As a Jehovah's Witness I was not allowed to worship God in any church other than a Kingdom Hall. However as soon as I saw the truth that the Watchtower Society was not everything they claimed to be, I began my search for 'correct' or true path to God.It's funny how easily our minds can get messed up. When people are in the right setting anyone can be 'hypnotized' into believing a lie is the truth and visa versa.
I was watching the story of Patty Hearst and the SLA on TV the other day. Then I thought about my experience being a Jehovah's Witness. The fantasy world of the Watchtower Society seems so incredibly insane today, however at the time I would have defended the organization with my life! Consider the Watchtower's dangerous blood policy for example.
People who are isolated from the real world, don't realize how ridiculous their ideas are. Even the leaders of these organizations are not aware of their hypnotic state. They think they're being persecuted when anyone disagrees with their perception of reality. They think their belief system is the 'truth' and superior to all other viewpoints. Members also believe that everyone in the 'world' who disagrees with their beliefs is the 'enemy'.
Jehovah's Witnesses believe they have 'the truth' and they are 'in the truth'. Everyone else has 'false' beliefs. It can take decades to undo the mental programming inflicted by the Watchtower Society especially if you are born into this religion and don't know any other way of life.
So when I walked into a Christian church for the first time, I was expecting to meet Satan himself. Fear overtook my entire being because I had been brainwashed all my life to believe that 'the world' was my enemy, when in fact it was the other way around.
Irrational fear swept over me as I walked up to the church and stepped inside for the first time. I thought I might not make it out of the church alive. Surely something evil would happen. As I sat in the church it seemed so strange. I saw a cross, the priests were dressed in purple robes, everyone was taking part in communion, and I couldn't find a Watchtower anywhere, - only Bibles! Stain glassed windows, majestic cathedral ceilings, and all the trappings of 'Christendom' reminded me that I wasn't in a Kingdom Hall. I was very uncomfortable. My palms were sweating. My heart was beating fast. And I had trouble breathing.
That was over 30 years ago. Since then I've visited hundreds of churches. It took me a few years to deprogram my mind. But today I'm comfortable in all sacred places. I do have my favorite churches but I still like to try new ones so that I can send my love to people of all faiths.
On most Sundays it doesn't matter which church I go to. Sometimes instead of going to church, I'll commune with God by walking in nature, or calling a friend who needs encouragement. But on other Sundays the message from God is very loud and clear. Usually by Saturday night, God's spirit will tell me which church I need to be at the next day. Sure enough when I get to church, the message is exactly what I need to hear or there was a reason why God led me to that particular church on that day.
About a month ago I was on my way to one of my favorite churches. Suddenly without thinking, I turned into a church parking lot close to my house. I had no idea why I was there, but I knew God was leading me for a reason. As the sermon started, my eyes began to water, because I could hear God speaking to me through this Christian minister. Even though I did not agree with much of what he said, the message was exactly what I had been thinking about. This minister gave me confirmation that I was on the right path. I was never at this church before and I probably won't go back, but no one can tell me that God was not speaking in that church on that day. He was there. I heard his message and it touched my heart. After the service, I blessed the church and the minister who spoke God's word to me that day. I blessed my brothers and sisters who listened to the same message. And I gave thanks for God's love.
It is peaceful experience when we can walk into any church and honor people with kindness even though they believe differently than we do. Sure if the situation is appropriate, we can speak our mind like Jesus did to the Pharisees but he didn't 'hate' anyone. Jesus was the perfect example of unconditional love. He loved his enemies and he even forgave his executioners.
Imagine how peaceful our world will be when people wake up and begin to feel God's presence in every sacred place of worship. Imagine a paradise earth, where everyone is free, happy, and loved. Evil cannot exist when people feel unconditionally loved by God and their neighbors.
World peace will be a reality when all religions abandon doctrines that keep them isolated from other children of God. Hatred, bigotry, and arrogance is contrary to God's plan for world peace. God's peaceful world will be here when all religions unite, not in beliefs but in their unconditional love for one another.
Are you confused as to who has the best religion? Listen to this profound message: What Can Rainbows Teach Us About Religion and World Peace