“Since many of you do not belong to the Catholic Church and others are Non-Believers, from the bottom of my heart I give this silent blessing to each and every one of you, respecting the conscience of each one but knowing that each one of you is a child of God!” Pope Francis
Probably the most powerful, life changing and yet confusing dream that I have ever received was this. Six years ago I dreamt that I was in what most guys would consider a regular, Charismatic church service. Myself and a friend had just preached and were stood at the front of the meeting praying for a line of guys who were present. For some strange reason very present in the room was a very heavy manifestation of the Glory of Divine reality! As we went up the line praying for individuals wave after wave of this heavy Glory would roll through the room and instantly impact all present. At one point I looked over at my friend as if to ask him; “Dude what on earth is going on here? I’ve never felt anything quite like this, this is insanely crazy and easily the most supernatural moment of my life!” Then, out of nowhere and to my surprise, an audible voice boomed through the room saying; “These are no longer Christians, they are now the very Sons of God!” A crazy dream. A dream like no other. A dream that for 6 years has left me wondering, pondering and asking; “How on earth can I be a Son of God but not be a Christian? How is this possible? Surely all Sons come via the Christian religion or as some would suggest ‘The Christian Reality?”
I’m beginning to look at the life of Jesus through new lenses these days. I feel that for years I have totally based my view of Jesus (the filter through which I was conditioned to see Him was one of,) ‘Savior and Substitute’ rather than man and brother. That’s ok. For years my focus regarding Jesus coming to earth was entirely one of seeing Him coming with a rescue package for humanity, as the one who came as Light into a dark situation, as the Redeemer and Sacrifice, ‘For and As all!’ That’s ok. These days I’m taking another look at this man Jesus and looking again at His incarnation through a different lens. I’m taking time these days to re-assess His ordinary daily life as my Elder Brother and friend. I’m staggered at just how much I’ve missed. You can learn a lot about Life, Humanity and spirituality not just through the ‘Reason’ why many believe that Jesus came but actually through the life and example of possibility that He set whilst amongst men.
It amazes me just how much Jesus ‘Floated Around’ the religion of His day without actually connecting Himself to it. Yep the guy would go to the temple on the Sabbath and would answer questions fired at Him by religious hierarchy, but it was pretty obvious that His focus was strongly towards the broken and the poor of society AND that often He would do all that He could to wind up the religious system! His message wasn’t one which strengthened or endorsed the legalistic system of the day but one which seemingly ushered in a new way of thinking; “Moses said, BUT now I say; You have heard it said ,But now I say to you!” He also seemed to have an issue that spirituality could be found only by subscribing to the ‘Right/Wrong’ culture propagated by the law, His message was one of love overriding right/wrong and of the Kingdom of Heaven being DIRECTLY available! A kingdom ‘At Hand’ and a Kingdom ‘Within!’ No middle man of religion needed there!! I wonder If we could write down our ‘100 Things that strike us about the life of Jesus,’ where on the list would His church attendance, adherence to the religion of the day and His ability to grow His ministry would rank in the 100? How important was religion for Jesus when it came to Spirituality?
Did Jesus come to set up a new religious order (Christianity,) or did he come to show the possibility of a freedom of Life and spirituality apart from religion? Going back to my dream, is it possible to be a Son yet not subscribe to a religion? I know that many would argue that Christianity is not a religion and as Robert Capon suggests; “Christianity is the announcement of the end of religion!” Great stuff, but was Jesus, (a man who in no way directly joined Himself or supported the religion of His day,) interested in replacing one religion with Christianity which to the majority of people on Planet Earth is ANOTHER religion? Christianity, 2.3 Billion subscribers, Tens of thousands of orders, denominations and branches, thousands of differing views on seemingly very important topics! Who’s right, who’s wrong? Throw into the mix the ever evolving mindset of those caught up within Christianity, What do you mean by that? Well, I personally don’t believe right now what I did 5 years ago and in five years time I wont believe what I do right now! The Christianity that I once believed in I certainly don’t anymore! Five years ago I had no concept on topics like ‘Inclusion,’ as I know did many others, five years ago I also believed that it was Gods good pleasure to beat the shit out of His Son on a cross whilst all along turning His back on Him to satisfy His blood lust! Some Guys still believe that, all under the same header of ‘Christianity!’ It seems to me that Christianity changes as we wake up? That we are the ones that give Christianity it’s definition as we evolve in our thinking? I imagine that the Christianity of Luther’s day 500 years ago looked slightly different to the Christianity of today! WHY? Because man evolved, man woke up, over time Christianity changed because man changed! Who’s the one in control here?
