The Bondage of True Spirituality

*Disclaimer: I know that not all evangelicals are under the banner of “Dominant Christianity”. I know that not all Southern Baptists will tell others that their beliefs are from the devil. I am merely speaking about the majority as I have experienced it. That is all, if you feel as though you are within the dominant christianity spectrum but do not fall under what I am talking about, then I applaud you and encourage you on in your pursuit of discipleship to Jesus. This is simply my personal experience with it.

 

One of the most jaw dropping things that I have ever experienced is the feeling like I have to remain shut into a closet when it comes to talking about my beliefs…with Other Christians! The dominant view that surrounds the Church is one that says that questioning is bad, that interpretation is secular, and that anything but the bible being 100% true is of the devil. Time and time again, I feel like the dominant, evangelical, bible thumping view of spirituality confines myself and others like me within bounds that we can’t break. If we do, we end up being fired, scolded, looked down upon, and labeled as satan worshiping liberals. We are told that our views are not in alignment with what they have been taught (whether or not those views are actually biblical) and upsetting the status quo is unacceptable.

True spirituality is taking the scripture, as well as tradition and experience, and coalescing it into a whole. True Christian Spirituality is about partaking in the Trinitarian theology of the Sacred Flow of love and humility and generosity. True spirituality is exploring those dark parts of our lives and doing what Rob Bell recounts as “Interior work”, NOT saying that our sins and prejudices just “go away” when we say the sinner’s prayer. True Spirituality is being open to God’s leading, NOT telling God where to guide. True Spirituality impacts every single aspect of our lives and brings about a vibrant life and faith. However, too many times I go to church on a Sunday morning and it feels dead. Even the church services that have upbeat music and people lifting their hands up during the worship music; it feels like people are just “going through the motions”. It reminds me of the verse in Isaiah 1; 10-17, which is a narrative where the Divine is calling out to Israel saying, “Your festivals and your burnt offerings are not pleasing to me. Your festivals mean nothing to me. You are worshiping me as a pagan God and that is not what I am about. I am sick of you raising your hands to me.” Basically, “I am sick of your shit Israel.” When I enter into church services, I feel as though I am walking into a place where people are just going through the motions and not letting the Sacred Flow carry through to all of the aspects of their lives. It stops at the walls of the church on Sunday morning, and only comes out through people spouting dogma that has falsely been passed down from generations and generations of misinterpretations.

When true spirituality is verbalized, way too many times, it gets shot down and told that it does not belong. It is told that it has nothing to do with God and that it must be false teaching. Take Rob Bell for instance. He got a lot of grief for his book “Love wins”, in which he said at the very beginning that it was not anything new, and had been, in actuality, talked about in Christian circles for centuries. However, because that contradicted the dominant Christian view (a somewhat mis-sighted view in my opinion) Bell got labeled as a heretic and a false prophet, when in fact, his teachings have brought myself and many others closer to God than we have ever been. His teachings have helped me to verbalize what I have known to be true my entire life. Inherently, I knew that this traditional view of God being some robed bearded guy in the sky who sent down a book exactly as we have it today was bogus. However, if I were to verbalize that in church today, I would be branded a lunatic. Thankfully, this ideology is shifting and changing as we speak, but 1, it is not there yet, and 2, the Dominant Christian view is digging its heels against this movement. The fact is, The Spirit is moving and bringing people to a greater awareness of God being the ground of our being. More and more people are verbalizing these beliefs, and more and more people are realizing that they make more sense. However, as this continues, the Dominant Christian view is trying to put it in jail and put it in a box. The Dominant church is afraid of change, which resulted in Dominant churches creating dividing walls. In the past, there has been great division, and even blood shed at times, when churches split. You need look no further than the Reformation.

That is NOT the message of Jesus. That is not love, that is not grace, that is not compassion. That is what I stand against. As people continue to unleash this true spirituality that has been jailed up for so long, let us remember not to do the same thing that the currently dominant view of Christianity has done for so long. I’m telling you this now, in 40 years, the landscape of spirituality and Christianity will look completely different. However, instead of dominating the other side and telling them that they are wrong for their views, let us instead offer the olive branch; the arm of love and companionship. Let us focus more on what we have in common rather than what we have that is different. Let us teach the Bible as it needs to be taught, and let us teach the truth of what the Trinity holds in store for us all, but let us also remember that not everyone is going to jump into that flow as easily as we might. Be Jesus in this moment and all moments. Don’t be afraid to stand up for what you believe, but remember that everyone you come into contact with s your family. Your brother, sister, mother, and father. We are all tied together in the sacred flow of the Trinitarian dance, whether we know it or not. Let us be free from this seeming bondage, but also let us work together to build something beautiful and life giving. Let our spirituality not be worthless sacrifices, but rather let it be pleasing to the Lord. Let us worship God in True Spirituality.

Blessings,
Eric

 

 

 

This is a personal blog and does not necessarily represent the views of Community Church or any groups mentioned here

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