It seems that research has shown that about 44% of individuals who have gone through a near death experience (where they see a metaphysical light and “deceased” relatives in another realm) stopped going to Sunday church.
These unexpected findings are going to be discussed tonight (August 8th) on Coast-to-Coast AM with radio host Ian Punnett.
I suspect that what people find in the other world doesn’t square with what they are being taught in most churches!
I have not personally had a near death experience but I think I have come in contact with something even more mind-blowing—the theological writings of Emanuel Swedenborg, whose own experience with the afterlife lasted three decades! Swedenborg therefore offers a library’s worth of material and details not covered by those who have seen similar things for much shorter durations.
In spite of my 36-year study of Swedenborg’s findings and familiarity with the non-material phenomena of the spiritual world, I too, choose not to attend weekly church services. Since Swedenborg claimed that true worship involves unselfish love and service to others he described a New Kind of Religion that does not demand our Sunday participation. He doesn’t rule it out either—it simply depends on the inner sincerity of our purpose and our inner proclivity.
Rather than have my butt go numb sitting in a hard wooden pew, I write spiritual books and blogs. Rather than put some money in a collection basket I try to find ways to make God’s reality more relevant to the post-modern world—like unifying science and theology. Rather than passively listening to a preacher preach, I prefer to study the Lord God’s teachings with greater personal commitment and intensity. And rather than believe that I have somehow pleased the Lord and earned extra brownie points for attending church worship, I take nothing for granted and, keep up my vigilance to find and root out negative aspects of my personality that get more subtle, the deeper I dare to go.
I will attend church services a few times a year (and even volunteer to write and deliver the sermon) to see old friends and celebrate certain events but my religiousness and spirituality is not tied to my attendance. Nor do I judge others who do find the church community important to their lives. My spiritual focus lies beyond the brick & mortar walls of a church building.
So then, kind readers, where have I gone wrong?