am that I am. I believe many of the world's religions point to the truth, however none of them ARE the truth because the Truth is not a concept or idea it just is.

    But it's natural and expected that we would disagree because you are thinking in Christian terms and I am not.

  4. truth
    1.the true or actual state of a matter
    2.conformity with fact or reality; verity: the truth of a statement.
    3.a verified or indisputable fact, proposition, principle, or the like: mathematical truths.
    4.the state or character of being true.
    5.actuality or actual existence.

    All I'm saying is that truth is definable. I guess you better argue with Webster! lol.

    1. in philosophical terms, you are absolutely right- it is not logically possible to believe in everything. This is not a "Christian" perspective- it is a law of philosophy. Reason is subject to law of argument, and believing that everything must be true presents the problems of circular reasoning, contradiction, and inconsistency. Relative truth is no truth at all if you are starting with a factual premise. I can find an example...

  5. ok. Im not gonna argue with Webster. Yes. Truth is definable, however I don't think you understood what I meant so I will explain...

    Disclaimer: This is just my belief.

    You said truth can't be everything. I assumed you were responding to the part in my post where I said, "I can't disagree with the church when they say we need a savior, I can't even disagree with people that say they've found what they were looking for in Jesus. However, I also can not disagree with people who say they found it in the teachings of Buddha, or the Hindu gods, nature, or even themselves. I will not oppose any belief simply because it is not my own. I will only oppose indifference and hatred..."

    That is not to say that I believe everything. I believe that there is one absolute truth that can be put in to words, however the mere words and not the Truth. I also believe that many other truths come from that one absolute truth. But then comes the matter of relative truth vs absolute truth. I believe those relative truths are what separate religions and in my mind I try to focus on the absolute truth that way I respect other peoples beliefs and I don't feel the need to say "I am right; you are wrong". That attitude only serves our ego and it's an human instinct that only perpetuates division and conflict.

    No arguing with Webster. I was speaking beyond the realm of simple verifiable facts.

  6. I understand what you are saying. But I believe in the scriptures, so obviously we will disagree on probably everything! But I did want to say one thing, I can believe that Jesus is the only way to God without promoting hatred and division. In fact, I have more people hate me for what I believe than I have ever hated. And the reason is exactly what you are saying. I believe God revealed the truth in his word. So if I tell someone their way is wrong, they hate me for it. And of course, I'll be the one labeled as the judgmental hater. And I'm OK with that. I'm in good company, Jesus was hated and crucified for saying, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me." And I believe that. People have said to me, "How could a loving God only accept one way? How is that loving?" And to that I say.... there is a way. There didn't have to be. He made one. It's by his love that there is any way, at all. God was not obligated to do anything for man, after man walked away. This is certainly not the most popular thing to believe. Haha. How old fashioned to believe in this! Old fashioned, maybe, but truth...I believe it is. I'm sorry if this makes you mad, I really wasn't even trying to stir anything up. But alas, stirring up follows me as I go it seems.

  7. One last thing, the reason for telling someone their way is wrong isn't because I'm a dick, it's because I truly believe that. And if I believe this is the cure for man's condition, I'd be a dick not to share. And it's totally fine if people don't agree, but seriously, if I REALLY think this is the way, and I don't share it... I would definitely consider myself a hater. If you have a cure to cancer and you never share it, well that'd be stupid. And I do understand that you disagree, and that's totally fine. I just wanted to clear up what I was trying to say originally. To make a long story longer.

  8. You stirred nothing up. I have no reason to be mad I appreciate the fact that you took time out of your life to read my words and give me feedback... no need for you to be sorry. I respect what you believe and I am genuinely happy for you that you have something you find strength in and gives you hope, most people don't have that. That's a great thing! I would say continue in your walk and God bless

  9. I thinK, by definition of the word Truth is a singular thing that IS and there can be no argument against it. I wouldn't even know where to begin trying to describe it. Truth is not something someone believes in, it just IS with or without my faith or devotion. I don't believe I know the truth just yet. I may learn it later or never at all and that's ok. I'm satisfied with not knowing anything. It would seem that the only sacred thing anymore is the not knowing.

