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Christian Man finds Scientology Enhances his Faith

I thought this one to be quite intriguing — it’s a story about a Christian man who works at a Church of Scientology in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  Personally I think it’s an excellent explanation of something I’ve often tried to get across to others — you can be a Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, etc — and still practice Scientology to better your own life.  In any case, here’s the story:

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG

Craig Gehring of the Church of Scientology Mission in Baton Rouge records a 15-minute daily radio program on gospel station WTQT, 94.9 FM.Craig Gehring is nearly everything one might expect a Scientologist to be: young, enthusiastic and almost famous.

He is also one thing unexpected: a professing Christian.

Describing him as famous is likely going too far, but the 20-year-old does have his own weekday radio show on a Baton Rouge gospel station, and in 2003 he was profiled in The Advocate after getting a rare perfect score on the ACT.

Instead of turning that score into a successful college career, he pursued immediate opportunities to help others through the Church of Scientology.

Today, he is training to become a minister while serving as a full-time employee at the church’s Baton Rouge mission, where he draws on the apparent contradictions in his own life to explain an often-misunderstood religion.

Gehring grew up Lutheran and still considers himself a Christian, although of a more nondenominational variety.

“Personally, I believe (Jesus is) the son of God — son of man, but like I said, that  Scientology doctrine. There isn’t a doctrine about (Jesus) in Scientology.

“It’s something you have to come to on your own, so I don’t speak for the Church of Scientology when I speak my own conviction,” he said. “But you will find a lot of active Christians who are Scientologists — just like you will find active Buddhists or active Hindus.”

The Baton Rouge mission even has its Sunday services at night — 5 p.m. — so as not to conflict with attending other church services in the morning, Gehring said.

That room for other faiths results from the Church of Scientology not being about concepts of God such as those churchgoers usually expect to find on Sunday mornings, he said.

Media “exposés” through the years, including one last year in Rolling Stone Magazine, have described a secret space opera-like mythology complete with extraterrestrials, but church officials have always denied it.

Likewise, Gehring, and Damian Dornier, another young Scientologist on staff at the Baton Rouge mission, said they have never encountered anything like that in their pursuits of the faith.

Rather, they explain, the church is built on spiritual truths or laws discovered by founder L. Ron Hubbard.

From those truths Hubbard developed techniques, called technologies by the church, for addressing such issues as stress, communication, learning, relationships and substance abuse.

They compared it to Buddhism, describing Scientology as a path or walk with Gehring’s explanations sounding a little like those of Khentrul Lodro Thaye Rinpoche, a Tibetan Buddhist lama who sometimes lectures in Baton Rouge on mediation.

In February 2006, Rinpoche responded through an interpreter to a Christian woman’s question. “It’s good that you believe in Jesus, and if you want to meditate on him that’s fine,” the Buddhist told her. “It will work as long as the technique is right.”

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4 comments on “Christian Man finds Scientology Enhances his Faith

  1. Pingback: Christian man from Louisiana finds Scientology enhances his faith « Going where the action is!

  2. Jay
    April 6, 2008

    It’s my experience from more than 35 years of being a Scientologist, and a practicing minister of that religion for the last 30 years, that Christians are welcome. Scientologists have little dogma about, and do not tell others what to think about, God, Jesus, the holy ghost, saints, martyrs, etc. As a religion it offers techniques for helping people achieve their own sense of being an immortal spiritual being. We believe that the only way to be in better communication with God is to be educated as a spiritual being in what that means, and how to use our spiritual abilities. As a child I was raised by one parent who was a holy-roller, and one who was a Catholic (what a mix!) Their faith in God was never at issue, but still they lacked any tools to work out their own problems with each other — they divorced and lived unhappy lives. I often wish they had had the tools I have found in Scientology. It would have made them better Christians.

  3. Sibylla Bordeaux
    April 8, 2008

    Thank you for this wonderful article! I was raised a Southern Baptist, and then took a Science major at Wake Forest. My religious views became terribly conflicted with the scientific data I was studying, and after college I basically lost faith in Christianity. Then in my ongoing search for the truth, I found Scientology — THEN I was able to renew my faith in and appreciation of Christianity. After now having been a Scientologist for many years, I am also a Christian in the best sense of the word — “By their works shall ye know them.”

  4. turbotad
    April 10, 2008

    Jay, Sibylla – thanks much for this! I thought it an outstanding story as well, capturing much of the spirit of Scientology.

    I’m sure we’d find similar stories in Bangalore, India or in Sapporo, Japan — most religions around the world have extremely admirable aims and lofty goals, but many cases a lack of workable technology or real-world blocks to achieving them. I smile when I see a religious man of any sort able to better go about his task due to his application of Scientology principles to his life.

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This entry was posted on February 21, 2007 by in L. Ron Hubbard, scientology.
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