Archive for the ‘Ecclectica a Reformation Thesis’ Category

It appears as a mundane question, but it is not a broad scope question, but rather to a narrow cultural attache I ask it. It is directed at the Western Christian Empire, that is learning humility through such humblings as the end of colonialism; multi-culturalism; human rights spread out well equally among humans if you will. To name but a few, but there is still the hangar ons, and at least in mass media there is the appearance that the “Religious Right”- those fundamentalist ideologues are easier at replenishing their vocal ranks than the progressive Christian-Historical Jesus-Liberation Theology-Social Gospel-Creation Spirituality-Wisdom school types.

Most notably I could be a prime case example as to why, simply after years of fighting, simply deciding screw this, and moving into a more universalist setting for spiritual growth. Yet, like those who speak of losing their spirituality as inherent to their culture, their is something about us muckety-mucks who harken back to the United Kingdom for our ancestry that has something tied into Christendom.

But as John Dominic Crossan wrote in his 2014 work How to Read the Bible and Still be a Christian we are not biblians, rather our name implies a tie to the humble labourer born in scandal and under threat of death, who for his non-violent resistance would be put to death (yes it was non-violent, as in the same work Crossan apptly points out if there was a threat of violence from Jesus’ crew they all would have been crucified).

Their is something about this master teacher that simply resonates in the soul. A Cosmic Christ that connects us all through the Holy Breath (cosmic dust) that gave us all life. Yet with knowing that it is love that we live in and out of, their is a deeper resonance to bring this lens to the stories that are apart of our journey. Those we told around campfires before the expansion of the labourer’s story, and those that are told after, but in the midst is a love of the story of the simple Jewish labourer that radically loved, and shook the empire to its core. So scared the powers that be they attempted to silence it by murdering him. Yet those that no one saw as people, the women, discovered through love the truth, that what made Brother Jesus such a lover of all, existed within us all, and stepping into and out of the tomb the darkness held no power over them to proclaim that love of self, Creator and others, all interconnected.

Or as another progressive voice, who recently suffered a stroke, Bishop John Shelby Spong has relayed that resonates, “I am a believer who knows and loves the Bible deeply. But I also recognize that parts of it have been used to undergird prejudices and to mask violence,”

Yes the story has been abused, power has been co-opted, and the book has blood on its covers. But that is not the story of Brother Jesus and the group, it is not the story of those who truly walk in the wisdom of old.

But the ability to communicate that outwards. The love, the joy, that this story bonds one too…those that know and lives this are aging, and the questions remains…whom shall continue?


Holy Spirit College

Holy Spirit College (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Donut of Life


What does this donut chart mean? It is something that came to me during SON-rise (my new term for Easter to avoid any ties to bunnies and chocolate, although that is fun too), for we are in the midst as a Body of Christ, struggling with not dying in Canada.  A church a week shutters its doors.  But is it the Body that is dying or the institution?

But it is dying for some say we are irrelevant. And that is the saddest commentary ever for a movement that was founded to be something transformational and life giving…purpose giving in life.  This is what we need to get back to, not a bunch of academic head games, but the heart of the Gospel.  The heart of Christos… that is what the birth, life (teachings/miracles), death and victory of the peasant labourer Jesus of Nazareth truly mean to us.  These ideas represent no one else’s reflection but my own, shaped from a journey of recovery in the institutional church.

Life that is true theology lived…God within everything, everything within God. For a wisdom seeker for salvation (personal and communal transformation).

Each of us has an understanding of what we believe of the story of God with us and us with God, the impact of Brother Jesus in our personal and communal life, and the family we have been called into by the Holy Spirit. Mine is:

What is your Creed? 

Take into account how and what we classify as the scriptures.  Is it simply what the Christianity we are immersed in calls the Holy Bible? Does it include our liturgical service? Hymnology? Prayer books? Theological texts? Fictions? Non-Fictions? Mythologies? Legends? The litany of what shapes our character in text, auditory, visual and action goes on and on… For me my understanding of the Holy Texts of the Holy Mystery are vast, but I come to it not as inerrant word on a page, but for the deeper metaphorical meanings that transcend time to speak directly to me and my community today on our journey.

What is Scripture to you?

For it is in the resurrection of SON-rise that our lives are given peace, hope and meaning.  We truly experience the love eternal of our beloved Creator.

Within the stories, we find a redaction or insertion if you will that does not fit in the time of the piece written. But in Matthew 28: 16-20 we have the Great Commission. Something we have truly pooched as an institution. For we have made it about converts, and saying pretty prayers. When what it is about, the essence, is that we are to mentor (disciple). Live life with one another and help one another grow.

Statistically the secular world understands this. Alberta Mentor Foundation for Youth and Big Brothers & Big Sisters know and have proven that one hour a week will radically change for the better someone’s life. Interdependence is the new vogue in humanism… yet in the Christianities we still exist in the heresies of independence, not only a heresy but a farce.

What is disciple making to you?

It is kind of funny because the last piece I want to reflect on within this life with God is sacraments. Which is our outward showing of our inward mystery. Yet each of the previous sections could fall under this.

Some may know the traditional SEVEN found in Christianities in some form or another:

Now there is nothing wrong with these sacraments, but I think they are trying to tell a story themselves that each believer needs to understand.

Holy Orders, Baptism, Confirmation, and anointing of the sick are all Life Passages for once we are a believer we are an ordained priest in the Order of Christ Jesus. Baptism is an initiation, confirmation is apart of disciple making, and anointing of the sick Or last rites (also the funeral service or life celebration or wake) are all pieces of a life lived in community for transformation. So let us acknowledge that while living in community together we will honour and celebrate each milestone and step on the journey together? Let us honour one another’s callings, some are called to teach, preach, prophecy, but others are called to serve, to cook to be trades people or emergency responders or … fill in the blank… once you have chosen life with God whatever your passion is, is your calling… and it needs to be celebrated. So I would say honestly a sacrament of Affirmation/Celebration is what is needed.

The next step is looking at marriage… sadly this is a contentious debate that even for church goers in Canada is not about love and souls being entwined by God and honoured by family, it has become about a piece of paper issued by the Government. For me, I would say this is the wrong sacrament for the Christianities to honour.  We need a Blessing of Family a time to recognize the life cycle of relationships within our communities. Friendships, romantic relationships and familial blood ties.  Those bonds that bind us together as family within the Holy Spirit need a time to be honoured before God and our beloved.

Finally we look to the Eucharist/Lord’s Supper/Communion and Reconciliation. Why are these two tied together? For me it comes down to the heart of a sacrament of Community or Hospitality if you will. It is about being a welcoming and loving community, with no hierarchy, a willingness to admit wrongs, and celebrate joys together.  The marriage vows are actually quite appropriate for a community of believers. We are to enter into communion together drinking of the Cup of Promise and eating of the Bread of Life for Jesus called us friends.

This leads to the additional sacrament that of Service.  This is a reminder that Jesus lived his life by actually living his life out of God’s love. It is about serving our world to produce the transformation we want.  It would be about enshrining in the values of the Christianities the idea of Giving/tithing our time, talent and/or treasures depending on our level of blessing. This is not to some rotting institution but to the family we have been brought into by the Holy Spirit and our neighbours. It would be reminding folks that volunteerism is a pillar of Christ, so is donating money and goods (for it is in the Acts of the Apostles we are told the communities held everything in common and no one was in need). So is honouring are callings.

What are your Sacraments?

Put simply, reflecting on the close of this SON-rise, what is LIFE to you?


A snapshot of exploration of institutional Christianity from one reformers perspective.  What are yours?