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Growing A Church?

Growing A Church?

Now I’d better own up before I proceed. I used to be a church junkie, albeit a slightly reticent one in my somewhat zealous youth. You see, I believed the evangelistic take on God and his kids. God is working in the world and His agency is the institution belovedly known as church. Back in my Irish homeland, as soon as one came into an experience of the risen Nazarene, one was instantly ushered into a sheep fold under the name of a ‘sound’ church. I was never really sure what a sound church was, for those who embraced the standard orthodoxy seemed to be asleep to me, the only sound being my snoring during the pastor’s sermon. No, for me it was a more radical version of Jesus community, or so I thought. I was a founding member of a Charismatic, (yes, speaking in tongues etc) fellowship that attempted to do things differently. I should have known better though, for all life-giving religious or spiritual movements eventually conservatise, becoming clones of their older predecessors. Northern Ireland was, and still is, peppered with man’s attempt to get Divinity into a box, much like any other Bible Belt area of God’s good Earth.

That being said, I want to look at our fixation at growing a church, to use a trendy but ineffective term that’s doing the religious rounds. If one has a church, a group bang in the centre of Divine Will, then why not grow it – the bigger the better right! Well no, at least in my experience. Here are a few reasons for small is beautiful.

1) God isn’t obsessed by church like most of His/Her kids.

Jesus groups were to be transient expressions of God realignment, not the be all and end all. Packed buildings of Jesus people on Sunday mornings aren’t on God’s agenda.

2) Spiritual life is best shared through conversation and friendship.

The Nazarene hinted at this when talking about the two or three gathered into His name. When a few folk, with open and respectful hearts tune into the Divine in conversation, there is an opportunity for Presence to manifest and flow between those present.

3) Growing churches was never a Divine suggestion.

Growing things is frankly more to do with market share than the Way of the Kingdom/Queendom.

Institutionalised faith needs institutions and institutions need cash to survive. Once established, rigid faith groups frankly need bums on seats to keep going, and of course as we all know failure is never on the agenda for those believing God is with them.

3) Growth is an organic experience and one that is deeply personal.

The numbers game in religious circles, patronisingly disguised as a concern for the lost, is nothing to do with true growth.

Spiritual growth is the growing awareness of who we are, and our place in the Divine Heart. Such growth often follows times of great personal darkness. It cannot be manufactured on the assembly line of programmed religion. Rather it takes place in the desert of aloneness, when Light invades our Darkness.

4) Growth of our group encourages religious competition.

I’m afraid I have to smile when a new church opens up here in Lincoln. The pastor priest will always claim to be in total harmony with the existing churches in the city. Their targets for membership are always the ‘unchurched’, especially the young unchurched who are susceptible to subtle, or not so subtle, love bombing. What often happens though is a case of sheep transference. When the shiny new religious stall is set out, Jesus people sniff out a better pastureland and hop the church fence to enter the new field of fellowship. And so it continues, throughout the ages. Like competing supermarkets, religious groups are in the marketplace of desire. the subliminal message is always this: ‘Our take on Jesus is more authentic than that of other groups, so come aboard!’. The merry-go-round world of church membership falsely feeds the growth dreams of model pastors/priests. We are getting new people so we must be fulfilling God’s agenda.

5) Big numbers inflate ego’s group identity.

When we get high on our numbers, ego is lurking, willing to elevate us to a special status, that of God’s chosen.

Growth is put down to God adding to our numbers rather than our clever marketing or manipulation of broken folk looking for answers. Ego, looks over its sacred empire and gives itself a pat on the back, while giving God all the glory, at least publicly.

It’s empowering to be a member of a large and cutting edge group, though in time the ride will end in disillusionment and tears. It’s at this stage that God may get a chance to have a wee chat with us and bind up our self-administered wounds.

6) Church and its size is irrelevant in the great scheme of things

While caught up in the church growth delusion we tend to see life as a life-saving operation. It’s a case of getting as many folk as possible into the Jesus lifeboat as possible before they check out of space-time. And as most of us know who’ve sailed the seven seas in such a craft, it’s really a delusion, for the boat of salvation is merely a church expansion programme. Divine Love has birthed all and will embrace all, church membership or not. To limit a spiritual coming home to joining a church is a big mistake. For often we leave the integrity of our God encounter at the door to play a different game, one driven by the need to belong and be accepted; a shinier version of the game that we played in our wilder days.

