The Founding Principles
The Founding Principles are outlined in very general terms below to allow for personal assimilation and interpretation which will inevitably evolve in different ways in each person. The reason for not expounding further is that by so doing would be an attempt to form a perception for others rather than allow them to form an understanding for themselves.
We explore the tenets in our weekly meetings to allow the dynamics of the group to be the tool for self-discovery as interaction promotes thought, points of view are exchanged and accepted or rejected and understanding on a group and individual level takes place.
Our Ministers are Facilitators not pastors. We all share the road to self realization and anyone that attempts to guide a group or a person to “salvation” is deluded in thinking he or she knows the way for someone else. It is a trip we make alone with the loving input, sharing and interaction with those and all that is around us.
Let is not forget that our learning does not only come from other humans but also from nature in all its forms. This makes for a very large and interactive classroom if we have the humility to observe, listen and learn.
1st Tenet - All life is sacred.
The Independent Faith Church views all life as sacred and a part of God.
Reverence and respect for all forms of life are an integral part of our religious philosophy.
We do not view ourselves as lords or superior over any species nor do we acknowledge any right to take away that which we are incapable of returning. Therefore we do not engage in acts that take the life of any creature unless it is a true matter of self defense or preservation in which case we will exhaust all non-lethal options first.
While the lowest level of the law is to not kill, a higher level of the law which we actively promote and encourage is to not contribute to the killing, inhumane treatment or otherwise objectionable and unnatural conditions of any fellow creature on this planet we share.
A very basic part of this Founding Principle is the churches commitment to non-violence.
This concept is a fundamental principle of our faith and religious philosophy.
Love can not coexist with violence of any kind. In other words, violence in any form and to any degree desecrates the sanctity of life.
The concept of non-violence is generally viewed as peaceful tolerance of aggression perpetrated against an individual as well as our outward actions towards other beings and creatures. However, that is only a small part of it and in fact the easiest part to live. Non-violence also encompasses other less obvious concepts.
Elimination of violent thoughts towards self and others – Thought is the cornerstone of reality and when mixed with feeling and emotion becomes a powerful creative force that brings about tangible results. Violent thoughts will manifest their poison in our body in the way of adrenaline and a feeing of unease and disconnect from the sacred now and thus a separation from God. The spiritual effects of violent thoughts are the results of that disconnect from the now – hell.
Non-violence encompasses the words we use with other people, creatures and objects as well as the way we refer to and interact with these things in our actions, speech and our thoughts – calm, quiet, gentle and patient are the virtues of the non-violent being.
Non-violence also implies a gentle personal intervention to stop violence when it occurs in our presence and circle of influence via peaceful means.
The steps to intervention are verbal mediation, physical interjection, separation from the event, and as last resort defensive physical deterrent. Violence to stop violence is merely more of the same and the natural consequences are emotionally, spiritually and physically devastating.
The commitment of each church member to a life style of non-violence brings a sense of peace and calm that empowers through choice. This means that walking away from violence (separation) is no longer a shameful act as it is not a sign of cowardice or weakness but a choice of peace and strength far greater than is required to give in to anger and retaliation. The very choice of a non-violent lifestyle empowers us with strength through humility that only the weak will see as weakness.
While this concept is a fundamental principle of our religion, as a matter of principle, we do not force our views or grandstand them nor encourage, finance or support any who may do so in a way that is negative, offensive, or invasive of the rights of others that choose to conduct their lives or businesses in ways we may not agree with.
2nd Tenet - God is more than a deity.
All deities are subject to and part of the Universal Force (creator) of which we are all a part.
The word God is a label that has been abused, misused, slandered, maligned, blasphemed and desecrated by its association with mere deities in an attempt to make monotheistic that which is not.
Satan is referred to as the god of this world, the “I Am” god of the old testament while depicted as not much nicer than Satan and certainly less reasonable, is very different from the Father of Jesus of the New Testament and so from Zeus, Allah or any of a myriad of other deities that all have very unique attributes and have been or are worshiped by many.
The extreme dichotomy and variation in everything from personality to doctrine between deities indicates that they are a) culturally defined, b) different beings, or c) both.
We won’t pretend to know for a fact which is the truly correct answer and in fact it may be “d” but what we will state is that these deities along with all the deities of history, across the globe and throughout the Universe are all part of God – not God.
We differentiate the deities commonly referred to as god from the Omnipotent Omnipresent Creative Force we are all a part of (God) in our texts by the capitalization of the word.
God is the very force that gives power and life to these deities so many people readily hate for, kill for, die for and worship in the name of that which these deities are only a part – just like you and I.
