“You went all Universalist” (or did I?)

Posted: February 11, 2013 by Ty in Musings, Spirituality
Tags: , , , , , , ,

The Theotokos of Vladimir, one of the most ven...

The Theotokos of Vladimir, one of the most venerated of Orthodox Christian icons of the Virgin Mary. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is actually quite funny, the family has been a part of the UU for roughly a month, yet how many people have reacted so shockingly like we have left our brains at the door step or are about to lose our souls. Really people? Think this through, of those who have known me, how many of you could honestly state that I was not a Christian Universalist my whole life?

Think it through, doctrines did not bind me. As a wee babe I was baptized Anglican in a Roman Catholic School gymnasium, went to the C.M.A. Pre-School in my neighbourhood with my Hindu, Sikh, Muslim and Mormon friends…then was part of an ecumenical Vacation Bible school that was PCC/ELCIC/Mennonite/Evangelical yet was simply focused on sharing Christ’s love or my love of ancient pantheonic religions and Grail lore.

Yet that did not tip you off that I would not be willing to be label-less in life? What about upon the end of my ability to attend VBS I began a seeking of the sacred like none other. Still firmly rooted in belief of the Creator (Love) incarnated in Jesus of Nazareth, but one that would take me through many Eastern Philosophies in my Junior and Senior High School years (and certificate at SAIT) readings in Hinduism, Sikhism, Zen and many forms of Buddhism. As well as Eastern Orthodox Christianity, some loose affiliation with a Lutheran youth group in high school, not to mention the Masons for a short time of reading, historic Celtic Lore and Norse Lore, ancient earth traditions and pantheons, studied and for a time bequeathed as a Druidery Priest or some such…

Yet none of this foretold others that I would be able to then suddenly “meet Jesus” in the conservative sense and become so exclusionary that I would be able to state that this is the only way to come to the Holy Mystery?

Or university life that saw me explores and embraces the social sciences, great philosophers, along with my belief in Jesus. Yes I was firmly rooted as a children’s and youth worker in the United Church of Canada in Calgary, but I was also firmly rooted in understanding the way humanity comes to a compassionate existence. My spiritual formation texts were one’s written by Plato, Aristotle, Spong, Dalai Lama, Tutu, Michael Talbot and John Paul II.

The striving into the realm of political science to be exposed to the ruminations within socialism, communism, and liberalism to see it shine through in the many human rights and peace movements. Answering a call to transform this world, to create the reign of the creator here on earth.

Transformational work learning my theology through a restoration movement school (Alberta Bible College) and an Alliance-Nazarene seminary (Canadian Theological Seminary) while continuing my exploration of the Baha’i, Roman Catholicism (where I embrace the idea of Purgatory, the moment of death from this life where whatever has kept us away from full embrace from the Holy is purged away), classic evangelicalism, the Labour Church movement, my Franciscan formation (ecumenical, Anglican, and Catholic). Deep formation in many Christian traditions of this time including Presbyterianism, Anglicanism, Disciples of Christ, and Lutheranism along with Catholicism during this time.

Earning a doctorate of holistic psychology that allowed me to overlay the ideal of a lifespan development over my sacred texts and enter deeper into the story. During this time adding the Jesus Seminar academics, Matthew Fox, training as a Shaman and the New Thought movement to my reading and studying sphere.

Can all these things be blurring lines on actual time frames, but that is what happens when one strives to live a holistic life of compassion. Labels fade. The focus becomes on the ability to live into one’s vocational call and aid others into living their vocational call. This is the true essence of what my spiritual self is living.

So many have been shocked, yet these are the same that sit in on Bible Studies, or have taken classes from me, or be protégés, they have heard my statements that hell does not exist, or that a loving God would not turn anyone away. Yet when the facade is finally dropped, and the societal label of Universalist is adopted, it is like a leper has been found outside of their colony in the ancient times.

There are many wells available to drink from the River of the Holy Mystery. It is not about proving our “religion” right and another wrong. It is accepting that each well allows someone else to drink deeply of the Holy and that is okay. There are beautiful differences within our diversity of belief, yet there is an even greater beauty when we are united as one people, one species, trying to transform our world for the better each claiming our own soul inspiration for our actions.

So has anything truly changed about who I am or what I believe? No. If you think something has, then perhaps you never truly understood my journey up until now, but that’s okay, come along for where it goes from here, for within the Holy Mystery life truly is a blessed mystery.

  1. There’s Something about Mary: The Strength of Love in her YES! | A Robin Hood's Musing says:

    […] “You went all Universalist” (or did I?) […]

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