  10. There are three shirts laying here and they're all different colors. I ask you what color one of the shirts is and you say red. That's either true or it isn't. You could say, "I feel like it's green." Does that make it green? No, it's still red. If you say you can't figure it out, does that mean it's not red because you don't know? No, it's still red. My point is, truth is truth. Maybe you don't understand it, maybe you don't believe it, maybe you don't like's still truth. And most definitely, truth is something you believe in. It's not specific to just religion, you believe things are true all day long. You believe you can get off the couch and walk. You believe the floor with support you when you walk. You believe that you need to eat, so you eat. You believe you need to shower, so you shower. There are true things and there are non-true things. That's the truth of the matter. (No pun intended.)

  11. I kinda feel like you are belaboring that point...Yes, truth is truth. Yes, truth is definable. The subject matter of this post is Truth BEYOND the realm of simple and verifiable facts... and there is where we must agree to disagree.

  12. I was commenting to John...sorry. I won't comment anymore don't worry!

  13. Tondi... I have questions like this a lot. and when it comes down to it, the Truth is that God is love, and He will never allow anyone to go to hell that doesn't belong there. I can believe what I believe and respect what others believe and know that if I am wrong in any of my beliefs, GOD knows what is right. If anyone asks me what I believe, I will tell them, and the times that God has used me to share the Good News, it has impacted lives for the positive. That is what gives me peace of mind- knowing that God doesn't make mistakes.

  14. Don’t fret. Seeking Truth is what is what is important above all else. It matters little whether you find it or not. It is the process that is divine. A Christian might be quick to attack my first few sentences. But let’s look in the Bible. In John 14:6 it says, “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one cometh unto the Father, but by me.” If God is the truth, then seeking the truth will always lead one to God. Jeremiah 29:13 says, “And you shall seek me, and find me, when you shall search for me with all your heart.” If God is truth, and if you seek God with all your heart you will find Him, according to God Himself. By Definition this must be true. So in seeking truth, you cannot fail. If in seeking truth you are seeking God (by definition) then the act of seeking truth is more important than any other. In this, Tondi, I applaud you.

    It has been said it is a good thing to know what you believe and why. I couldn’t disagree more, at least with the account. First, IS it good to know your beliefs and why you have them? Yes. It is, but that is secondary in the case of this argument, and I will tell you that NONE know their beliefs 100%, save God. If you (you can be anyone, this is not to single anyone out) have said that you will not stand before God not knowing why you believe what you believe; is this truly so? You take the Bible as 100% fact, irrefutable. But why? It is because at some point in your life someone said it was the way. Someone taught you. Christianity is taught. God does not speak to man anymore as he did in the days of the Bible. Hebrews 1:1-2 says, “God, who at sundry times and in divers manner spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, who he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom he made the world;” He speaks only through his Son, Jesus. What does this mean? How can we be sure that is what He meant? Here is some evidence that supports this conclusion.

    1. The Lord Jesus did not encourage his followers to seek a direct communication from God throughout all time. Instead, he affirmed that the teaching which came from him would guide them to life (Jn. 6:63), and by his “word” men would be judged on the last day (Jn. 12:48). Further, he indicated that his teaching ultimately would be conveyed through his apostles, or other inspired persons (cf. Lk. 10:16; Mt. 10:19-20; Acts 2:42).
    2. When the noble people of Berea wanted to know the truth regarding the Christian religion, they did not wait for a voice from God to answer concerns. Rather, they examined the Scriptures to determine the truth of the apostolic message (Acts 17:11).
    3. Paul affirmed that by a study of the Scriptures one would have sufficient information to furnish him completely for the accomplishment of every good work needed for the Christian life (2 Tim. 3:16-17). If the Scriptures furnish one “completely,” he needs no direct, audio message from the Lord.
    4. Jude explicitly affirms that the Gospel system, called “the faith” (cf. Gal. 1:23; 1 Tim. 5:8), was “once for all delivered unto the saints” (Jude 3). The expression “once for all” translates the Greek termhapax, which means “once for all time.” It is used “of what is so done as to be of perpetual validity and never need repetition” (J.H. Thayer,Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, p. 54). There is no need, therefore, for on-going, direct communication from God.

