2012 - May

Rev Leo Booth

We hear the word tradition used often in religious circles; keeping a tradition, being traditional, respecting tradition. It is rarely used in the context of spirituality. I’m not against the idea of tradition, indeed I’m rather fond of some of my English traditions like afternoon tea, Marmite on toast and Sunday Shepherd’s pie. However, I also understand that we can easily become restricted by our traditions, placing laws and rituals in cement, creating a religious box that can suffocate.

Over the years I’ve heard the word freedom used most frequently in connection with spirituality; open to new ideas, maybe creating unusual and interesting traditions, inclusive in how we view the world.

This thought is on my mind because I’ve just finished proof-reading my latest book, The Happy Heretic. It’s like a new baby, and I’m proud of the ideas that I have expressed, especially the idea that I no longer believe in Original Sin. When did I stop believing in this doctrine? Many years ago. Indeed, I’m not sure that I ever believed in it.

Original Sin states that whatever the source of pride was What separated Adam and Eve from a divine connection with God, that sin has trickled down to every human being. Their sin has become my sin. Their guilt is my guilt. I don’t believe it.

Rather do I believe in the idea of Original Blessing; that every child that is born is surrounded by God’s grace and divinity, and by choice (our choice) do we bring pain and sadness into the world. The smiling baby we see in the crib has done nothing wrong…yet. Maybe some people, Jesus comes to mind, achieve a state of perfection, however most of us do things that damage our relationship with God. But the potential to be perfect is given to us as birth.

This belief makes me a heretic, hence the title of my book The Happy Heretic.

My belief in God’s grace being given to every human being at birth also frees me from what I call religious co-dependency. I’m not waiting for God or Higher Power to fix me, indeed through the gift of free will, exercised by choice, I’m able to create the good life, a life of sobriety, recovery; this makes my God very happy.

I’m taking the Twelve Step concept of pray and move your feet to another level; I truly am responsible for my life. I’m not blaming God for the disasters that I or others create. God has given me a beautiful field to play in. I’m truly grateful, but I need tend to the flowers and mow the lawn.

This change in my understanding of my relationship with God has created a changed understanding of spirituality. The spiritual life is not all about God; I’m involved. Also, I’m not damaged goods, corrupt, groveling in the dirt for God’s forgiveness. I’m God’s child. I reflect and demonstrate God in my life. I am a co-creator in making this world a better and safer place. In this way my thinking, the process of my thinking has changed over the past twenty years.

When I read my first book, Walking on Water now titled Spirituality and Recovery, I see the seeds of this coming change. Think about it? Writing a book called Walking on Water! I wrote then that we poetically walk on water when we cease to live in fear, claiming our divine dignity. We walk on water when we accept our alcoholism, our addiction and seek help, co-operating with a recovery program or the twelve steps. I realized then, 1985, that I needed to be involved. I never said that God had made me sober; I knew my assistance was required.

When I listen to people talk recovery in the rooms, or hear thoughts on God’s grace, I still hear religious co-dependency. A religious dependency that still misses our God given dignity. As the writings in the book of Genesis reminds us, when God created the earth and first humans, “it was good.” Ahh yes, but then Adam and Eve’s sin. Well yes, but as I’ve written earlier, that’s their stuff. I’m not responsible. Visit my Facebook and tell me what you think.

About the Author

Reverend Leo Booth is a Unity minister, acclaimed author, conference speaker and lecturer on all aspects of spirituality and recovery. He is the author of Say Yes to Your Life and Say Yes to Your Spirit and is the Spiritual Advisor to the Sante Center for Healing in Argyle, TX. You can now find Reverend Leo Booth on Facebook! For more information, please visit his website: www.fatherleo.com. Email him at: fatherleo@ fatherleo.com or call 562.427.6003.


( 2 Votes )
Comments (2)
2 Monday, 01 February 2016 12:57
Jessica Klein
I believe man will not be dandy until he seeks and receives the gift of the Holy Spirit, walks by the spirit of God, and chooses not to walk after the flesh. In other words, first put on the whole armor of God, then face the wiles of the Adversary. Early A.A. was a Christian Fellowship--not a religious co-dependent. Early A.A. took its basic ideas from the Bible--not some notion of a higher power or illusory spirituality or someone's own conception of a god.
1 Tuesday, 08 May 2012 13:46
Richard G. Burns, J.D., CDAAC
The problem that I have with this comment is that its focus is on labels--spirituality, New Thought, religious-codependency, higher powers. Yes the Bible is mentioned, but only to claim that everyone is born just dandy--rather than needing to eliminate the separation from God mentioned in Genesis and restoring the relationship and fellowship through what Jesus Christ accomplished. I believe man will not be dandy until he seeks and receives the gift of the Holy Spirit, walks by the spirit of God, and chooses not to walk after the flesh. In other words, first put on the whole armor of God, then face the wiles of the Adversary. Early A.A. was a Christian Fellowship--not a religious co-dependent. Early A.A. took its basic ideas from the Bible--not some notion of a higher power or illusory spirituality or someone's own conception of a god.
I prefer the view that early A.A. required belief in God and accepting of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Those who did this and gave it their best shot were winners. If I read Fox and other New Thought adherents, there is no salvation, nothing but "Christ in everybody" and a dozen other happy ideas which seem to reject man's need to come to the Father through his son. www.dickb.com/goodbook.shtml

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