How do you know? What’s the clue that religion is working as it should?
To be honest, the only thing we have that most people can grasp readily is inner peace. So our biggest problem is getting people to be totally honest with themselves. But that requires a certain amount of inner peace already, because people in turmoil tend to avoid that level of self honesty. It’s a sort of Catch-22, and it’s why we could never “sell” our religion because it actually demands a genuine spiritual impulse.
It’s also why religion can never be universal, in the sense that no two of us could possibly have the same religion. We can overlap in our shared human experiences, but there remains something wholly unique to each of us that necessitates variations. You cannot find genuine inner peace in my religion; you aren’t me. This is why I insist that Radix Fidem is a meta-religion: It’s a religion about religion itself. We study how religion is supposed to work, how to make it a valid expression of your inner spiritual apprehension.
Thus, I use my religion as a tool to explain my meta-religion. I’m striving to find a place to stand that doesn’t violate your individual calling from God, but gives you the means to discard all the stuff He doesn’t want you to have. I’m trying to offer a means of building a covenant identity that includes you and me both, that moral space of sharing what we ought to share and keeping to ourselves what’s private.
This is the thing I’m trying to build. I want to see a covenant community of people who understand religion itself. Something in this tells me I shouldn’t be the only one who strives to help free people from bad religion. If we identify bad religion, not in terms of content or structure, but in terms of how it binds the soul, we are offering something truly unique. We can know from experience that, once we take the binders of falsehood away, people will naturally find the truth for themselves. We would never suggest that any particular religion is wrong, but we insist that it may be a bad fit simply because it didn’t not grow outward from the individual soul. True religion cannot be packaged and imposed from outside the soul.
And the others will call us “a cult” or other ugly terms, but that’s just the way it goes. My own personal response is to seize upon the labels to blunt their effect as a weapon. Indeed, somewhere in the bowels of US government records is a dossier with my name on it saying that I am a “shaved-head cult leader.” Go ahead and laugh; I do. It’s ludicrous because what I teach bears no resemblance to the definition of a cult:
- Exclusive. They may say, “We’re the only ones with the truth; everyone else is wrong; and if you leave our group your salvation is in danger.”
- Secretive. Certain teachings are not available to outsiders or they’re presented only to certain members, sometimes after taking vows of confidentiality.
- Authoritarian. A human leader expects total loyalty and unquestioned obedience.
Maybe I need to crack the whip a little more? Sorry, I just can’t do it. You can’t “leave” my cult because you can’t join it in the first place. There’s no objective standards to bind you; it’s all a question of how comfortable we are with each other. And while some of the things I write are hard to follow and maybe hard to swallow, I’m doing me best to make it accessible to everyone and anyone. There are no vows of secrecy behind the scenes. It’s true WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get). I leave myself wide open to mocking; I’m likely to help you with it because I don’t take myself that seriously. Personal loyalty? Keep your distance unless you feel comfortable wallowing in my madness; I’m certainly hoping some of you will find it comfortable enough to be friends with me. Still, you surrender nothing essential to yourself to come in that door.
I’m just trying to set an example of what’s possible in religion.
As we move forward through this time of tribulation, to the degree your personal religion matches your very real faith, people are going to notice. They cannot see inner peace, but they’ll see the symptoms in how you respond to the turmoil and suffering. They are going to know that you feel at home in Creation, never mind the possible weirdness of talking aloud to “inanimate objects.” In any given context, some folks will never accept your religion. That’s okay because real faith is always a miracle of God; it’s His initiative. But no one can take from you that very real sense of inner peace, and that’s what will draw those who are ready to hear.