Thoughts On An Updated Christianity

Okay folks, since it’s Sunday, let’s talk about the current state of Christianity. And please know ahead of time that I’m no religious expert and that this is just an open, honest sharing. And I’m cool with whatever anyone chooses to believe. This is not meant to “stir the pot” or offend anyone. It might, though, because many of the nature of the conversation. You see, many of us take our religious and spiritual views very seriously. I know I sure have before! Whoa… But here’s the thing, the truth is already true, whatever it is. Nobody has to defend it. Another thing is that when something really triggers me, I might want to check to see if my perceived identity feels threatened. Many people identify as a this or a that, so if another person or group has a different take, they feel personally threatened. So let’s see through this identity stuff and know that this is just a relaxed sharing. Plus, my current take on identity is simply “I AM.” I am, I exist, period. It’s a mystery, and living more and more in “I don’t know” has been allowing whatever I really am (soul?) to reveal itself to me as being way more badass than I ever could have imagined. I am, end of story. Anything you put after “I am” is a limitation. And what you truly are is NOT limited. Even a good “I am [blank]” isn’t as good as plain old “I am.” Think about that. This way, it’s open to all possibilities. And after consuming myself with this stuff for so many year now, if not lifetimes, I’m pretty sure that it’s actually true. So at least we have that going for us…

I’ve written before that I was raised Episcopalian, which is really a pretty chill flavor of Christianity. As a kid, my brothers and I would be wide awake every Saturday morning at six for Saturday morning cartoons, with no alarm clock whatsoever. No caffeine needed. On Sunday morning, though, we’d basically play dead when we heard the death march of our mom’s footsteps coming down the hallway to get us up for church. But this was at 9, three hours later than the morning before. What on earth had changed? I believe Jesus said something like, “Be like a child to enter the Kingdom (or Queendom).” This is because children are so innocent and pure. They see things more clearly, without all the baggage and conditioning, like a very clear lens. They don’t understand things in their heads, but they knowand feel – if something is good or bad. And the modern church service just felt dead, at least for me. Again, this is just my sharing. But I talk about this stuff with lots and lots of people all the time, and SO many of them feel the same way, trust me on that. Especially people my age and younger.

I started to see things more deeply in 11th grade when I spent a year away at boarding school. That wasn’t a very fun year, but it served the purpose of shifting me in a very important way. I came back home for my 12th grade year, and I asked my mom and step-dad if I could stop going to church. I reasoned that there was just too much man-made stuff there for me. I knew there was a divine part, but the man-made part overwhelmed it for me in a big way. It just didn’t do it for me, it didn’t feel right. And again, this is just my own experience. Can you see how sensitive I am about trying to talk gently about this? Whoever you are, I love you so much and I’m not trying to start anything. But this needs to be talked about more openly; it’s important. Anyway, I can’t tell you how many clients I’ve had that feel the exact same way and are so relieved to find another (me) that’s had the same experience. I’ll ask them if they have any religious or spiritual beliefs, and so many of them say the same thing, something like, “I grew up going to church but I stopped going a while ago because it just didn’t do it for me. But I’m pretty sure I believe in God or a higher power.” And they’re so relieved to find that how they feel is totally fine and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with them. We’re eradicating this deep sense of guilt, folks! And this “not guilty” stuff is consistent with the vast near death experience (NDE) research, too. A true gem is the book Dying to be Me by Anita Moorjani, which I’ve written about and always recommend. And in the out of body state while in a coma, just prior to returning and making a true miracle cancer comeback in record time, which doctors still cannot explain, Anita found that there’s absolutely no guilt or judgment on the other side. She says judgment is a here thing; it’s not a there thing. It does not exist. Literally. Read that again… and let it sink in. Amen to that!

So what I’m all about is sorting out the man-made stuff from the divine, and ditching it. Permanently. Some of these things might be obvious to you, and others might not. But again, it’s perfectly okay to share. And you are free to read anything you like! You are in charge of what goes in and what doesn’t. But know this – if you do find your body reacting a certain way, just get curious about why that is. Ask, listen, and see what floats up. Because your feeling is not coming from me, it’s coming from you – how you’re viewing things, specifically these words. And at the end of the day, it’s all good. Because we’re seeing things more clearly and without judgment. And then we can really examine our beliefs and see what WE feel to be true. Not what we think should be true or what others think we should believe.

Where to begin… Let’s start with the Old Testament. Umm, okay, I think it has to go. Break it off and call it The Old Testament if you want, but to have it be part of a “holy” book along with the New Testament makes no sense whatsoever. And why is this? Because “holy” comes from the word “whole.”Any book that contradicts itself so much can’t possibly be called holy because it’s just not whole. Whole doesn’t mean contradicting itself. It seems like back in the day they tried to take that old fear-based, sacrificial religion and then superimpose Jesus, the Prince of Peace, on top of it. But you can’t do that, because the messages aren’t consistent! So why has this been going on for 2000 years? Jesus’ message was more a message of love. So I’d stick primarily with what Jesus said and ditch a lot of the rest. Which leads to…

It’s time to totally embrace the gospels and writings that were found later, like the Nag Hammadi library and the Dead Sea Scrolls. This is very rich stuff, folks! Rather than doubling down on trying to be right and keeping the existing power structures in place, the churches should have the attitude of, “If we’ve gotten some things wrong, then we’d like to know! ASAP!” And while we’re at it, let’s open up the Vatican library and see what’s really in there. Open up and share, because it’s the way of the future. Just look at the huge impact social media has had on the world, and it’s really not even fifteen years old. This is a huge movement, folks, an unstoppable force, and it’s not going anywhere. Religion can evolve or die, period. Just saying. It’s time to own our BS, open up, and share. Together. The world will be a much better place that way. And it’s actually happening right now, even though things are so chaotic. That’s just part of the process.

