Spirit of Free Inquiry alongside a Path of Reverence
The basic feeling of reverence is one of humility and awe before something greater. If one were to try to convey reverence wordlessly, it would be by bowing, by humbly lowering oneself before the other.
A spirit of free inquiry, however, conveys a different feeling; a feeling of spaciousness, of width and breadth and depth, and a gesture of a free range of movement. In the realm of ideas, there is a feeling of openness. All who can think and generate ideas are collaborators.
The Christian Community attempts to combine these two different feelings and gestures into a dynamic balance. We properly feel awe before the might and myriad inter-workings of the beings of the divine world, of the Trinity and of the angels.
At the same time, in The Christian Community, there are no dogmas, no articles of faith one has to sign in order to be a member. There is nothing that one is required to believe. Even the priest, although perhaps more widely read, is not considered more of an authority on ideas than any well read, thoughtful person is. And although we have a wonderful Creed, no one (except the priest) is required to subscribe to the ideas in it, or even to believe in them. Rather the Creed presents wide-ranging ideas for contemplation. And so there is the spaciousness of free-ranging ideas.
This is important because we recognize the necessary validity of each person’s individual path. And we recognize the fact that each individual ripens at his or her own pace, in his own time, and in his own direction. Assessing this is not the provenance of casual human opinions. The only valid judges of whether someone is ‘on track’ in his own development are those beings of the divine world we call the Father, Christ, the Healing Spirit, and the angels. And we bow in awe before their loving, forgiving mercy.