    (to be continued_


    1. Now, it would be quite difficult to stand before God and not say, “yeah, what she said.” All you can do is quote scripture, or tell what others have taught you. According to this, one can only acknowledge that God has intended for us to learn about Him through His teachings, and not from Him speaking directly to us. But how can we be certain of his teachings? Why would I even question this? Let’s look in the Bible again, in Genesis 5:24, “and Enoch walked with God, and was seen no more: because God took him.” You may know that Enoch was the grandfather of Noah, you may also know that Enoch and his writing was revered in the time the Bible was being written. Hebrews 11:5, “By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he please God. Jude 1:14-15, “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”

      Now how is it that Jude came to know the words of Enoch? She actually quotes him. The answer is deceptively simple: the book of Enoch. This is a book that you will not find in your Bible, not in your New Testament or Old Testament. Yet, the very earliest literature of the so-called “Church Fathers” is filled with references to his book. However, it is interesting to note that his book was removed because it was not inspired by God. It is not canon. Could this be? Could one of the only TWO MEN TO EVER avoid death, and be drawn up with God by this grace… is it possible his writing is uninspired? I don’t have to answer that. Read the book of Enoch and you will see why man has removed it from the Bible, why it was hidden from the rest of the Church. The Vatican has many books that are apocryphal (secret/hidden) in nature, books that have been removed from the current “canon” of the Bible. And whether you are Catholic or any other denomination of Christian, all modern texts have come from them. I’m sorry to tell you, all versions of Christianity have descend from the one that was responsible for thousands of lives during the Crusades, and beyond that, the same one who removed books from the Bible. Whether the other books removed are truly uninspired or not, the book of Enoch is referenced to within the Bible, and at that time, was considered a sacred text. How then are we missing it? Man. Not God, but man.

      Additionally you may want to consider the sheer number of languages the Bible has come through to be brought to you in English. You may also want to consider how each and every time it was translated it was done so by hand, and spelling errors and misprints are confirmed to have occurred in various transcriptions. This is not to say that God can not preserve His word. We know very well that he can. I realize the scope of this argument has gone well beyond where it started; however, it is important to know what you believe and why, yes? Let any person who says that truly test themselves in their learning before they begin to tell another what that means.

      (to be continued)


    2. Next, truth might be definable, but Truth is also relative. The perfect example for a Christian who is concerned with Truth is the Trinity. God in three persons. All accepted to be one. God is God the Father, God is the Holy Spirit, God is Jesus. They are all separate, but also the same. Jesus prayed to God. The Holy Spirit draws people to God. However, both Jesus and the Holy Spirit are God. None of these examples fit Webster’s definition of truth. Webster’s definition requires it to be a verified or undisputable fact. The very definition of God is disputed by every man in every corner of the world, even within the same religious systems. There is no proof of God. If there was, there would be no faith required to believe in Him, thus defeating the entire point of Christianity. A Christian’s view on truth should not be that it is definable, or you sacrifice your belief to Webster. Truth is in fact, like love, and like God. Indeed God IS truth, God IS love. They are all the same, they are all infinite; they are all truly indefinable. How can truth, love, or God truly be conveyed in words? Attempting to do so is to fall short before you begin.