I’d also embrace the mystics, and this is actually true of any religion. The mystics are the ones that are experiencing the truth rather than just thinking and talking about it. They’re going straight to the source rather than reading about it. It’s an experience in the heart rather than a debate in the head. Totally different. There have been lots of Christian mystics throughout time, and there are plenty living today. There’s even a ton of channeled material said to be from Jeshua or Jesus. Just check it out for yourself! What have you got to lose? You might even like it; you might even resonate with some of these powerful messages of love. Look up Way of Mastery (website being redesigned) or Paul Tuttle/Raj or Judith Coates of Oakbridge University. Check out John Mark Stroud, who has assembled a lot of this stuff in one place. He’s become a great teacher and friend of mine, too, and he’s very accessible. Just tell him Ashley in Pensacola sent you. He loves it. His story is pretty cool, too.

And a note regarding “channeled” stuff… Wayne Dyer, who was not considered to be a “channeler,” put it very well in his book Wishes Fulfilled. He said something like, “How do you or I truly know where the words we say come from??” They sure seem to just float up out of nowhere. Folks, we really have no clue! You might say “from my mind,” but do you even truly know what your mind is?? Nope. And do you truly know that it’s your mind and not One big mind without walls? Nope. But here’s the good news – who cares. Because we’re all built with an inner GPS that can discern what works for us and what doesn’t. As you go with your intuitive feeling more and more, you’ll become more and more in tune with this inner GPS. It’s the real You starting to guide the ship. Very cool.

Another shift is that we aren’t assuming that anyone else is closer to the source (or “God“) than we are. That includes priests, spiritual teachers, etc. You and I are their equal at the core. You totally might not know it, though. But what else can “made in God’s image” mean? Seriously. It cannot mean there are different levels; it means there’s One level, and it’s already maxed out, so we’re already infinite and unlimited. Right here, right now, without having to lift a finger. There can be no other meaning. But again, most of us are not experiencing this. As for myself, I’m working on it as best I can. And with absolutely no judgment or comparison (which I’ve done a ton of – most of us automatically do). And I’m sharing it with you and the rest of the world here. So is the Pope special? Absolutely not. And I just love the current Pope, by the way; he’s definitely on the right track. But this concept of him being special totally contradicts “made in God’s image.” Which leads us to the biggie… And please remember that we’re simply thinking about some things out loud, all good, no big deal…

Is Jesus more special than you and I? (Take a breath) Well, let’s see. YOU are made in God’s image. Hmm… And “these works and greater YOU shall do.” Hmm… So that can only mean… hell no! We are all equal at the core. So whenever he said “I am,” he was referring to the I AM that you and I are, right now. He wasn’t referring to the individual dude named Jeshua or Jesus. So “I am the way, the truth and the light?” Absolutely. And that’s what you and I are, right now, without having to lift a finger. I AM refers to the real us that simply is, simply exists, without all the baggage and filters and beliefs that it’s something else, something smaller. What we truly are is always underneath all of that temporary stuff. We might not be aware of this, and we might not be experiencing it, and really this blog is about awakening to this fact. Awakening to the truth of what we already are right here and now. Which is very, very good. And powerful. You’re seeing how I’m awakening in real time, especially after reading my last two posts here and then the follow-up here. You might think of ones like Jesus, Buddha, or whoever as being ones that just figured it out earlier. And now they’re saying, “Wake up! You are not small! Own what you are as an infinite creator and let’s have some fun!”

So there we go folks, that was really cool. I totally don’t know anything, but this is all what I believe now. And I feel it’s time to finally start sharing. There are some churches that are totally in line with what’s written here, like Unity of Pensacola (and they have cool events all the time for the Pensacola locals). I spoke there last February about true love, and it was awesome. I don’t go, though, because I’m just ruined from childhood on the whole idea of a Sunday morning church service. I’m pretty much allergic to it. And again, my family was very chill about it. So don’t think my mom was some evil person; she’s truly amazing, as amazing as a mom can be, really. We went maybe half the time, and Episcopalians are pretty relaxed. But it was just so dead to me. I’m not a big ritual guy, anyway; I’m more of a 24/7 guy. Feel connected at Wal-Mart, literally. Because I think it’s a fact that we can be no more or less connected at any given time. The plug can’t be unplugged. It can sure feel like it, though, and again, this blog is about seeing how and why that happens, and what to do about it. And if I shift and like ritual and ceremony more in the future, that’s fine. But my message now seems to be to show that we don’t need that. And when we really know this, it makes all that stuff even more powerful. So cool.

So have a great Sunday! Or whatever day it is now that you’re reading this. And finally, remember that this is all very good news. I mean, being equal with Jesus ain’t so bad at all. And most of the people I talk to, by the way, think that he rocked. They just don’t like the religious structures that unenlightened men have created since his passing. So let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater! Jesus is our homeboy, as those hats and t-shirts back in the day said. And to you I send all the love that there is, right here and right now. Whoever you are, wherever you are, and whatever you currently believe. It’s all okay. And it’s okay to not know, too. I sure don’t know a damn thing. In fact, I’m finding more and more that not knowing is the best place to be. Peace and love to you, my friend.

P.S. If the holidays aren’t a good time for you, feel free to visit the Archives page of this blog. Scroll down to this time every year and maybe you’ll find some writings that help. One gold nugget can make all the difference. All the best, and I’ll see you very soon.