By Rev. Frank Graichen Trinity United Church of Christ, 215 W. Court St.
If all the doctrine, or dogma, of the Christian church bothers you or gets in the way of you being a Christian then read the Bible and do as Jesus did. Along the way, you will come to a place where you will understand to do that activity with someone else, i.e., reading the Bible and doing what Jesus did.
Why? Because Christianity cannot be done in a vacuum, or by yourself. Parts or pieces of Christianity must be done in private, but the fullness of the faith is only, ever, found in community. Christianity is very old, and its ways of developing your spirituality are wide and varied. You may rebel against the historic forms of church, its doctrine or dogma; many have done that before you.
Try this: find and obtain a copy of "Imitation of Christ" by Thomas à Kempis. It has been around for hundreds of years, written originally in the Netherlands in Latin, and readily available in U.S.A. English. His was a rebellious time too! Check it out. I recommend it to new Christians, sojourners, lukewarm Christians, struggling Christians, fed-up Christians, know-it-all Christians, done-it-all Christians, and anyone else that has hit a plateau in their spiritual journey to God.
Read a little bit of "Imitation" and then read your Bible. Hand-in-hand, they complement each other, inform each other, and challenge any reader to more serious thought about who they are in relationship to God and their neighbor. I checked Amazon.com — for your Kindle, it will cost 99 cents; a book, as little as $2.50.
No one possesses the truth of Christ. No one Church possesses the truth of Christ either. Christ is not limited to doctrine of humankind anymore than humankind’s actions determine the response of God. Perfection of faith is not found on earth. It can be found through Christ and it can be discerned and made real through a community like the church.
Determine your spiritual road, your pathway. God is there on the road, on the pathway, waiting to be discovered.