I remember once attempting to suggest to some friends that Christianity was a religion and that God actually transcends that religion just as He transcends all religions! I attempted to suggest that religion is mans attempt to give interpretation and understanding of their God, OR of the manuscripts which they believe their God endorsed. So much based upon MANS ability to communicate what he considers is Truth, yet in the midst of it all is a God who transcends all religion and who is continually revealing Himself to humanity in many diverse ways! I tried to communicate my heart on how I had been strongly influenced by the Christian religion and was thankful for it, and that I saw great Truths being revealed through Christianity. I shared how I easily felt a stronger pull towards Christianity than towards Islam and other religions BUT that all the same I knew that even though God reveals Himself through Christian teachings that ultimately He transcended it all. The guys accused me of being more ‘Buddhist than Christian,‘ and seemed strangely put out when I suggested that great Truth could also be communicated via the Buddhist teachings! As far as they were concerned Truth could only be communicated or respected by those who were fully committed to the Christian Church! The guys got angry with me and shouted; “Christianity is not a religion, it’s Truth!” I just said; “Ok, but hey put a hundred Christians in a room, leave them in there long enough, wait, and listen to how heated the debate gets after a short period of time! Which Christian’s argument will be right?”
A question; is the Church just too damn scared to think of a spirituality apart from Christianity? Have we been conditioned to the point where we no longer trust our own intuition as Sons of God to ‘Know’ and to live? Does the Father of creation feel so insecure of His offspring that He put safe boundaries in place via His Holy Book and religious system to ensure we don’t go off track? Does He even see or even recognize ANY of the man made religions of our day? Did He instigate and does He support any of them, including Christianity? Is it possible to be a Son but not fully subscribe to the ever changing, ever evolving Christian system? I’ve got my own thoughts, maybe it would be good for us all to consider these questions. I have great hope! If Jesus came to show us anything it was that absolute freedom is possible for mankind apart from religion! He didn’t care if guys gathered with Him or not, He was just passionate about their freedom; “Jesus we found a man working miracles in your name but he wasn’t one of US so we stopped him!” As with many today the disciples thought it impossible for humanity to manifest spirituality without subscribing to the ‘System!’
For Donna and I all things are new these daze. We have pulled back from focusing and giving attention to ministry and meetings like we once did, and now progressively find ourselves embracing and being embraced by life itself! It’s only now that we are ‘beginning’ to see a spirituality and a life manifest organically outside of what we previously knew. These days we’ve built friendships with guys from all sorts of religions. Those friendships are deepening and are looking glorious. One guy who I now consider a real close friend, a Muslim brother with a great big heart is special to me. We talk together, train together and eat together. We genuinely encounter life together. The other day we were out eating together and suddenly that same Glory that I experienced in my dream hit our table and for 5 minutes we just laughed uncontrollably like little kids! Seemingly an encounter with a God who transcends religion! I’m not attempting to win him over or change him, I’m just appreciating the ‘him’ who he has always been! Another developing relationship is with a person who has followed me since my time in Big Brother. She considers herself something of an artist with an interest in spirituality and magic! She recently started messaging me because she was interested in some of what I was beginning to say. She asked me if I encountered the supernatural and to what extent. She then began to send me amazing short video clips of physical, tangible Orbs flying around her room, (she even has some footage of her cats chasing the orbs!) She’s special and has a genuine and an incredible understanding of not just the supernatural but of Christ reality. She is someone who maybe would not find freedom or life in any Church box, YET she’s waking up to reality and beginning to encounter her true self! It’s a journey for her, a journey that I’ve been invited in on because apparently I’m beginning to say some stuff which she connects with. Another situation yet again with a God who transcends religion, YET who is personally interested in the affairs of mankind just where they are at! When I engage with these people I realize that there is a greater reality at work here, that outside of the Church dogma and box, stubbornly at work, is a Divine Reality who is continually labouring showing and revealing reality within the hearts of mankind! Continually revealing Truth!
I hope you guys are getting what I’m saying here? My hope is that we can all move on past the dogmatic aggression of what we consider to be right! It’s amazing to me how once Donna and I dropped the defense mechanism of having to spiritually have it all together in the name of Christianity, that we began to find loving and living connections outside of the Christian circles! As we allowed the questions to manifest and gave space for ‘Difference’ to have room outside of our conditioned thinking suddenly LIFE took over! To now just realize that I’m a Son, born from above, ‘Of God,’ same DNA is so gloriously simple! I learn from my Christian brothers, I learn from my Muslim brothers, I learn from my Atheist friends, WHY? Because spirituality and God transcends religion or the lack of religion! Love your thoughts guys, please fire away with comments,
Big Hugs Dave x