Something I’ve learned: there are people outside the church just as much not free as there are those within it. Being within or outside the church is secondary. What primarily needs to be understood is that one must realize one’s own freedom wherever we are.
For this guy, it took leaving the church to find his freedom. This is my experience.
Now that I know I’m free, I understand I’ve always been free. But I had to take certain steps and exercise my freedom in order to know I already had it. Granted, this says more about me than the church.
As a result, I can now have a healthier relationship to the church and to religion in general… because I have a healthier relationship to me!
This is my goal in helping others deconstruct and get in touch with their own freedom and independence, no matter what their relationship is with religion, with the church, with spirituality, or with any one or any thing. When we realize we’re already free, then we can live healthier lives.
I’m reading, again, the great book by Thomas Merton, The Asian Journal. I’m reminded of the fact that he had to go to Asia to realize he’d always been free as a hermit at the Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky. Even though he was as free as a bird on his Asian trip, all clues indicate he was determined to return to his small hermitage back home. He was always free. Now he knew it and experienced it no matter where he found himself.