So there you have it. Some wee thoughts why it’s best not to get involved with your church’s expansion drive known as evangelism. Since the days of my evangelistic zeal I’ve discovered that God is big, very big indeed. Faith groups are only part of a world that is loved, a Love without restraints that waits at the city gate for those with ears to hear to listen and respond. The Voice is everywhere, even, dare I say it, in the back pew of my old hemorrhaging church.

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roller-coaster 11

Roller-Coaster Religion

In our youth many of us loved to visit theme parks with their precarious, spine-tingling rides of terror. It was cool to be scared and come out safe and sound at the other end, before heading back for another go. It’s got me thinking about the religion of my youth. I reckon it was a roller-coaster ride to beat all roller-coaster rides. The big one where Cosmic powers laid down the tracks of my life, taking me on a topsy-turvy  spin of life and death. I guess I’d better explain.

I got on the roller-coaster when I was converted, when I bumped into the Divine at the Theme Park of Northern Irish religion. now at the time I believed that God was the owner of the Park, but I was mistaken. Like me He/She was just visiting, looking for lonely souls like myself, a Divine pick-up if you like. No, I was quickly ushered onto the Charismatic/Evangelical roller-coaster ride, not by Divine Love, but by the ride operators at the Park, the teachers of a faith, full of excitement and thrill.

At first things sped along nicely, as I ate my Bible snacks on a daily basis, drinking from the fizzy fountain of answered prayers. Just around the first bend though, things started to pick up. We weren’t on this ride for fun, rather we’d been recruited by the Divine, who incidentally was wistfully watching from the sidelines, for the Battle of all battles, the titanic struggle of Good v Evil, or Jesus v Satan. My wee psyche had inadvertently been hijacked for a cause, one that had strapped me in for the long-haul, by the vows of group commitment. For beside me, to the right and to the left, were my brothers and sisters, those fellow warriors who joined me in the cause – an army we were told that would storm the Gates of Hell. Boy, was that a rush. One mass of screaming solidarity flying around our God ordained track of Spiritual Warfare. We couldn’t lose with God on our side or could we?

Of course we had some wonderful ups along the Way, when we glanced far below the Face of Divine Love, smiling at us. Unfortunately we mistook this for Its approval, rather than the compassion that awaited us on our dizzy return. Anyway, it was an adrenalin blast, as we danced, sang, spoke in tongues and fell on our faces in the frenzy of devotion. And there sitting in front of us were our elders, who’d ridden the ride for many years, knowing each twist and turn, stoical in their steadfastness and control. All we had to do was copy them and everything would be all right, as we soared into the very heavens of God.

Of course, the downers followed the ups. There were casualties as we peaked and headed down into the tragedies of life at lightening speed. No matter how euphoric the ride, things got messy at times, both personally and collectively. We were bombarded by the fiery darts of the Evil One as we attempted to claim Northern Ireland for Jesus, through the cries and screams of intercessory prayer. And boy, did he pack a punch, knowing how to hit us in our spiritual solar plexus. Depression stalked our downward path, yet we cranked up and efforts and prepared ourselves for the next upward surge of Spirit. The Sunday sermon told us that it wasn’t an easy ride following Jesus, and so it proved, though not for the reasons that the preacher promoted. For a ride with Jesus and the Devil wasn’t a bed of roses, one that we could easily escape from. If we jumped, Evil had won and we’d pay for it for the rest of our lives. If we stayed we pleased Jesus but had hell to pay.

I managed to stay on the ride for 16 years or so, before I was pushed off , so to speak. Having lost my firstborn son Ben, to cot death at 5 months, I began to doubt the supposed All Powerful Designer of the Ride. Yet, even this wasn’t enough to have me get off the Revivalist track. It took some plain old rivalry with my leader friend to have me finally pushed off, an act of unintended mercy, that paradoxically saved my future, psycho-spiritual bacon. And of course, there was God standing by the kiosk of Compassion, granting me all the time necessary, for my cold-turkey detox from the adrenalin-fuelled track of Revivalist religion.

Eighteen years later, it was time for us to be reintroduced. Not on the Fairground Rides of Programmed Religion, but in the aching emptiness of a human heart. And so it has continued, a courtship of Aloneness, a Union in the fields of Self, far from the victory screams of Satan-obsessed souls.

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Clericalism

Clericalism

I guess there’s always been a bunch of folk who saw themselves as intermediaries of sort between God and man. How come? Well I believe that bizarrely the roots of religious belief can be found in mob violence – the founding murder, so to speak. I’d better explain.

