Jesus Out with the Bathwater?

Today’s blog explores the searching stage of spiritual development and how for many Christians, Jesus gets lost along the way…..but more importantly, why Jesus is still relevant and why we don’t need to set him aside in our quest for spiritual fulfillment.

Questioning, Asking, Challenging our childhood beliefs

I believe that the searching stage of spiritual development is absolutely critical to becoming spiritually and emotionally mature adults (and all the experts on spiritual growth like Fowler and Maslow, etc. agree with me).   The searching stage of spiritual development is when we start asking the questions, challenging dogma, doctrine, rules, wanting to find reason in mystery and wanting to believe in something that we can believe in because it resonates with me, not just because I am told to do it.  The searching stage is when we start looking both within and outside the religions of our youth for that which speaks to our heart, that which nourishes and feeds us and that which might have a bit of reason added to it.  Searching is healthy, necessary and exciting and eventually leads us to spiritual fulfillment and ultimately to our life purpose and mission.  If we don’t search, we are doomed to be a pew potato, doing what we are told and believing what we believe because someone told us to.  And for any churchs out there reading this blog, you really want your members to be more than blindly obedient – mature disciples give and serve WITHOUT being asked because it flows naturally out of who they are and who they have become.

Ripe with Opportunity, Ripe with Dangers

As the symbol of the ouroborus suggests, this time of searching is ripe with opportunities and ripe with dangers.  The opportunities are there to learn and to grow, to mature and evolve.  The dangers, however, require a stout and courageous heart.  Sometimes in the searching, we find that the religion of our youth no longer fits who we truly are.  This is only a danger, however, if we are unduly attached to our childhood religion (which many of us are) or to the approval of our tribe (parents, clergy, members of the community, etc.).  The greatest danger, however, in this searching phase of spiritual growth, however, is really the danger to the religious institutions to which we had been affiliated.  It is for this reason that most religious institutions DO NOT provide the tools, the permission, the processes by which members can effectively searched.  They are afraid that if we search, we will no longer be obedient, and that we might leave.  And people are……in droves.  (What would happen if our religious institutions actually gave us permission, tools and proceeses for the searching stage of spiritual development?  Might we be grateful for their support, openness and acceptance and find a way to make the faith of our childhood our own?????  HMMMMMM  I wonder!!!)   For men and women raised in Christian traditions, however, there is an even more catastrophic danger in this searching stage and a frequent casualty that makes me really sad.

How Jesus Got Dumped

The catastrophic danger and resulting casualty that I am referring to is the loss of Jesus.  There are so many people I know who were raised in Christian traditions, start their searching stage of spiritual development (largely without the support of their church), find fulfillment and meaning in practices from the East (yoga, zen meditation, tai chi, etc.) or in the rituals of Wicca or Native American spirituality,  and decide that Jesus is no longer relevant and might even be ridiculous.  This makes me really sad!  Why do we have to throw Jesus out with the bathwater?  Even though the religion of our youth may no longer speak to us or we have found fulfillment in other traditions and practices, that doesn’t mean that Jesus wasn’t a profound teacher, healer and spiritual leader.  Just because our religions have often twisted Jesus’ teachings to further their power agendas doesn’t mean his teachings are not relevant to our spiritual growth and development.

Bringing Jesus Back

People might think me insane, but I think it is time to bring Jesus back!  To restore him to his rightful place as teacher, healer, prophet, spiritual leader, way-shower.  Bringing Jesus back does not mean we have to believe he’s the messiah, was raised from the dead,  or even the Son of God…..it just means that we can look beyond the constructs of doctrine and institutional manipulations and see the man for who he really was – a man of purpose who tried to teach us how to love.  I know it is really cool these days to give honor to the Buddha, the Hindu dieties, Pagan gods and goddesses, (which all deserve their place of honor) but do we dare to make it cool to also give honor to Jesus?  I’m going to try it for awhile and see what happens.  Wanna join me?

How is Jesus relevant in your own journey?

