The Independent Faith Church views sin as any event that obstructs our progress toward ultimate self-fulfillment. It is not something to “repent” of or deserving of some form of punishment or godly reprimand – worse yet being cast into some abysmal fire place - but rather something to change and do differently so that we continue to evolve towards that self-fulfillment.
Confession of "Sins"
Whether it is true human nature or just centuries of conditioning, it seems we tend to feel more at peace when we confess or share with someone else the “sins” we have committed. Traditionally in Judeo-Christian circles, these sins are violations of (selected) Old and New Testament commandments found in today’s Bible or what a particular religion may have established as “sin” for their followers.
Every action, thought or emotion has natural and inevitable consequences that are neither good nor bad, they are merely the natural consequences of said events. Nobody, deity or mortal can escape the law of natural consequence – it governs all that is.
The Independent Faith Church does not recognize a God that is waiting for his children to fail so he can inflict some form of smite on them – there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever to support such a sad and dismal belief. There are numerous writings about such, but none that we as a church subscribe to or choose to embrace.
God is not offended by our humanness. God is not offended by our actions because a God that is perfect love, peace and balance can not feel anger, vengeance, wrath, jealousy or any of the self-defeating, ego based emotions every Avatar in history has taught us to eliminate. It is contrary to the very law of natural consequence not to mention a simple fact that darkness cannot exist where there is light, anger can not exist where there is no fear and fear can not exist where there is understanding.
Assuming most deities regardless of religion will be attributed with a fair amount of understanding – how can they be afraid? Consequently – how can they feel anger? God is love, perfection and all that is – of which we are an integral part. How can we offend that with something we think, say or do?
The human ego will inevitably be the entity that ensures that we are punished over and over and over again for the same mistake. That is not justice, it is masochism and it is something we will benefit from actively and consciously avoiding.
Once we have recognized that we have missed the mark, we will inevitably tend to start applying guilt and self punishment via any number of ways – from self loathing, internal dialogue, and self sabotage to actual physical punishment for the perceived “sin”.
The Independent Faith Church has established an outline of what are called “Steps to Equilibrium” – steps to regain balance when we miss the mark.
Steps to Equilibrium
Step 1 - Identify How We Missed the Mark (the “sin”)
This is the easy part – just be aware of what we have done, thought or felt that is in opposition to what we want.
Step 2 - Assess Any Harm to One’s Self and Others as a Result of the Event.
The harm to one’s self is usually the most overlooked aspect as one deals with rectification of any imbalance or sin. The first and most direct target of the negative effects of any imbalance is the person that is causing the imbalance.
Next is to identify any harm that may have been done to others through the event. This does not need to be a long process, just a conscious awareness.
Step 3 - Feel The Natural Remorse of Understanding How the Event Slowed Personal Progress and Affected Others.
When we understand the concept that when we miss the mark, regardless of what the event was, it has the deepest effect on the person executing the event, it becomes easier to avoid doing it and our remorse is real – based in understanding of natural consequences – not fear of punishment.
We are all connected and regardless of who perpetrates what, we all feel the effect but no one as much as the person executing the event.
Understanding what the price of an event is will be all that is needed for the adequate amount of remorse to flow. There is no need whatsoever for emotional, spiritual or physical self-flagellation over and over by continually re-living the event to prove anything to anyone.
Step 4 - Rectify to the Best of One’s Ability Any Harm or Damage Done.
Restitution of any damage or loss is indispensable in the process. Some times it may be as simple as an apology to anyone involved for the effect the event may have had on them or they may have perceived it had on them. Other times, it may require replacement, reconstruction, or restoration of items or trust which may be a longer process.
Again, a commonly overlooked aspect of rectification or restitution is with ones self. This is the simplest concept to understand yet often the most difficult to carry out.
Nobody will punish a person more than they will punish themselves. The law of natural consequences has already started in motion and by the time it runs its course, there is no punishment or reward that is more just. It may be as simple as understanding that we have slowed our progress or as complex as the intervention of social law and its implications. Regardless, the process in itself of the law of consequence running its course is ALL we have to pay. Re-playing the event in our mind over and over is robbing us of that which is most sacred - the only time there is (the now) for something that justice has already claimed and satisfied.
If you feel a need to confess, find the largest most beautiful tree or rock you can find and spill your guts to a true representative of God and move on to step 5.
If you feel that human ears may have a better effect for you, find someone you trust that understands the concept of true justice (a Minister of The Independent Faith Church is a good start) and do what you feel you need to do knowing that a Minister will hear you, love you unconditionally and maybe give you some counsel but NO HUMAN can absolve you or forgive you. ONLY YOU CAN.
Step 5 - Embrace the Lessons and Release the Event to the Ether.
Shake it off – literally - let it go and embrace the lessons not the guilt of the ego.
Ultimately it is not about what you did but what you learned from what you did. The event is in the past and you are in the now. Leave the event where it ceases to exist and give life to the lessons by applying them to your life in the now. Allow the memory of the past to escape to the ether. Sometimes actually visualizing this release helps it to be more permanent.
Step 6 - Be Joyous and Loving and Continue to Strive for Self-fulfillment
Onward and upward - this moment at a time.