      There is a Truth beyond truth. On the infinite scale truth becomes relative. It must be, for God is a contradiction. He existed before all things and created all things, which is to say he is product of nothing. This is not a true or actual state of matter, it is not conformity with reality, it is not verifiable or indisputable, there is in fact no way to prove that God exists. Not using the Christian belief system. But if you look outside, to science, to physics, which are by definition products of God, you may find evidence (not proof) Him. But should I argue to someone whose belief is so strong that they require no evidence? …No actual factual, concrete, mathematical evidence in FAVOR of God? Should I? Why should I? They can seek God for themselves and discover that on a molecular level, on a quantum level, thoughts affect the state of matter. The mere act of observing something can change its behavior. This occurs to such a high degree that we can prove with mathematical certainty that all matter exists in a state of flux, that is to say it doesn’t have a specific location in space (it’s not actually present, but everywhere simultaneously) until it is observed. That might sound crazy, but it is indeed true. Now as a believer in God, consider this: if things do not take shape until they are observed, the there must have always been an observer, right? Who is this? I think you know the answer is God. Or the Universe. Or something… right? What is it? I tell you this, the better your understanding of all things, the better your understanding of what God really is. Seek Him, and you will find Him. Don’t force him to fit into a mold. Don’t force him to be what you have been taught to expect. Don’t force him to be Jesus, find out if He is. Find out what He looks like for yourself. KNOW WHY YOU BELIEVE WHAT YOU BELIEVE. But on the way to knowing that, don’t be afraid to admit you know absolutely nothing.

      (to be continued)


    3. Truth is not definable. The infinite can not be defined. Otherwise it would not be infinite, but defined by some value or number. Webster wishes to make everything as understandable and accessible as possible for everyone. But if you agree that he has indeed captured the “truth” about truth in his definition, then you are taking Webster’s word for it. If God asked you what is truth, you would say, “what he said,” and in doing so you take everything great and wondrous away from a God who truly deserves it. In selling Him short, you sell yourself short. I don’t have all the answers. I don’t know my beliefs 100%, no one truly knows anything 100%, save God. Saying otherwise is comparing yourself to God himself. All you can do is seek truth, and have faith. I digress. I have much more to say, but this is long winded enough. The surface has merely been scratched. I hope I have helped all who read. It has edified me to share it. If you ever find yourself beyond reproach, you have fallen from truth. God is no defense for such behavior. Not for me, not for anyone. Humility is the only way to find justification in any words of wisdom you wish to share with others. If there is no humility, there can be no wisdom. Causing strife and defensiveness does not come from a place of love and teaching. Causing awe, and often bewilderment, do. The prideful cannot be taught. The humble seek to learn, always. In believing you will meet resistance in your beliefs, you will. Allow yourself the possibility of peace and you will find truth.

      I do so love everyone’s heart and interest in this topic. The truth is important, and is given much passion as a result. In order to understand the meaning of it, you must be prepared to accept that you know nothing first.



    4. If the point of my post became obscured, it was Luke 18:15-17,

      "15-And they brought unto him also infants, that he would touch them: but when his disciples saw it, they rebuked them.
      16-But Jesus called them unto him, and said, ****Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.
      17-Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein.****"

      A child is humble, a child is uncertain and unknowing, a child has questions and seeks to know all that is unknown, a child never believes they have learned all there is to learn, but above all a child has faith in the unseen.

      Again, it is okay to be uncertain, it is okay to lack knowledge and wisdom. This is how it was meant to be. Amassing knowledge and wisdom are nothing if you do not continue to learn and remain humble about how little you truly know in the scheme of things. It is the pursuit of truth, that childlike mentality, that is divine. I will forever entertain my inner child, and I will forever grow.

      I hope to see you all along the way,


    5. Who are you and where did you come from?! My mind is officially blown and spirit is officially humbled. I have so much to say in response but I need to finish digesting all that you just shared. I will be reading and re-reading. I can only hope to convey the impact you have just made on me...

      thank you.

    6. wow! your post has greatly blessed me anonymous and I am a christian. so much to think about. For that also i have to thank u Tondi for your initial post. Wow.