Following Christ Without the Old Time Religion

Prince of Peace by Akiane Kramarik

Prince of Peace by Akiane Kramarik

Danaheadshot  by Dana Taylor

Despite my New Age outward appearances, I am a follower of Christ. I hesitate to use the word, “Christian” as that often carries a variety of images and messages that I do not endorse. To name a few:

  • Eternal damnation
  • Patriarchy
  • Homophobia
  • War in the name of religion
  • Conservative Tea Party madness
  • Stupid bathroom laws

I wasn’t raised in a tight Christian community. Southern California is a cultural crossroads. While the seeds of my faith were planted by my Christian mother, we stopped attending any church by the time I was ten years old. My high school and college years were times of growth and exploration. One of the greatest gifts of my culture was the freedom to think for myself. I didn’t have a pastor, rabbi, mullah, guru, father or mother imposing spiritual beliefs on me. People are born with a wide array of talents and tendencies. I was always intuitive and spiritually curious.

Like attracts like, so I made a best friend also fascinated by esoteric matters. There was many a drunken teenage party that found us in a small room talking about Edgar Cayce and reincarnation while others were getting wasted.

My senior year in college took me to a four month internship in Oklahoma, where I met a young attorney and we enjoyed a whirlwind romance. He asked me to marry him three weeks into our dating life. My biggest hesitation was the fact he was a strong Christian and I was not. The afternoon of his proposal, we discussed our spiritual divide. But love and lust conquers all. We married. During our newlywed months, he generally attended church without me while I cleaned house on Sunday mornings. Eventually, I stepped into the Oklahoma culture where attending church is the foundation of community and making friendships. But, attending church does not a Christian make.

My faith began as curiosity, listening to an excellent, intellectual minister every week, meeting people of strong beliefs. But becoming a follower of Christ requires meeting the living Christ. There are life-changing moments — experiences so profound, they alter the course of one’s existence. They might be quite grand, with lots of drama, or they might be quiet and personal.

I met the Christ Spirit quietly in my bedroom one otherwise uneventful day. I’d been reading the Bible daily and considering all the angles. I’d even started sensing a Presence. At some point, I must have said, “Okay, if you want me, I’d like to be on your team.” Or something like that. No great confessions. No howling to heaven. But it was enough. A power from beyond poured over me. Agape love. God’s love. Christ’s love. Well, it was LOVE. Something so wonderful, the earthly love I’d felt before paled in comparison. I couldn’t see it with my regular eyes, but in my mind’s eye, the room glowed with rivers of sparkling light flowing over me. It was my personal mountain top experience. While I couldn’t live at the pinnacle of that mountain forever, I’ve settled in at a lower altitude.

However, finding faith, did not make me lose my intelligence or spiritual curiosity. It seems to me the message of Christ is simple and beautiful. Love one another. Forgive one another. Take care of one another. The message of the crucifixion was the power over death. Christ rose from the dead and His Spirit lives on, touching millions of lives every day, every hour.

mariaAt this point I have mixed feelings about the historical teachings of the institutional church. From the time Emperor Constantine quit the persecution of Christians and embraced the new religion, men began manipulating the masses for control. The church has attracted true saints and also those wolves in sheeps’ clothing Jesus warned about. Killing in the name of Christ brought us the Crusades, the Inquisition, pogroms, and assorted religious wars. Men’s cultural power over women was reinforced by church doctrine. Many sermons make me grind my teeth when I hear a “woman’s place” given as God’s edict. (As an Oklahoma friend of mine put it, I am sick and tired of some middle aged white man telling me how I should live.) The faithful have suffered grievously from priestly sexual abuse finally exposed in recent years. It hasn’t all been pretty, pious, or peaceful.

Yet, Christ lives. He brought the message of Forgiveness, Love, and Everlasting Life. It was as revolutionary a concept 2,500 years ago as it remains today. He’s still communicating and teaching through those with the spiritual antennas to hear Him. In fact, he’s coming in more clearly than ever before. Study A Course in Miracles, begin your days with Jesus Calling. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow.

One of my personal missions is simply to encourage people to think for themselves. I hear from readers of Ever-Flowing Streams: Christ, Reiki, Reincarnation and Me, who have felt they are somehow betraying their Christian faith by exploring ideas outside their standard church doctrine. It’s scary to break the bonds of a fear-based theology. What if the Devil really is out there to grab you?

Followers of Christ enter a higher spiritual realm. We don’t need to live in fear of spiritual boogie men. We do need to exercise discernment. There are dark entities and dangerous paths. But weigh whether a warning is grounded in intuitive discernment or old thinking. Is your bias spiritual or cultural? 

My faith in an active, loving Christ spirit has expanded, even as I’ve embraced concepts of re-birth and quantum physics. Jesus himself was a master of quantum realities ~ he walked on water, controlled the weather, and energy healed. He shook up the status quo and challenged the old guard. I’m simply following his example.

At the end of the day, it comes back to Love and Forgiveness. Jesus represents a global shift from a revenged based culture (an eye for an eye) to a forgiveness culture (forgive seventy times seventy). It’s 2,500 years later and we’re still trying to make that shift. 

There’s a lot of talk today about Light Workers. Many people from across the globe, including myself, identify themselves as Light Workers, spreading love and higher energy frequency to raise the consciousness of modern humanity. That all sounds very New Age, very Eastern, but Jesus may have been the first Light Worker. That’s why I’m still on His team.

I am the Light of the World. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. John 8: 12

colorful sunset

Bright blessings ~

Dana Taylor

F Available in paperback and ebook at Amazon

Books for Inner Peace

Like to start or end your day with a dose of spiritual encouragement? Here are three books that have inspired me to release anxiety, go with the flow, and embrace joy. They come at it from different angles and traditions, but they’re all singing my tune.

Stephen Mitchell’s translation of the 81 pearls of wisdom from the ancient pen of Lao-tzu in the Tao te Ching, or Book of the Way, is pithy and wise. The Second Book of the Tao picks up later Taoist philosophers’ stories and poems with a wry Mitchell commentary offering a Western take on Eastern thinking. These short expressions of profound ideas validate the notion that less truly is more.

*****

Sarah Young’s Jesus Calling has taken Christendom by storm. Young has all the right credentials for the Christian market from her education and to her mission field lifestyle. The book grew out of her personal journaling and receiving “messages.”  The metaphysical world,  would call that “channeling;” the Christian world is more comfortable with “inspired.” (You say tomaato, I say tomahto.) In any case, the daily devotionals resonate with readers looking for a vibrant relationship the Living Lord, Jesus, or the Christ Consciousness. Young mostly refers to “Me” or “My Presence,” but you know who she means.

*****

 I’ve also found myself returning to Jack Armstrong’s Lessons from the Source. This self-published book is lesser known, but offers an excellent mental path of achieving your Greater Good. This channeled (or inspired) material has a Law of Attraction flavor. As the adage goes—change your thinking, change your life. This book is a good place to start.

*****

Feed your mind with uplifting thoughts and see what good things come your way. That’s part of Supernal Living!

Dana Taylor