What parts of the Jesus message ring as true for you?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://yourspiritualtruth.com

About Your Spiritual Truth

I am a trained, professional Spiritual Director, Author and Hands-on Healer. I offer services, programs and classes that empower you to hear the voice of the Divine that speaks from within you. It is the voice of the Divine that leads us to our highest truth, to the discovery and cultivation of our gifts and to a life of Authentic Freedom where we know contentment, compassion and joy. Your truth will set you free!
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6 Responses to Jesus Out with the Bathwater?

  1. Judy says:

    I really enjoy your blog….
    I have been a Reiki Master/Teacher for about 14 years, I am also a second degree Priestess in a coven. My spiritual preference however is Shamanism. I was raised Catholic and servered as a Eucharistic Minister, but always asked the question “WHY.” Never got a good answer so I went looking on my own. I however took Jesus with me, along with his Mother, Mary M. and some others. This works for me. People are more into who’s go the power over everyone, not so much about spirit.

    • Judy,
      Thank you for sharing!!!! I too have explored pretty much the whole world of religion and spirituality including, but not limited to, Wicca, Buddhism, Siddha Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Yoga Yoga, Hinduism, Judaism, and everything in between. Somehow I have been given the gift of seeing Oneness, as such, everything I search simply deepens, enriches, broadens my connection with Christ. I love what all of the traditions of the world have to offer and seek to teach us and at the end of the day…..it seems it is about ONE thing…..LOVE. If we can learn to love, we have done what we came here to do and I’m pretty sure the practices that got us there don’t really matter. When people ask me my religion, I just might have to answer: “I’m a Catholic, Buddhist, Wicca, Hindu, Jewish, Yogic princess, and everything in between.” 🙂

  2. Reverend Mother says:

    Thank you for sharing some thoughts and experiences that I feel many people with a background in Christianity share. When we begin to question, it really rocks our boat and can leave us feeling like we are hanging out in the middle of nowhere – and that is not just for Christians who question their religious upbringing, but anyone, from any religion who questions it. I think that Jesus/Yeshua has been so badly misrepresented, and misinterpreted through the centuries that it is truly difficult to get in touch with the authentic man/teacher/healer/prophet. I too searched for the real person and could not find him in a congregation. At first I thought that I could find him in scripture, but then as I discovered the history of Christianity and of its scriptures, that too became shaky ground. I looked to archaeology, history, myth, legend, and surprisingly, other religions and spiritual traditions to get a different perspective on him. To love the divine, one must be willing to give up all BELIEF as a sacrifice to KNOW the truths (plural). I think that we are drawn to various spiritual teachers throughout our lifetimes, to gather up chards of the whole picture along our immortal journey. To seek the authentic presence of the teachers is ultimate respect for the work that they did, rather than to accept a multi-generational de-evolution of their work. I do believe that our sincere desire and intent to know the authentic Jesus/Yeshua (or any spiritual teacher/beings) will bring us a piece or pieces of that truth, as much as we need to progress our soul. Blessings! Rev. Ma.

  3. Diane says:

    I feel called to challenge you on this topic Lauri, because in my opinion, we can no more leave Jesus behind than we can leave our very soul behind. We are now and always will be inherently connected with all of the greatest spiritual teachers, whether we define ouselves through their teachings or not; even if we are oblivious as to who they are and what they’ve done. This is a time of letting go of attachments, rather than holding on to what we have always tightly clung to, including Jesus. I believe that Jesus experienced his purest connection with God when he let go of absolutely everything he loved. Only then was he able to experience the utter purity of his own soul, which is simply a part of God. We ARE God, and we need know nothing more than that. All else are only the tools we use to remember our Godself. Isn’t it ironic then, that the more we cling to the very tools that will help us along that spiritual journey, the longer it will take us to come back to the awareness of our natural state of Being? I’ve just GOT to laugh at such irony or it’ll all just drive me crazy!

  4. Marla says:

    Great post! Received this as a forward from my mother-in-grace! I, too believe that it comes a time when we as spiritual creatures must ask questions of our own & write our own path with Yahushua. Not leaving Him, especially if we know He is real & have a relationship with Him! Thanks for telling it how it is!

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