As a result of an interesting column I recently concluded responding to comments with, I picked up a new term "creedal Christian" that very much described what I Am NOT. Christianity as I observe the majority of its adherents practice is something I desire to be as distinctly not associated with as humanly possible.
Not that I Am claiming to be any type of pure non hypocrite but I Am way too aware of too many "Christians" attempting to justify the evil they interpret as not.
For some time now I have denied being a Christian despite being baptized as one in early childhood and instructed in the Roman Catholic creed until my eighteenth birthday.
Since then my spiritual path has been one of an independent mystic although I have studied and worked with the Rosicrucian Order AMORC. It has seen fit to certify my as completing a course of study in their system and give me responsibility to serve as a lodge master for one year in the 1980s.
However to describe a Rosicrucian as having a creed would be in error since one principle it advances is knowledge rather than faith. We are taught to think and know rather than accept theory on faith.
It is consider a spiritual and social philosophy rather than a creed based religion like the creedal Christian Catholicism I was raised and instructed in until I left the family home.
Creeds or theoretical based belief systems are what most major contemporary religions are based on. Although the description of "creed" is quite clear in a dictionary it is difficult to imagine a religious or spiritual person who is not involved with a creed of any contemporary religious group.
Creeds involve interpretation which evolve into logical assumptions. They are more theoretical than fact based.
There is a period in the history of religion considered axiomatic by scholars. That is when religions began to be seen as influenced by the logical principles of axioms that the dictionary explains is the least reducible component of logic. The particular logic of an axiomatic system is best described as abstract.
From axioms come corollaries and then creeds.
I suppose In my case could claim to have sympathies or respect for the teachings of Jesus minus traditional creeds. Even so I still reserve the right to be equally sympathetic to other non Christian religious concepts and Avatars.
This differentiation is important for me to stress since most creedal Christians consider their paradigms as vastly superior to any non Christian philosophy or teaching,
I Am aware of the words of Jesus while realizing the errors of time involved I still can accept the basic words and concepts have survived.
That is very different than accepting that any group or prophet has the words of Jesus all figured out to the degree that I might not see them differently.
Churches or the nascent forms of them, cults, are external social groups where most participants have externalized their spirituality in social terms and arrived at common perceptions from which social contracts were formed..
It is the anthesis of mysticism. To find the techniques of mysticism being promoted in any social group is rare since Mysticism stresses the individual rather than the social group. Some religions grudgingly accept mystics as legitimate due to the value of what they express but at the same time do not encourage the development or teaching of mystical techniques especially meditation.
The individual human genome is designed for survival. Is that design the basis of what "Intelligent Design" is based on? Unfortunately what I have learned of what proponents call "Intelligent Design" seems to be no more than another faith based creed rather than intellectual interpretation of scientific observation.
Logic tends to support a theory that life and reality are not the result of random chaotic happenings. Proof is another matter since the selection of facts to be used in the proof would be critical.. The answer may lie in Quantum Physics. In order to be able to explore its concepts the normal narrow form of human perception has to be exchanged for something much wider and less creedal.
My knowledge of psychology and sociology sees a lot of justification for the words of Jesus. This is an easier area to evaluate than some of the larger issues such as life after death that has no direct bearing on everyday common social problems.
However that does not preclude me from seeing other spiritual notables as having given mankind valuable teachings or initiating social movements.
"By their works you shall know them" continues to make sense including the work Jesus did in causing a paradigm shift what was to eventually become Western society.
He was not the first nor in my opinion will He be the last in causing social paradigm shifts in the evolution of human society.
© 2009 Matt 7:6 - 6/24/12