Has anyone ever asked you that question? For the longest time, when asked, I wasn’t sure how to answer. When I was a young kid, I was a regular attendee of a Bible Baptist Church. I even went as far as being baptized (baptised?) and all that. I was happy that day, because the preacher told me that all the angels in heaven were dancing because I had “come home” by finding Jesus. The baptism actually took two dunkings, because on the first one, he told me that it felt as if my body just wouldn’t go under. Perhaps that was a sign.
Well, fast forward a few years to about 2000, and I was about 24 or 25 years old. I haven’t gone to a Baptist church in a long while, because I’ve become disillusioned with the whole notion that tithing is a requirement to get into heaven. They mean to tell me that I have to PAY to get into heaven? Something bothered me about this whole idea. But that wasn’t all that bothered me.
The Preacher, knowing of the personal life issues one of the single mothers, called her out to the congregation in a Dragnet-esque “names are changed to protect the sinners” type of thing. Basically, it was like “SOMEONE amongst us is living in SIN!” The whole time, staring directly at her, so everyone just knew who he was talking about.
Anyway, it’s safe to say that I am no longer a Baptist. And it wasn’t due to the “teachings” about paying tithes to get into heaven, and “believing in Jesus as my Lord and Savior”. To me, something about the whole thing was fundamentally flawed. It’s kind of like when you’re driving down the same road to work every day, and you get to the point that you don’t even remember going to work. You just remember arriving. One day, as you’re driving, you just KNOW that something is different today. It’s on the tip of your tongue, and you just can’t place what it is. That’s how it was for me.
So, in 2000, I had a copy of The Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Joseph Murphy. I had this particular copy of the book for about 2 or 3 years by this point. In the front cover of the book was a little “About the Author” note that said that Dr. Murphy had been a contemporary of Ernst Holmes. I had no idea who that was, and never found anything about Ernst Holmes.
So, In January of 2000, my stepfather passed away due to complications from an epileptic seizure. I went on Emergency Leave from my duty station to be there with my mother, and my aunt came also. She started telling me in passing about the Church she’d been going to for several years, which was the Church of Religious Science. After some digging, I found out that the church had been founded on the teachings of Ernest Holmes. At this point, I had one of those weird “deja vu” intuition moments. I told her, “That name sounds familiar”. About an hour later, I remembered the note in the Murphy Book, and realized that there had been a typo in the book.
This was a synchronicity for me, and ever since I’ve been gradually coming to a better understanding of the teachings of The Science of Mind (by Ernest Holmes, which serves as the textbook for the Church’s teachings and beliefs).
So, I guess, in answer to my own question, “I am a Religious Scientist and DAMNED proud of it!”
What interesting stories do you have behind your spiritual path(s) of choice?
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