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2.3 A Proposal For The Christian Churches

The Christian who feels unhappy with his Church, its doctrines, rules, and rituals, should first ask himself if he really wants to try to get a better view of what is beyond his official or Literalist Christian religion. The answer to this question is very important, and can leads to some consequences that will not always be pleasant. First of all the Church itself through the clergy, as well as the most devout members, will do their best to convince him to renounce, especially if he is a well known member of the Church and/or community.

If this person decides knowingly to go ahead with his wish to know more, he must be aware that this will require a lot of work. Even to acquire the minimum amount of knowledge necessary to reach the lowest meaningful level of competence and comprehension requires a lot of time and patience.

The first step is to locate books covering as many aspects as possible of the views expressed by the members of the different currents that have existed within the Christian Churches –and especially the Catholic Church for the first sixteen centuries- since the beginning of the Christian era until now. When the candidate has read, and assimilated, a sufficient number of documents representing as many points of view as possible, he should start to analyse them and draw his own preliminary conclusions. This should allow him to decide which is, in his own opinion, the next step in his research. It is obvious from what has been said before that not all candidates will follow the same path. Each of them must choose their own way. When the candidate has concluded the second step of his research he should again analyse what he has learned and, through intense personal analysis and introspection, he must again decide where to go from there. It could very well be that he is following a wrong path. In this case he must start again from where he found that he has deviated from his path to knowledge and possible salvation. This step-by-step process must be repeated until the candidate is satisfied with what he knows. Some candidates will stop after a few steps, while others will go much further. However, one thing is certain, there is not end to the journey towards knowledge and salvation. Independently of the time spent in research, and the amount of knowledge assimilated, there is always something else to learn. If a person could absorb all the knowledge available, it is probable that he could understand God and be as close to Him that any human being could be. Unfortunately, there is no way to reach this level and even the best candidates will never be able to understand God or get close to Him.

Is it possible to get some help to facilitate the journey towards knowledge? The answer is yes, of course. Someone who has gone through the research and learning process, and who successfully went through the deep introspection required, this person, obviously, can help a candidate. He can describe what he read, what he learned, and what to expect from deep introspection. However, even such a learned person cannot tell what the candidate should do, as each one must find his own way. This includes the content and the method of his study but, above all, introspection is such a personal thing that all candidates have to do it in their own way.

Those people who have gone through this long process of research in the unrestricted meaning of the Christian religion will possibly not be able to remain active members of their Church. Knowing what they know, and what they understand of the religion, its past history, the various opinions of its Fathers, the internal battles among the clergy to gain, retain, and increase power, as well as the way the opposition was expelled and their views suppressed, makes it difficult for them to submit to the clergy and follow their rules. Most of these rules are without any firm theological basis, but are imposed by the clergy to maintain their power. These learned people can, and should, remain close to their Church, as they are the Church’s best hope of any extensive reform of the rules. It is true that most Christian churches, very slowly, change in order to adapt themselves to the new environment of the 21t century. However these changes do not affect the basic rules that maintain the supremacy of the clergy; the principle that salvation is obtained by faith only; the request of total obedience without restriction to the doctrine as imposed by the clergy; and the clergy still discourages personal knowledge of the past history of the Church, etc.

It is up to those people who have learned the true history of their religion, who have researched and understood the various views expressed by all the Fathers of the Church, who have assimilated this knowledge by introspection and self analysis, it is up to them to reform their Christian Church while keeping the basic teaching of God revealed to us, according to the Literalists, by Jesus Christ, his prophet. It must be clear that there is no wish whatsoever to destroy the Church, but only to remove the dogmatism that characterises it since the fourth century AD. The aim is to bring back the openness that existed at the beginning, to accept that its members can have different opinions, and that the clergymen are not the members’ masters but their servants. It is not either suggested that one should bring back all the sects that existed in the first four centuries of the Christian era. The aim is to allow those who have the required qualifications, and who want to go through the long process of acquiring knowledge, to do it without restriction and interference. Those qualified people will bring new interpretations to the doctrine, they will adapt it to the present, and they will renew the Church and make it a living organisation, which has not been the case for 16 centuries.

The path to knowledge and the experience of introspection are so personal that those who have succeeded to go through it do not form a community of think-alike members. They are not part of a different Church (church being understood here as an assembly of people who believe in the same religion), but they should see themselves as non-active members of their Christian Church who have reached a higher spiritual level, which distinguishes them from the ordinary believers who have complete faith in what they are told to believe.