Some of you know the answer to this question without even thinking about it. Others may not be so certain. What does it mean to consider yourself a Spiritualist rather than a Christian?
Both are religions. In many ways both follow the same lines in their teachings. Both accept the Bible and both believe Jesus was a human being who lived and taught. Christians see Jesus as their Savior. If they confess their sins and believe upon him, they are saved and will enter heaven. Spiritualists see Jesus as the Master Teacher or the person who showed us the way we should strive to become in our daily lives. The term “Wayshower” is frequently used in this connection. Both accept One God although the premise is different. Spiritualists accept God as Infinite Intelligence – an androgynous spirit being of neither sex but of unlimited knowledge in all matters while Christians see God as an anthropomorphic or father figure God.
The similarity pretty much ends there. Spiritualists believe in communication with the so called dead and we work diligently to demonstrate that in the message work you experience each Sunday. Spiritualists believe in personal responsibility rather than a savior figure. Spiritualists accept the conception of many planes or levels of locations after death and that you will go to the level or plane of understanding you have earned by your actions while on earth. We believe and affirm through our Declaration of Principles that we are responsible for our actions and the results we receive because of those actions. That particular Natural Law is called The Law of Cause and Effect. There are a number of Natural Laws and they make very good sense if you read and study them but that is a topic for another day!
Spiritualists do not proselytize or go door to door with handouts about our religion, we don’t have revivals or campaigns to bring people into our religion. We believe when the student is ready the master appears or that when someone is ready to understand and opens themselves to our beliefs, spirit will provide someone with our background knowledge to help teach them about us and introduce our beliefs to them. We could probably rethink that since demonstrations of our religion are now so openly on television in so many ways. Unfortunately, those shows do not teach the philosophy and integral depth of our beliefs so much as they sensationalize the phenomenal portion of our religion. That is lamentable since it does not address the religion of Spiritualism in any manner.
Our religion is just that, a Religion – with depth and sustainable beliefs that have integrity. We should realize and embrace it in that manner. Our religion removes the fear of death, offers solace during that time frame and proves the continuity of ongoing life after the physical body is no longer viable.
We should respect the special information we have received, we should share it with others when the opportunity is available. We should give thanks that we know about the wonder of life everlasting and be grateful that we are Spiritualists.
Personal responsibility is an ongoing process, the more we learn and the more responsible we become the more we are capable of understanding as we grow our souls back into alignment with Infinite Intelligence. We can actually hear in our minds I should or should not do this or that - it isn’t the right way to handle things, it wouldn’t be fair and I wouldn’t like someone else to treat me that way. All those little voices in our heads are actually spirit influencing us to do the right thing at the right time. Daily choices we make, no matter how small they may seem at the time become habits of growth in our lives. We strive to do better, one choice at a time and each time we make a correct choice we deepen our own spirituality. Gradually we learn to do the right thing more automatically and don’t have to think so much about our actions as they become natural to us. That is living in accordance with Natural Law. True, sometimes we really do not want to do the right thing. We are after all human, but each time we subdue the negative we reinforce the positive. This is what we try to teach and to live. It is also why we say religion is not a Sunday thing it is an everyday thing. If it isn’t any everyday thing, why bother at all?
We believe coming to church should be a joyous experience. You are tuning in with spirit and that should be a cause for happiness. Spiritualists believe Spirit works with us daily and if we learn to listen, to ask and to work with spirit we find things flow more smoothly.
No one can do any of this for anyone. Everyone has to do it on their own on a regular basis. My prayer for you is that you find the joy of working with the Infinite daily and that you recognize the little things spirit does for you. Once you have gained that knowledge, bigger and better things will flow your way. Rejoice in it and be a living demonstration of what Spiritualism teaches.
By Rev. Frances D. Montgomery NST