On the New Thought side of Christianity, ministers often refer to themselves as teachers of practical Christianity. Why practical, you may ask? What makes this religious belief different than the one you have subscribed to?
In the late 1800’s, a group of proactive, movers and shakers in the spiritual community got together to study the Christian Bible. Mostly, they had come together because Spirit had moved each of them in a way different than discussed in normal church services. Myrtle Fillmore, for instance, one of the founders of Unity church, sought out healing from a God she “expected” would do as the scriptures taught. She prayed about her personal disease, tuberculosis, which she had contracted at the age of 8 with prayer and consistent affirmations. When God healed her, she believed with all her heart. From the abundance of her faith, she sought to teach others about a God bigger than they had believed in the past.
The study group had members such as Ernest Holmes, Charles Fillmore, and Mary Baker Eddy, all of whom initiated New Thought churches. Centers of Spiritual Living, Unity, and Christian Science all, basically, have the same root teachings, but each has its individual take on the scriptures.
For instance, Christian Science is considered to be a religion most people recognize from its desire to refuse modern medicine to heal the body. However, I quote this from the documents of faith for Christian Science:
“Christian Scientists are free to follow the dictates of their own conscience. If they desire to put themselves under medical care instead of relying on Christian Science treatment, they are free to do so. However, most students of Christian Science have found God to be the great Physician and the only help they need.”
Most Christians believe that New Thought is a bit sideways concerning one particular belief: the idea of salvation in Jesus’ name.
Yes, it is true, that New Thought does not have a salvation theory, per se, as other Christian doctrines believe in the literal translation from John 3:16, which says: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
New Thought believes that a believer can’t just be saved once by one solemn prayer. They believe that salvation from the Ego mind or evil or hell, according to the Greek word for salvation, Sovo, means to save or make whole. The verb is a continual action in the original Greek. So, by believing in the teachings of Jesus, you continually are being saved from opposing ideas that the world teaches.
But how John 3:16 connects to the idea of a hell and a heaven, are up for a lot of discussion, when you research the original belief. Even the words “hell” and “forever” have been dissected so many times that Humpty Dumpty couldn’t put them back together again.
Basically, people with opposing beliefs say that hell just means a place where one dumped her garbage. Most beliefs about fire and damnation come from a book known as Dante’s Inferno written in 1300, which isn’t biblically based at all. Then, the word forever, in the original Greek, means from ages to age, which is still considering time. And most agree that spirituality is beyond time and space.
So, make up your own mind about what you believe, and hold on to it tightly. Most people want to teach you a version of their truth. If you don’t believe their truths, you are doomed for Dante’s hell, or worse yet, their version of hell. Don’t trust manipulating people or ministers, who scare you into believing their theories of God.
Don’t be lazy! Discover for yourself what the scriptures mean. Almost any word from the Bible or other spiritual writing can be “googled” and researched. Have fun discerning what you believe. And remember don’t let anyone tell you what’s right for you. No one knows your body and no one knows your mind or your history. You have to make those delicate spiritual choices for yourself.
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Bo Sebastian is a Hypnotherapist and Life & Health Coach, available for private sessions to QUIT SMOKING, Lose Weight, New Lap-Band Hypnosis for Weight Loss, CHANGE YOUR MIND, CHANGE YOUR LIFE! at 615-400-2334 or www.bosebastian.com. Please feel free to comment and/or sign up to receive your blog sent to you directly or stream with an RSS Feed.
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