Ancient man lived in small extended family groupings or prototype tribes. When something went wrong in their fight for survival and things began to get a little heated, a scapegoat was quickly found and dispatched in a fit of rage. This unexpected blood-letting released a quasi sense of cathartic peace in the remaining family members, who began to interpret it as the blessing of the Divine Spirit in the Sky! “Ah, so if we kill someone or something on a regular basis, we can obtain the favour of the One above. If we sacrifice to Transcendence, blessings will flow.” The birth of sacrificial religious thought which sadly continues to this day.

Over time, the tribe asked for volunteers to dot he dirty deed and so the priesthood was born. Those not afraid to get blood on their hands in exchange for a new prestige within the community. “We are a cut above the rest,” became their sacred slogan as they sharpened their clerical knives. And so it has continued through the ages. For some the blood is still part of the killing vocation, for others it’s now a symbolic role, dispensing the wine of the slain Lamb on a regular basis. Since time immemorial we have been into blood and so it remains. Further exploration of this obsession is for another day. What I really want to focus on is the sociological residue of such a belief system – the clerical class.

Now, let me say that I’m friends with a number of priests of varying shades. I’m not here to question their motives or their devotion to the Divine; rather I wish to question whether they are needed. Of course, when professional livelihoods are involved the cleric understandably fights back with 2000 years of Christian tradition or even more in the case of the older religions. I can understand that all too human reaction. When we need food on the table for our kids we’ll perform all sorts of pastoral back flips to justify our existence.

No, do we really need a professional class of priests, pastors and dare I say it, Apostles ( for my Pentecostal friends) in order to know God. Do we still require the experts to stand between Divine Source and man? Well, if we still insist on communities that centre around a round of religious gatherings in a purpose-built building, then the clergy still play a role, albeit an organisational one. For, let’s face it, if there wasn’t a paid official to do all the stuff, the whole system would collapse due to apathy. Folk have always wanted a Moses figure to go up the Mount and come back with a tabletised list of instructions from God, especially if they can also perform the role of CEO for the business named church.

I guess I’m saying that we don’t need a bunch of men or women to dispense the Divine for us, for Presence already dwells within. What we may need is one almighty shock to our ego system, that reveals this dramatic truth, one that rarely comes through the dedicated efforts of the clergy. A sudden death, a health scare, a divorce, redundancy etc all have the potential to jolt us into an Awakening experience. The place for answers is within, in the depths of our ego screams. There the Light dwells and we knew it not. Most folk within clerical systems of ministry are nice folk, though not all. Yet, there very existence may divert folk from meeting the Divine, heart to Heart. A little ministerial cul-de-sac that seems to help for a while until a new top-up of concern is needed. Life is messy and it’s there that Divine Love has chosen to dwell.

The trouble is that the priest/pastor/reverend etc can feel that it’s their job to keep the whole God show on the road. This is often done by teaching the particular dos and don’ts of their interpretive tradition. Having joined the clerical class to help mankind they can so easily end up propping up a moral empire based on the interpretive add-ons of their religious tradition. It’s so easy to switch into control mode in the name of the God of freedom. It’s the historical virus that invades the very heart of religious systems. The priest once more stands as judge and jury on the whole God-man thing, tempted to shed blood, albeit verbally on the chosen scapegoat.

Finally, let me tell you a wee story. A couple of years back here in Lincoln, I was out for a walk along the local High Street when I noticed a bunch of Christians doing their evangelistic thing. Always willing to have a chat will fellow God folk, I stopped and entered into a friendly chat with a guy, who turned out to be the pastor of the gang. At first our conversation was friendly but soon it was strongly inferred that I should be a church member and come along to sample his particular brand of gathering. At this point I suggested that the pastor try a wee experiment. Why not stop all church gatherings for a year, when folk could just mix with society at large. After 12 months have a meeting to see how many people had become Christians through contact with his flock. Unfortunately, I saw sheer disbelief in his eyes. “Dylan, I couldn’t do that.” “Why not?” I asked. “Well, frankly my members wouldn’t make it if it weren’t for our church programme.” Enough said. ” The Christ within would wither up and die if the pastor’s flock didn’t get their weekly worship session and sound Bible instruction.

The clerical system at its worst methinks.

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Matrix Messiah

Matrix Messiah

 

Hi folks

I’m delighted to announce that my latest book, ‘Matrix Messiah’ has just become available on Amazon. It encapsulates much of my thinking about the Nazarene and what following Him is really all about. I humbly offer it to you as the fruit of my life, with all its ups and downs.

