The Omnist Church in the 21st Century and Beyond
OCPS is likely the first omnist church of the 21st century and therefore truly is a revolutionary institution that remains true to the essence of “church”, what it should stand for and should be about.
At the omnist church people’s minds, both religious and non-religious people, should be challenged. Their thinking and perspectives should be cultivated, not packaged or limited. Through the ideology that is known as omnism the OCPS is able to provide this while allowing everyone to still remain loyal to their respective spiritual path or religious system.
Also read: The Omnist Church: The Church for Everybody
Omnism as an ideology in general is the recognition of there being truth and essence in omnis: In all, in everything, always.
As a spiritual concept omnism can be defined as a way of living whereby a person finds truths in all spiritual paths and religions to a limited extent, since an omnist is convinced that not one single belief system can provide or ever has provided all answers.
Quoting Mackenzie Wright, we agree that:
There are no specific teachings, no rituals and no particular sets of beliefs that omnists follow. It’s more of a way of thinking and a way of approaching religious teachings. Omnists beliefs generally fall under two main trains of thought.
The first is that all religions and belief systems have some truth– like life, the universe and everything (even God) is part of some grand cosmic puzzle, and each religion has a few of its own pieces. When people focus too intently on their few pieces, they’re missing the bigger picture– the grand scheme of things.
The other train of thought is that omnism is the complete opposite of dogmatism. Dogmatic religions have virtually ruled the planet for centuries now, laying down principles and beliefs from holy scriptures that were held up as unquestionable and inerrant truths. In this day and age, it gets harder and harder for people to force themselves to stick to the writings in ancient texts as literal and infallible– we want to respect their wisdom but many people can no longer take them as incontrovertible fact.
The Omnist, being the opposite of dogmatic, holds an open mind when it comes to spirituality and religion. They’re open to that wisdom, to the truths found within the different systems, without holding one as more valuable or superior.
The funny thing is, a lot of people who consider themselves spiritual but not religious, who feel they are spiritually eclectic and progressive, are often omnists who never even heard the word.
Why Omnism Works Today
In this particular era, omnism seems to work for a lot of people. We live in the information age and more diverse times. We get to meet people of other religions and see they aren’t lunatics or monsters. We bust the stereotypes so that we can live together peacefully and learn to appreciate what we can about each other’s beliefs. We have the internet, we can download volumes of books in minutes and learn about different beliefs. We can share experiences and respect that we all have had the kinds of experiences to which we can relate.
On top of that, we can no longer ignore facts in favor of scripture. We have come too far in our studies of science, history, psychology, culture, etc. to ignore facts or take things on assumption of scriptural accuracy. Religions that require us to abandon that knowledge and reason are illogical to us, yet many human beings still find they have faith in something greater than themselves. Omnism works because the very root of it is to have an open mind, to think, to explore and to make sense of it all using multiple sources.
This could be the new way many spiritual people learn to express themselves, and is likely something we’ll see people of all faiths moving toward more and more in the coming decades.
Evidently, OCPS encourages everyone to study everything that life has to offer, in its physical form and far beyond those boundaries. Thus, at the center of omniology – “the study of everything” – we find continuous self-study. People themselves investigating and interpreting the world, the universe… omnis. This likely being in stark contrast to blind faith, whatever people find themselves having blind faith in.
“We Have to Question and We Have to Find Out What They Are Doing in Our Name” – Father Gennaro
Religion and Spirituality
Where does this leave “god” in the whole concept of omnism?
Wisely, not having to meticulously define what the word god stands for or what the concept god means to a collective, best describes how the OCPS positions itself towards this. For a number of reasons.
First of all, how does one define god accurately enough in relation to a collective of people without excluding an individual perception? No definition of “god” truly describes what all people, who recognize there being a “god” in their life, believe it to be. Not even in one specific religious group does everyone experience the concept of god equally or identically. Not having to do that, to have to come up with a definition, and being OK with it is part of the essence of omnism.
Second, since “god” often refers to “everything”, how does one define or describe “everything” other than with words like “everything”, “all”, “omnis” etc.?
Third, since humanity seemingly has figured out that a certain omnipresent “force” is responsible for everything around us, it seems logical to see mankind eventually move beyond personifying “god” since an identity limits the very essence of “everything” or “god”, it limits what “god” can be – as a force.
How does one deem “everything” or “god” to be “He”, “Him”, “Lord”, “Father” only, when god allegedly is everything? Surely such an entity or force would be far more than just a masculine personification of a concept.
Quite accurately then it is to state that “the force” is in everything, everywhere and all the time. This may likely be as close to a reasonable definition that we can come when trying to define the concept of god. An omnipresent and omniactive force.