Ralph Waldo Trine's words really spoke to me this morning:
We have been taught to believe in Jesus; we have not been taught to believe Jesus. This has resulted in a separation of Christianity from life. The predominating motive has been the saving of the soul. It has resulted too often in a selfish, negative, repressive, ineffective religion.
It seems to me that this might be the crux of the decline in churches and church attendance. I know how irritating it is to me when someone wants to "save" me. How superior they sound. How unloving they appear. How shallow they are in their relationship with God, and at the same time thinking they know what is in my soul. They spout some distorted theology that apparently they have never taken to the court of reason and logic. Well I could go on and on, but I imagine you understand what I'm saying here.
On the other hand, I have been an advocate of believing Jesus for a very long time, as long as I can remember. As you know, his first followers called his teaching "The Way." That is, do your best to believe what he said and live it, be it, shine it, walk it. This is the way to whole and true relationship with God and humans and all life. This is the way humans are meant to live --- loving, forgiving, praising, being generous in thought, word and deed.
I urge you to re-look at the Gospels from the mind that says - if I actually believe Jesus, how would I choose to live my life?