Minister - Rev. Mel Emurian
Living Hope - A Community of Freethinkers
You may be wondering, what is a freethinker? I like the Collins English Dictionary's definition: A freethinker is "a person who forms his ideas and opinions independently of authority or accepted views, especially in matters of religion."
Why do people become freethinkers? Sometimes people become freethinkers by their acceptance of modern science; sometimes it’s some onerous religious doctrine that has always been troubling and couldn’t be believed anymore; sometimes the desire to learn leads to it, as when one reads widely across many different positions; sometimes one is hurt badly by the “orthodox”, and is “snapped out of” orthodoxy, so to speak.
The folks who attend Living Hope - A Community of Freethinkers understand this. I, as minister of the group, am a freethinker because of all of the above.
What about the role of clergy or spiritual leaders? We applaud those who are facilitators, who assist others to be better people. But those who set themselves up as the lords of "correct" thought or spirituality we reject. All that does is stifle one's intellect, and restrict one's spiritual freedom as a unique person.
What about faith? It's important to understand that faith does not necessarily equal reality. Take belief in God. God believers have faith that their understanding of God is real. But that does NOT mean that their understanding of God is in fact real.
This explains the diversity of thought within Christianity and across all religions. Since God doesn't show up to set the record straight, people are left with faith.
We believe then that people should understand the limitations of faith while allowing it to make them better people. Rigid faith has too many negative consequences. Genocides, believers killing others in the name of God, split and destroyed church congregations, ruined friendships, and personal spiritual harm are just some of those consequences.
We offer something different - acceptance, fellowship, and learning in a non-judgmental environment.
Acceptance Fellowship Learning