Today’s blog explores the question, “Can we redeem Christianity by viewing it from a different perspective?” In other words, can we release the messages of fear and be open to the message of love?
I know that this is only my personal opinion and that many will not agree with me, but it makes me sad when I see all the ways that Jesus’ message has been used to promote fear, to manipulate people and even worse, to justify violence, killing and war. I know that I am just a lowly woman with a few years of theology and spiritual practices under my belt, but in my heart of hearts, I simply cannot see the Jesus I have come to know as promoting fear, manipulation or violence. I sometimes imagine Jesus shaking his head at the way that his words have been twisted. Then there is the warrior in me that fell in love with the bumper sticker (above) that portrays Jesus as stepping boldly into the world declaring that he has come to take back his religion (the one that we have screwed up so badly).
Losing my religion
I know I’m going to get in trouble for throwing this one out there….but I’m not really sure Jesus came to start a new religion in the first place! Jesus was a Jew. Period. Scripture states this and in this there can be no doubt. Neither does scripture present Jesus as saying, “Ok guys, I want you to go out and start a new religion.” All he called his disciples (male AND female) to do was to baptize and to share the Good News (more on that in a little bit). The point is that whether or not Jesus intended to start a new religion….what came after him seemed to go in the direction of fear rather than love.
Is there another way?
So, the question arises, “Is there another way to receive and interpret Jesus’ teachings?” In my humble opinion (and the opinion upon which I have founded my ministry and written my book), the answer is YES! What happens when we take Jesus’ message and look at it through the lens of love rather than the lens of fear? I’ll tell you what…..miraculous and wonderful things begin to happen.
It is this lens of love through which my Authentic Freedom classes and now my book have been created. (Authentic Freedom – Claiming a Life of Contentment and Joy – coming out this April!!!!) When we look at the teachings and ministry of Jesus through the lens of love….we get love….and THAT IS IT! When we embrace the good news that we are One with God in love….always have been, always will be….we come to know more fully our original nature as spiritually free individuals – peaceful, loving, content. HHHMMM Sounds like a good thing to me!
But, Don’t take my word for it!
Here is where humility comes in. Just because I say that this is Jesus’ message….don’t take my word for it (or anyone else’s word for that matter). Check it out for yourself. And this is what my book provides….tools through which you can discern for yourself if Jesus’ message is rooted in love or if it is indeed rooted in fear. Ultimately, the choice is yours. You can choose to see Jesus’ message through the lens of fear and carry around with you the guilt of original sin, the fear of a vengeful God and the despair over the possibility of eternal damnation. Or….you can see Jesus through the lens of love and experience peace, joy and contentment IN THIS LIFE! (PS you don’t have to wait til you die and go to heaven to know peace!!!) In the end, the invitation is to take Jesus’ word for it. Use these tools that I will share with you in my book (and in my classes) and discover the words that God has written in your own heart – are they words of love or words of fear?
- Where have you received Jesus’ message from a place of fear?
- Where have you seen Jesus’ message used for fear, manipulation?
- Who is the Jesus in your heart?
- How are you being called to choose love?
Authentic Freedom Ministries