While human attributes give an intense ability to relate to a deity and in fact deities may very well have human attributes we do not believe that God is a person, a father in a literal sense or limited to a personage of any kind. While we respect all deities and believe that those worshipped by many may very well exist and be endowed with powers and abilities we do not understand or yet master, we do not worship these deities. We worship the force that gives these deities as well as all that is existence and that is what we call God if we must label that which is all that is.
3rd Tenet - To love God, one must love ones self – to love ones self is to love God.
This Tenet is closely related to the next one yet important enough to address separately.
The concept that at an energetic or quantum level everything is connected and there is not nor can there be a separation from anything implies that we are part of God as God is part of us which in effect means we are one in the same.
To many this may seem sacrilegious and pretentious but in reality it is neither and until we can overcome the shackles of our Dark Ages based programming that somehow we are dirty lowly sinners, we can not realize our true self nor appreciate who and what we truly are. In fact, it is in the best interest of the powers of darkness to keep us subjugated by our belief that we are separate from God because it keeps us in fear and doubt and in a mode of unconscious creation – easily controlled.
When we realize that we are literally a part of God and therefore Gods children in a sense that far exceeds our concept of parent/child relationships, we begin to understand that we can not love God until we love our self because if we do not love our self, we do not love God because we are part of the same.
WE ARE ALL CONNECTED.
4th Tenet -Faith creates, heals, and evolves.
It is important to clarify the definition of the word “faith” for purposes of understanding this concept. We subscribe to the early interpretations of the word before the Dark Ages when it was convoluted with religious and sectarian based complexity with theories of fideism. In fact the word was not used in English until the 12th century.
Faith is from the Latin fides – to command, persuade, to trust - and that is the use of the word we subscribe to.
It is the knowing that what we wish to create, bring into reality or manifest is already done. It is the trust in the Laws of attraction and creation that gives focused, conscious power to our experience or reality.
Therefore, the intensity or level of that command, persuasion and trust (fides) we are able to hold present is what determines the level of our ability to consciously create our every moment, heal our imbalances (spiritual, mental, physical, in relationships of all natures,etc.) and evolve our domesticated mind into having the ability to clearly see, accept and embrace the powerful, beautiful, essence of God we are.
Faith (fides) creates, heals and evolves.
5th Tenet - Peace in one’s heart creates peace in ones environment.
Looking for peace in an “out there” that isn’t out there is like looking for love in another person – it isn’t out there.
Peace is a state of being that comes from being present in the sacred now. As we understand that the past is over and therefore does not exist, the future has not happened and therefore does not exist so the only time that exists is the now, we will become more and more present by keeping our mind where our body is. In fact, to commune with God we must be consciously present in the now because God can only be where God exists and God can not exist anywhere but the Eternal Now.
When we allow our mind to drift to the past or the future, we will inevitably feel the stress from our separation from God and consequently a lack of internal peace. While we are consciously present, we will feel the peace in our heart that comes from communion with God – in fact, we will BE the peace that is communion with God which will affect our perception of our environment.
our environment is a mish mash of perceptions but if we are peaceful through our communion with God, we will experience peace regardless of the horror or atrocity that may and does seem to surround us.
6th Tenet -Love & Peace are who, what and why we are
The spiritual entity, the ghost in the machine, the who we really are, is on this plane experiencing an existence through a mortal body with linear limitations and constraints imposed by our domestication and our acceptance and buy-in to that domestication so we can learn and grow. While on this plane, we have a free agency that gives us the power to choose every moment of every day – in other words the eternal now is a series of choices.
When we are present in the now and in communion with God, we are love and peace because that is what the now is. When we choose to step out and focus on the past or the future, we enter a realm where evil and darkness prevail.
We can choose to remain in that realm and pursue its potential which is as intense as its antithesis and like most of us do, eek out an existence based on and motivated by when I do this or when I have that. We can choose to pursue any degree of this existence we want but anyone that has experienced the stress, anxiety and emptiness of doing so knows that it is anywhere from uncomfortable to down right miserable because we are being something we are not. We are choosing to be in anger, fear, hate, frustration and lack focusing on what we do not have and wish we did and chasing that - maybe even successfully to find that it doesn’t fill the emptiness. This is because we are trying to be something we are not.
When we are in the now, in communion with God, in living prayer, etc. we experience love and peace through being love and peace and it not only feels right but it is joy because it IS who, what and why we are. And the more we learn to be in this mode, the easier it will be and the easier it becomes, the faster we will be aware of our full potential – ultimate self realization. Notice there is no reference to “become” or “reach” but rather “be aware” of that which already is.