‘Matrix Messiah lifts the lid on the subconscious matrix that most of us miss, the subliminal puppet-master of our day-to-day relationships and actions. Discover why certain people get under our skin; why we feel trapped by life; why inner peace continually eludes us. Spiritual writer, Dylan Morrison, examines the radical mission of Nazarene prophet, Yeshua bar Yosef, through the complementary lenses of Girardian mimetic theory and transpersonal psychology. The result? A key of knowledge, a long time hidden, yet deeply practical revelation that frees us from the gravitational field of interpersonal control and cultural manipulation. By exposing the roots of our individual psychic fragmentation and society’s ever increasing violence, Matrix Messiah brings a much needed message of hope and reintegration, for religious and non-religious alike. A therapeutic insight into the Galilean holy man; one that will challenge the prevailing world views of Christianity, atheism and just about everything else in-between.’

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Hi Folks

Here’s one of the most potent and possibly disconcerting chapters in my recent book ‘Way Beyond The Blue’ for your perusal.

It’ll give you a flavour of the way I think and write.

If you want to read more, I’ve added the wee link to Amazon at the end!

❤ Dylan

 

 

 

Chapter 32

Yeshua Sayings That You Rarely Hear In Church ~ 4

‘For you took away the “key of knowledge”. You yourselves didn’t enter and you hindered the ones entering in.’

In this provocative, yet deeply perceptive statement, Yeshua bar Yosef once more turns the full force of the Divine spotlight onto the prevalent religious mindset of His day, indeed, onto the hidden mindset of all religious systems throughout the ages. The sacred skeleton in the cupboard can no longer remain dressed up in the pseudo-respectability that it cleverly attempts to clothe itself in.

So what exactly is this key of knowledge that Yeshua claims Judaism’s religious top brass were holding back from the common people? Well, in order to answer such a crucial question we need to examine the context of the Nazarene’s debate with His Jewish elders.

Yeshua has just fired both barrels at the number of excessive laws extrapolated onto the Torah by the Jewish Scribes. In other words, He was confronting the timeless issue of religious legalism that always reduces the big, spiritual picture to the minutiae of pietistic duty.

Yet, in the ensuing discussion, Yeshua unearths a much darker and sinister problem that lies as the foundation stone of all religious systems viz. violence and its accompanying hypocrisy; the hidden elephant in every holy of holies. The revelation of violence, lying at the heart of our commonly perceived route to holiness, is, I believe, the key referred to by the Galilean prophet-teacher; the key that opens the door to a totally new perception of the Divine Nature.

In first century Palestine the construction of tomb memorials to the prophets of past generations helped consolidate a much threatened, Jewish national identity, in the face of Roman oppression and occupation. The religious authorities in Jerusalem appeared to honour the pioneering spokesmen of their embryonic faith whilst paradoxically honouring their forefathers who’d murdered them. Yeshua decides to go straight for the sacred jugular in exposing the blatant hypocrisy of His fellow debaters by claiming that all prophets throughout human history, (Abel to Zechariah), had been murdered by the status quo religious representatives of their day.

Yeshua’s previous declaration that we cannot serve two masters appeared not to have registered with His supposedly learned audience. The religious violence of the past was repeatedly being hushed up, indeed, literally whitewashed over on the victims’ grand memorial tombs. A good gloss has always been painted over such religiously motivated murders.

The Nazarene, ominously a prophet Himself, dared to expose the violent spirit that continued to underlie the religious game since the dawn of human history. He well and truly succeeded in flushing this destructive genie out of its shiny, sacred lamp, thus determining His own particularly tragic, yet deeply prophetic destiny.

You are sons of your father who was a murderer from the beginning’ elsewhere exploded the early Jewish myth of a violent, angry God, the father in question being the Satan or Adversary of skewed human desire. No wonder Yeshua’s listeners immediately attempted to respond with violence, ironically proving the truth of His claims regarding their dubious spiritual parentage.

The murder of Abel, the first brother, is a telling prototype of all future religious rivalry and its resulting violence; the striking out of sacred jealousy birthed by a dysfunctional perception of the Divine. A founding murder misinterpreted as the result of a Divine rejection; a subtle mechanism that regularly keeps the religious show on the road.

‘For God and Ulster’

This paramilitary group’s slogan for war in my deeply divided homeland of Northern Ireland, says it all. The Divine has been mistakenly woven into the very fabric of human violence since Cain lashed out at his innocent sibling. Jealous of Divine approval, the sons of God go to war, carrying their dualistic Deity deep within their wounded, love starved psyches.

