Can you imagine what it would be like if society decided they were going to stay with technology and products from past generations and not move forward with anything new? Technology has improved our lives tremendously and most times, we are better because of it. Of course, it has some drawbacks such as people consistently using their cell phones, computers, etc., rather than communicating with others face-to-face.
Among many things that have been changing is the church and I think it coincides with the changing of our generations. Because we didn’t have the social medias that we have today, most of us only knew what was in our own communities, social circles, or cultures, and much of that included our church life. Today, the world is at our finger tips and we now know that there is so much more out there than we could have ever dreamed.
Diversity is also expanding at a very fast pace and if the church is to survive, it needs to embrace our ever changing world the way so many are doing so today. That doesn’t mean tossing out all our beliefs and starting over with new ones. It just means that we can no longer sit in judgment and condemn others just because of our differences. As a minister, I don’t know how many people I have talked to who said they no longer go to church because they did not feel accepted, and some were even turned away because of any perceived differences. It’s even turned some off to God!
People are beginning to get it in that it really is all about the love and the way we treat our fellow beings. More and more are taking Jesus’ words to heart (or whoever their religious Masters are) and know that we really do need to learn to love each other unconditionally. That doesn’t mean condoning criminal acts, etc. People still need to be held accountable for their actions when they harm others.
Cookeville and the surrounding areas have so many wonderful religions and churches, and there are many that are very welcoming and accepting of whoever walks in their front door. There’s a church for just about every belief system, and if you’re looking for a church to attend, please keep looking because you will find one that resonates with your beliefs.
I guess the point I am trying to make is that we all need to find ways to come together in peace and harmony, celebrate our differences, and know that there can be peace upon us if we would just come together and get to know each other as human beings. We don’t have to agree with someone’s beliefs that might be different from ours. We can agree to disagree. But please, the fighting and arguing has got to stop if we are going to live our Masters’ teachings of loving one another.
At this time, I attend Unity Church of the Cumberlands and I love our church family. There is so much love between all of us, and we love and welcome people just as they are. No judgments. No condemnation. Just love. And there are other churches in our area that do the same. (Please don’t misunderstand; I am not criticizing ANY church or belief system. I love the diversity of our different beliefs.)
In Unity, at the end of every service, we form a circle around the sanctuary, shoulder to shoulder, everyone holds hands, and we sing the Peace Song Unity style. “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me. Let there be peace on earth, the peace that was meant to be. With God as Creator, family all are we. Let us walk with each other, in perfect harmony. Let peace begin with me, let this be the moment now. With every step I take, let this by my solemn vow: To take each moment and live each moment in peace eternally, Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me!”
Let us all move forward with love, peace, and harmony in our hearts towards all. In the words of Mother Teresa, “If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” And James Allen stated, “Harmony is one phase of the law whose spiritual expression is love.” Namaste.
Published in the Cookeville Herald Citizen newspaper February 7, 2014.