A Lawyer Presents the Case for the Afterlife


Psychic Research and the Churches

Churches are created by fallible humans, and the faults of teaching, belief and practice that you perceive in them, are often real, and a problem. But as an Anglican clergyman, who is happy to remain such, I may differ from you in the way I understand a church. To take our local church in Christchurch as an example: we are a community of faith and spirituality, but differ from each other markedly in our beliefs. In the 21st century people change denominations without a qualm: amongst us are ex-Catholics, Pentecostals, Baptists, Plymouth Brethren, Methodist, Spiritualist, and a few long time Anglicans.

Some of us belief in an afterlife, some don’t. Some are intellectuals, some have psychiatric problems. Some are gay, some are not. Some are White, some are people of Colour. Some are Fundamentalist some are not. Some are little children, some are in extreme old age. Some support my The Ground of Faith journal, some do not. Some are at an earlier stage of personality development, some are very mature. Some are conservative politically, some are not.

With such a congregation, we cannot bang on about dogma, rather our prayer and worship must relate to our daily lives, and our care for each other as a community, and for the community at large. We have to focus on our common life in Spirit and in community.
Recently I asked the vicar of a thriving local Anglo-Catholic church whether all his church members were orthodox in their thinking, and he said that he was scared to ask any of them what they intellectually believed, for they all differed so from each other. Once again, it was a case of community of Spirit and love, but not of dogmatic beliefs.

This state of affairs is so widespread these days, that in any given church it would be next to impossible to change official dogmas, for there would never be an agreement as to what to say. The Roman Catholic Church is famous for its dogmas, but could never change them, because one could never get agreement amongst its 1,000,000,000 members as to how the dogmas could be changed. Members of Roman Catholic churches on the whole are not silly, and are capable of ignoring dogmas at will, and are equally capable of sampling the worship of other denominations.
In the philosophical chaos, which is the local church, it is very necessary to have places outside the church where particular beliefs and interests may be catered for. I can refer some people to your site, Victor, which I fully support. Others are focused on helping the local City Mission, in caring for the homeless, and the local food bank. Others are more politically focused, or want to attend Buddhist retreats.

With these considerations, I feel that churches should be supported, rather than attacked, for there are no other organizations that attempt to do what they do. We all should, however, vigorously bring to the attention of the proper individual church members issues such as Afterlife, Community Service and so with many other issues.

As you are aware, I do think as many people as possible should become aware of what has been discovered through psychic research.. it does have to do with the essence of Spirituality, and efforts should be made to overcome the taboos against discussing these matters.

Michael Cocks

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