No matter how effective the cover up, the violence at the heart of religion will, given time, always rear its ugly head – like a jack-in-the-box that must eventually pop up. ‘Look how they love one another’ has become the taunt of non-believers worldwide as they witness the often bloody rivalry at the heart of all sacrificial religion.

As we all know, this radical revelation of religious violence by Yeshua quickly resulted in His own tragic, but not totally unexpected murder. Dressed up in the guise of politico-religious expediency; the Satanic genie had hit back in its time-honed modus operandi. Further unmasked through the Crucifixion of its Divine whistle-blower, the stunned violent godfather quickly struck back by insidiously dressing the risen Victim in violent apparel of His own. A perverse but deeply effective diabolical counter-play: a Father and Saviour Son who’d dispatch non believers to a place of eternal torment for their non-belief. A violent God now ridding Himself of violent men.

May I suggest that, like its Jewish predecessor, the religion of Yeshua also does a tomb job on its quickly dispatched prophets. Is this key of knowledge still important in our walk with the Divine? I believe so. The nature of religion, no matter what the brand, is still essentially the same; under its respectable Jesus layer lurks a hidden sibling rival that negates the very message of the Nazarene viz. a Divine Love that unconditionally welcomes and accepts all.

Thankfully, Spirit Breath, the inner Voice of such a Love can always be heard, whispering, far from the violent battlefields of religious systems, the fractured, dualistic world of them and us. Let’s constantly be on our guard; may we never mistake the Way of the whitewashed Tomb for the Living Way of Yeshua, the Lamb Victim, slain before space- time began.

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Two In One

Two In One

‘Experientially, we’re all both paradoxically unsaved and saved.

Just depends on whether we’re presently tuning into the fear fuelled illusions of ego or the perceptive inner Voice of Spirit Breath.

A duality within non duality if you like.’

Dylan Morrison

I don’t know about you, but some days there seems to be a lot of little me‘s kicking around inside this person that I call Me.

No wonder we get stressed out as our inner selves fight and argue like a bunch of  schoolyard kids fighting over the last candy bar.

Often our inner world reflects our outer world and all its conflicts. When we appear to have enemies without we have enemies within and vice versa. Bizarrely it appears that there are no boundaries as far as relational tension is concerned.

So what comes first? The outer or the inner?

May I suggest that our inner community of little sub-personalities birth or attract our outer sources of conflict. Please let me explain.

Our internal family of me‘s comprises the ‘ego’, that collection of little defenders, linked to our autonomic fight, flight or freeze nervous system. They perceive themselves to be the protectors of an illusory self that doesn’t really exist. These little guys or gals aren’t evil, just highly dysfunctional, misinterpreting the signal from our outer world that bombard them on a daily basis. Like some gang of Japanese soldiers who believe World War 2 to be still raging in the jungles of the pacific islands.

I reckon that this little inner defense force was recruited in infancy and early childhood when we encountered trauma for the first time, usually the withdrawal of unconditional love from our parents or other trusted adults. But that is a topic for another day.

So where does that leave those of us who claim we have been ‘saved’ by the person and mission of Yeshua bar Yosef, known in Christian lingo as Jesus Christ. Well let me first say that there are many facets to this restoration or ‘salvation’ to use a much overworked and clichéd religious word, dripping with much misinterpretation. Whatever this experience entails, it is indeed most certainly that, an experience. Anything that only resides in the conceptual grey matter of theological argument is not what the Nazarene was all about. Our restoration or realignment with Divine Source must be an experience, something that I believe we can feel in the caverns of our inner world. Now of course many will recoil from subjective experience, choosing instead to place their trust in the doctrinal statements of a head based faith.

Such a retreat from the subjective experience of Divine Love would be an anathema to the Nazarene and his Jewish contemporaries. The God connection, whatever it is, must, if anything, bring a subjective realignment to our total selves; body, psyche and spirit, including our central nervous systems.

Simply put the Nazarene welcomes and reconnects our ego gang of misguided defenders with the Source of All, the one referred to by him as Abba. The experience of homecoming is a standing down of our ego army, an acknowledgement that the illusory war is over and that it’s safe to lay down the weapons of self-destruction.We awaken to a new reality; that All is well and shall be well. Nothing, not even the perceived threats of our inner or outer worlds can separate us from the embrace and sustenance of Divine Love.

Ego, in all its fragmented parts is welcomed into the Home of Divine Love to meet the One that it claimed to protect for all those angst ridden years – namely our true Self, that spark of the Divine Fire that is truly us. Under the guidance of a reformed Will the two inner communities can grow into One. This is the essence of space-time salvation or wholeness healing.

