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Christian Tribes

Christian Tribes

My  previous, wee post about socio-religio tribes has caused a wee bit of a stir among some of my Christian friends. I completely understand where they are coming from, having been a signed up member of their church-based mindset for most of my early adult life.

Simply put, their reservations run something like this:

‘Yes, freedom is a wonderful thing but doesn’t Christ ( The Nazarene) love his church and therefore it’s not a good idea to raise any criticism of its psycho-spiritual effects upon its members.’ 

‘Aren’t we wired for community and, in particular, for the community of God i.e. church.’

‘Isn’t it spiritually dangerous to be an ‘independent’ Christian, for there is safety in numbers.’

‘My church is wonderful and nothing like you describe.’

Let me try to briefly give a reply to each of these reactions, but before that I once again re-iterate that I’d rather write about Divine Love than faith group social dynamics. I have no vendetta against religious groups, their leaders or their members. We are free to choose our path of spiritual discovery; we are all human  and Loved by Divine Love no matter how we perceive these issues. I write for those damaged by their involvement in religious or spiritual groups and those still involved who are pondering their future involvement.  So here goes.

‘Yes, freedom is a wonderful thing but doesn’t Christ ( The Nazarene) love his church and therefore it’s not a good idea to raise any criticism of its psycho-spiritual effects upon its members.’ 

I believe that the church or ecclesia is simply those who follow the spiritual Way of Yeshua the Nazarene; those who through an awakening experience have touched the Transcendent as channeled by the words and life of the Galilean prophet. I do not believed that those who have awakened are any more loved by Divine Love than those who haven’t. All are born from Spirit Source and all will eventually come to a realisation of this, albeit for many, after the transition, known as death.

Yeshua himself spoke freely, using Jewish humour to expose the anomalies of the religious mindset and practices of his day. He spoke out of egoless Love but he did see Judaism as something that needed mollycoddled and left to its own devices.

The concern of the Nazarene was the Divine connection between his listeners and a welcoming God. Where religious or social taboos broke this connection he didn’t hold back in bringing such issues to light.

‘Aren’t we wired for community and, in particular, for the community of God i.e. church.’

For me community is the relational space whereby we share our mutual brokenness and Divine life flow. My community is constantly changing as folk touch my life and move on. I see it more as a river than a reservoir. A running exchange of Life flow rather than an institution that tries to keep the Divine Energy locked in its deep organisational wells. Of course some folk will become close friends, at least for a time. I see these as the Two or Three gathered into Yeshua’s name, a micro-community with a heart open to life and the changes that Spirit breath brings.

‘Isn’t it spiritually dangerous to be an ‘independent’ Christian, for there is safety in numbers.’

Safety from what? I no longer see the spiritual Way of Yeshua as a warfare with its ever-present prospect of being defeated by an external enemy. The only danger to our connection with Divine Love is our fractured psyche-soul or ego that attempts to inject fear and a strong sense of shame and rejection into our inner world. Divine Love is not fearful but confident of its Own Being. As with the Divine, so too with those realigned to its overwhelming Reality. Unfortunately, in my experience, religious groups may be the stage on which our fear driven ego does its thing, as it attempts to impress both God and man. The perceived place of ‘safety’ may in fact be more injurious to our psycho-spiritual health than the outer world of the non-believers.

No Christian, nor indeed any other spiritual adherent is truly independent. We are attached to one another at the level of mutual desire and indeed, if connected to Divine Love, we are automatically connected to others who carry the same Life Flow. We can sense this mutual belonging when we meet a fellow spiritual pilgrim on the Journey through life.

‘My church is wonderful and nothing like you describe.’

I cannot really say what your church is like. All our views are perceptions. Two folk may pick up completely different vibes whilst attending a faith gathering. Acceptance and welcome are a powerful drug, one that often clouds one’s judgement, at least until the social-spiritual cracks begin to appear. Desire transfer is by its very nature taking place at the level of the subconscious, promising relief to our childhood hurts and rejections. It can lead us towards Divine Love or to a dedication to the group identity, a pseudo-replica of true community. If you’re happy in your church, may your happiness continue. Based on my own experience, I reckon all things must pass in order for the new to come. But then again, maybe that’s just me and my unusual, Irish, psycho-spiritual wiring.

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