Frequently Asked Questions
While we can not begin to address the many questions posed to us on a web page, we have posted the more common or Frequently Asked Questions.
The answers to these questions are basic in nature and intended to be as straightforward and concise as possible. We encourage anyone truly interested in more depth in answers to any questions to contact a Minister of the Independent Faith Church or email the Presiding Minister .
For more in depth information about any of these questions, our doctrine & philosophy, please visit our Fundamental Doctrine page.
The following will answer the questions:
What is "Trans-denominational"?
Trans-denominational means that we span the dogmatic differences of the various religions in order to focus our teaching, learning and discovery on the areas that matter from a spiritual perspective which we ALL have in common and comprise the bulk of of who we are - regardless of our religious affiliation or background. Self realization and mastery are totally independent of dogma and humanity is interconnected at far more levels than we are different. Ultimately our differences are mere technicalities of little or no consequence in the eternal scheme of things and for the most part based on personal or 3rd party interpretation of a linear or limited perception - regardless of the good intent. We just don’t care about the differences among us nor do we make them a topic worth entertaining as they are not what we are about. We honor whatever path an individual chooses to discover God and our role is merely to assist in that end – not judge the road to discovery.
Are you a Christian religion?
By definition, a Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, a monotheistic religion centered on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ as presented in the New Testament and interpreted by Christians to have been prophesied in the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. We can be considered Christian because we follow the teachings of Jesus among others however, mainstream Christians would take exception since we do not teach that Jesus is the “only way” to God, heaven, exaltation, etc. as this would be exclusionary to our brothers and sisters of other religions and beliefs. We believe that God loves and accepts ALL regardless of their religious affiliation. We believe that religion is merely a tool to assist us in the development of our potential and to realize the God within us all. Humanity is far too diverse for a one size fits all approach to anything – especially religion. So to answer the question as strait forward as possible – yes, we are Christian in the sense that we believe in and follow the teachings of Jesus however not exclusively. We also follow the teachings of many other great people. So with that information, each person must answer the question for themselves based on their own perception of what being a Christian is.
Do you pray?
Yes we do. We believe that prayer is communication with God – this means that our life is a prayer. We believe that the ritual of prayer as generally known is a tool to focus our intent, thoughts and emotions and bring about specific results. We also believe that we can reach a point where our life prayer is such that the ritual is obsolete. Please see the Fundamental Doctrine page for more on prayer.
Do you believe in Heaven and Hell?
In a nutshell, we believe that heaven is communion with God and the God within which is accomplished by being present in the Sacred Now. Hell is the separation from God by being physically in one place and mentally in the future or the past, or by acting in ways that work against our self realization in which case the natural consequences are stressful and conducive to that separation. Hell is a state of mind – not a place.
Do you believe in good and evil and that good should be rewarded and evil punished?
We believe that both good and evil exist in equal potential yet are manifest according to individual choice. Every person is equally capable of the same degrees of either quality and the differentiating factor is as simple as a mere choice one way or the other. We do not believe in “heavenly” or “Godly” rewards or punishment. We believe in the Law of Natural Consequences. The Universe is governed by this law and everything that occurs has a natural consequence which in itself is the just and rightful reward or punishment for said occurrence. Refer to the Fundamental Doctrine page and click on “Sin” for more on this topic.
Do you believe in the Bible?
It’s existence is undeniable and many of it’s teachings are part of our philosophy or another way to express the same thing. Do we believe that it is the sole and literal “word of God”? - Absolutely not. The Independent Faith Church recognizes the Bible as a compendium of historical script and teachings of many great people throughout history. By the same token, we also understand that it has been assembled, translated, and altered in some cases inevitably or innocently and in others malevolently to further personal and political ambitions and power of select individuals or organizations over the years. While many will repudiate our stance, we can not bury our head in the sand and cling to something that is not what we want it to be just because it appeases our egoic need to have a handle on things. While the Bible is replete with history, history is replete with the Bible and the Bible’s history is tainted and dubious at best if it is to be used as a sole source for salvation. With that stated, we do include the Bible among the books that we study to glean the lessons that will be conducive to ultimate self realization. We are each responsible for determining what we glean and what serves us from that information.
What if you are wrong?
We see no benefit in making such inquiries as this could be asked about any philosophy or anything for that matter. Our focus is the pursuit of what is right. However, our beliefs on heaven and hell make our view different from more harsh and judgmental philosophies in that we do not fear "the fire of hell" for being "wrong" because only a very sick and sadistic father would impose such a vile threat to his children and God is NOT such a petty deity. Many insist with further questioning “But what if there is a hell and you do end up there? To which we reply with a kind smile “Then we would rather be there than with such a vile and petty god”. We do NOT believe that God is anything but LOVE and our focus is on reciprocating that love and NOT on fear of punishment or falling short.