Of course the stored memories of conflict can still reactivate false alarms, causing our ego components to man the psychological ramparts but still, things are different. We can quickly return to barracks realising that the threat is a phantom threat, a trick of a mind that defended itself for many decades.

So paradoxically we are dualistic creatures, often switching between the default settings of ego and Spirit. Yet as we grow in the Way of the Nazarene, we shall see that in Reality All is One, the Presence in which we live and move and have our being.

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Why Churches Explode

Why Churches Explode

Let’s face it. Churches are intense groups of folk who claim to have found God and certain that He/She dwells among them. It’s a heady basis for any gathering of people, no matter how saintly. Traditions of millennia have tempered the inter-personal dynamic of many, with a smiling nod of the head or the traditional hand-shake at the door being the only expected behavior of many attendees.

Yet for some church is a lot more; a hot-house of belief where a sense of family is encouraged with all the dangers that entails. When God is seen as the Big Daddy, the leadership, Big Brothers or Sisters, and the majority of folk, children of God at various stages of spiritual growth, then we inadvertently sow the seeds of trouble further down the line.

Over time the family connection takes over from the Divine connection within, subtly becoming the defining stage for our place in the world. Our fellow members become more important to us than those previously in relationship with us. We take our cue from our standing within the family, and especially how we are viewed by the established leadership.

Of course, such psycho-spiritual tweaks aren’t part of the public persona, where freedom in Christ or the Spirit is the name of the game, but they are there nonetheless. The longer we’ve been around a family church the more we play the game, secure in our position in the God rankings, particularly if our particular ‘ministry’ is valued by those who can discern such things.

The pressure within such faith groups is pretty intense with a high level of commitment expected by those around us. Indeed an introductory ‘commitment’ course, of weekly lectures is often a necessary prerequisite for those wishing to join. ‘Better to know what you’re getting into before committing’ goes the standard line. And yet, the high level of commitment required is itself a subliminal carrot that draws us into the tight-knit group. In the depths of our being we want to belong to a group that knows where its going, especially if that destination is the Divine Will itself.

As relational rivalry emerges within the family it is quickly interpreted by those in leadership as the challenge to love as Jesus loved. Indeed it is often seen as the reason we gather in intensity in the first place; the human community where our ‘rough edges’ are removed as we surrender our own desires and will to the greater good of the family. In practice this defusion device works for a while as we knuckle down to carrying our personal cross within the confines of the greater group identity.

Yet, eventually the bubbling undercurrent of ‘not being happy’, once more rises to the top where it will be swiftly dealt with by a sometimes coldly efficient leadership. The usual tactic of choice is to reflect the claustrophobic community concerns of the member back onto the member himself. Having looked for a safe and sincere forum where issues can be raised, the troublesome saint is often disillusioned at the response given viz. a subtle placement of blame upon his own character.

And so the scene is set for another departure, one that usually takes place through the ecclesiastical back door cleverly hidden by the somewhat patronising religious spin placed on it by the hierarchy of the group. ‘God has called Fred and Diane to a new work……’.

When rivalry within a religious family gets to the level of contagion, the group, like many blood-line families often explode and fragment. The number of such splits, especially within the Protestant stream of Christianity is endemic which is often covered up with the lame argument that God loves variety. Indeed He/She does, but not the psycho-spiritual shrapnel of broken lives that lie across the battlefield of religious disagreement.

My observations and experiences suggest to me that it all can’t be blamed on human nature, for such faith groups claim that they consist of ‘new creatures in Christ’. It would appear that the newly inherited Christ nature, loves to fight among Itself. Either this or the fact that we are not as ‘born again’ as we first thought.

May I humbly suggest that it is our mindset regarding faith or spiritual community that is at fault. Let me throw a grenade of sorts into the established model of church. There is only one ‘church’ and that is all who have been welcomed back into relationship and alignment by the generosity of Divine Love. In other words, church or ecclesia, those gathered for a common purpose is the totality of mankind. Some of us realise it and some don’t but all are there, at least in the eyes of a supremely benign and inclusive God.

So do I need to join a church if I follow Yeshua. My suggestion, contrary to much religious teaching is no. You are already in the group that God loves, the community of the redeemed who walk the face of the Earth. All belong to Divine Love and all belong to us. As you dive into the mass of heaving humanity you will join the Christ, the One who submerged Himself in the images of Divine Source. If it was good enough for Him it’s surely good enough for us.

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