"But, I want the right religion, Not A Rockstar. I want the true one."
The answer to that question depends on who you ask. Back when I wrestled with this question, haunted by my Grand parents' Pentecostal Fundamentalism, there was a couple things I knew at that point. First and foremost, I really loved God and Jesus. That was not in question. Two, I doubted everything else, especially religions, and in the end, imagining myself answering to God face to face for the decisions I made in life, I did not want to have to say I believed this or did that because Mr X or Miss Y told me it was right. I wanted to have to say I searched, and I tried and I tested and did what I believed was right, and followed where I believed I sensed Your Love.
I would urge you to do the same if you have doubts about where you stand in your views about God or Goddess and the whole soul question. That is the real point of this whole little series about finding your own path. I hope I make you wonder a few things, find out a few things you believe and help you to see the point of having faith at all for some. On a lot of issues I have a generally Christian viewpoint, because that was where I began in this lifetime. I deviate from it due to a few things, but the one major point which applies here are a couple verses I feel are crucial.
Let me digress with one of the parables in the Bible which has a deeper impact than most on me. In Matthew 25:14-30. I used the Weymouth New testament for this. One of the names given to it is the Parable of the Talents, (or Ten Coins). I will copy it below, and then bold what makes it so meaningful to me. It is not long, bear with me.
"14"Why, it is like a man who, when going on his travels, called his bondservants and entrusted his property to their care. 15To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one—to each according to his individual capacity; and then started from home. 16Without delay the one who had received the five talents went and employed them in business, and gained five more. 17In the same way he who had the two gained two more. 18But the man who had received the one went and dug a hole and buried his master's money.
19"After a long lapse of time the master of those servants returned, and had a reckoning with them. 20The one who had received the five talents came and brought five more, and said, "'Sir, it was five talents that you entrusted to me: see, I have gained five more.' 21"'You have done well, good and trustworthy servant,' replied his master; 'you have been trustworthy in the management of a little, I will put you in charge of much: share your master's joy.'
22"The second, who had received the two talents, came and said, "'Sir, it was two talents you entrusted to me: see, I have gained two more.' 23"'Good and trustworthy servant, you have done well,' his master replied; 'you have been trustworthy in the management of a little, I will put you in charge of much: share your master's joy.'
24"But, next, the man who had the one talent in his keeping came and said, "'Sir, I knew you to be a severe man, reaping where you had not sown and garnering what you had not winnowed. 25So being afraid I went and buried your talent in the ground: there you have what belongs to you.'
26"'You wicked and slothful servant,' replied his master, 'did you know that I reap where I have not sown, and garner what I have not winnowed? 27Your duty then was to deposit my money in some bank, and so when I came I should have got back my property with interest. 28So take away the talent from him, and give it to the man who has the ten.'
This was always held up to me to teach me about how we have to do works, do things to earn our reward in Heaven and similar rhetoric. But, what always stuck out to me in it was that the first two trusted their Master and did what they could or knew to do, they did the best they could, reported in without fear and were rewarded. The third one believed that his Master was a severe taskmaster, a harsh and mean thing, deserving of fear, and in fear, he merely saved what he was given and gave it back intact and said that as his reason. The Master he got was exactly what he expected. He got harshness, he got severe and he got his talent taken back and thrown out as unworthy.
"I knew you to be severe." I do not know God to be severe. I know infinite, overwhelming love in Him. I have always struggled with this notion that if we do not clue into some obscure truths and do the right things or join the right religion or church or group we will be cast out into a lake of fire or outer darkness or something else terribly unpleasant. This from a Father I love deeply, seek with all I have and cherish what I do know of Him. We are too prone to humanize divinity, but here that isn't even a player. My human Dad would never ever treat me this way, so how much less would a Divine father be so hateful? I honestly, with all my heart and soul, believe that if you love your Creator the best you understand it to be, do as right as you know for that Power, seek to be the best life you can be given your life to live out (your talent) and return to Creator when you pass on in confidence that you are loved and Creator is to be trusted, you will find all that you know Him or Her to be.
To me, then, life is about learning and sorting out this issue of who do you know God/dess to be? For some, the answer is nothing at all. For others, it is Allah, or Buddha's Path, or one of many Pagan deities. I am confident that the One God out there will reach out to anyone who is really looking for Truth and will work with them using their own paradigms and understandings to show them the way Home. As for those who reject this whole notion as ridiculous and believe there is no God at all and may even believe we end at death and this is all there is, I have nothing to say. We have free will. That is our one certain right when it comes to this sort of thing. It is not for me to even try to change your mind. That is your position, and your right. I feel no calling to change anyone's mind out there. That is not my job. It is your job to decide that sort of thing for yourself.
This aspect of the search is really significant for people. If you believe in an omnipotent deity who is to blame for everything that goes wrong in our world, you will see it very differently than I do. That will effect your own choices. The world as it is is ready and willing to convince you that God/dess is severe, because cancer, because baby died, because Trump, because bankruptcy. Like in the tale of Job, after he lost everything, his wife told him to curse God and die. She was bitter, she saw things only with her eyes and pain.
If you think God/dess is about life and love, then it forces you to look at bad times and understand them from a different position. I blame most things on our own free will and greed and self indulgence. Just try to tell people that we need to change, we need to be better, we need to seek out and rise to our better values and if we struggle with this effort, we need to reach out to our spiritual side for help in changing, and you run into the arrogance that excuses all of our worst aspects and turns around and rants about how there can be no God because a real and good one would just come in and clean house. In other words, it is not our own fault and there is nothing we can do. Do you agree? Or does something inside you say, no, hell no, we are capable of better than this mess! I can do better, I can BE better, I can have a longer fuse on my temper, I can be kinder, I can overcome this issue in my life. I am better than this.
We are the only "animal" here who even considers this sort of thing, who has the capacity to wonder if there is a God somewhere, or if we live past death. To me, the capacity reveals the ability and the need, the option, the potential. This is why I even bothered to search and seek and find what I could out here in life. This is why I am writing this at all.