I was brought up in a Southern Baptist Church, where there was a lot of individual Bible study, and I was never comfortable with their idea of my Jewish friends going to hell simply because they didn’t believe our way. The God I knew was loving. Period.
I wanted a Bible that had only Jesus’ words in it, so I could concentrate on just His messages. I could always feel the love in His words. (Hmmm, I wonder if they still print any Bibles with Jesus’ words in red.) I wanted to truly understand His messages. I didn’t just want to read the words. I wanted to experience them.
Later, after college, I continued to have that same desire as I read book after book written by spiritual seekers and tried to understand this crazy world of ours…and my place in it.
Over time, I realized I was reading essentially the same messages of love even though different language was being used. Since many people think in distinctly black/white or right/wrong ways, I have rarely been able to have a conversation about that. In fact, I have watched people grow uncomfortable as soon as I suggested any similarity.
This week I came across a book called “Bridging the Gap between Christianity and Mysticism” written by Ann Albers, an author whose words had resonated with me in an article I had read. I couldn’t wait to check it out.
Ann’s Dad was a physicist and she had graduated and worked as an electrical engineer, so it was natural for her to begin her spiritual searching in the world of science. As her searching continued, she found herself having mystical experiences with angels. She lovingly shares her insights and personal experiences, including Jesus asking her to “come out of the spiritual closet” and share her views. I’m so glad she was listening.
In “Bridging the Gap between Christianity and Mysticism,” Ann starts with this:
“Put simply, Christianity is a religion based on the Bible and the teachings of Jesus Christ, while mysticism is a belief that you can have a direct experience of God. Notice that the Christians and the mystics are not really talking about the same thing. They’re looking at truth from different angles. One says, “I can have a direct experience of God.” The other says, “The only way I can have that direct experience is through Jesus Christ.” These statements are not mutually exclusive.”
And ends with this:
“You do have to embrace the Christ consciousness, the divine spark, the love within you, if you want to find your way to God. When Jesus said, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one can come to the Father except through Me,” it was the Christ consciousness within Him speaking. It is the divine spark within each and every one of us that is our pathway to God.
It is not so difficult after all to bridge the gap between the various beliefs on this planet if we focus on the one underlying truth that intuitively beckons to each of our hearts –
the greatest commandment is love.”
I LOVE THIS! We don’t have to agree/disagree or decide who is right/wrong. We only have to be our own unique version of “Me-ness”…and love, simply love one another.
This is the perfect book, if you find yourself searching for a bridge between spiritual beliefs.