We’ve been very active lately in holistic, wellness and psychic fairs working with Encompassed by Dreams, our son Caleb’s spiritual consulting business. We primarily interpret people’s dreams or do spiritual readings to encourage and uplift them in their personal journey. Each time we are reminded that so many people are searching and hungry for spiritual things in a post-christian culture. They want nothing to do with organized religion, structure or hierarchy but are more than eager to pursue truth and understand what is going on in the unseen world around them. We are always struck by how horizontal this community is and how completely welcoming and loving most people are. Anything that remotely smells like Christianity simply does not fly in this setting and in fact is not even on the runway. Definitely Post-Christian.
When trying to describe our experiences in this setting to others we are often asked questions like “When do you talk about Jesus?” or “How do you get around to talking about Jesus?” Rather than attempting to answer these questions, perhaps relating a typical conversation might help clarify things. In fact, this post may be just one in a series of “Post-Christian Conversations” that we will continue to write about. To keep things simple, we’ll call our first conversationalist PC1.
Me: “How would you describe your spirituality?”
PC1: “I believe there is a God or Creator that is in everything. Kinda like a love energy.”
Me: “Interesting. Do you connect with this God?”
PC1: “Oh yes. All the time.”
PC1: “My gate is through my Ascended Master Zykon or my personal angel.”
Me: “…and they lead you to your God?”
PC1: “Yes. What about you? How do you do this dream interpretation? How does it work?”
Me: “Our approach is through the ancient Hebraic gate that was followed by many spiritual seekers in the past. We have an Ascended Master as well.”
PC1: “Cool. Who is your Ascended Master?”
Me: “He goes by the name Yeshua. Some also call him Jesus. He is the Ascended Master above all Ascended Masters.”
PC1: “Ohhhhh. Are you a Christian? Is this a religious thing?”
Me: “No. We don’t call ourselves Christians. We prefer Jesus followers or followers of Yeshua. This has nothing to do with Christianity or religion. Kinda like how he lived back in the day.”
Me: “Still want to do the dream interpretation?”
PC1: “Sure. Let’s do it. Here’s a weird one that I dreamt a couple of nights ago….”
At that point we shift into PC1 describing their dream, us listening for understanding and then offering our insights on what it could mean in their lives. No invitation to organized religion. No agenda, script or desired outcome.
So, did we “talk about Jesus”? What does that mean anyway?
Perhaps the real meaning of the question people ask us is “Did you talk about the institutional Jesus?” or “Did you lead them through the sinner’s prayer and to your understanding of Jesus?”
At this time in history, the average person is very well read. Social media is everywhere and Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and others are simply gateways to information the exists all over the internet. As we have said in other posts (eg. 21st Century Reformation), not all of it is true but nevertheless information has never been more accessible. One of the consequences of this situation is that religious buzzwords are no longer acceptable. They slam shut the gate to people’s minds and hearts since the familiar words remind the hearer of something unpleasant that they have seen or read. It has never been more necessary to reflect on what you believe and express it in creative language. Kinda like a Creator.
If you and I truly are created in the image of God, is it not conceivable that we can be creative in describing how we connect to him? Are we really limited to language that has been taught through religious institutions and deemed by them to be acceptable?
Followers of Jesus will know that he constantly used metaphysical language to describe himself and the supernatural world around him. Living water, bread of heaven, born of water, born of spirit, oil, grapes vs thorns, good soil and rocky ground. He was constantly breaking the rules of the dominant religion of his day – Judaism. He “worked” on the Sabbath, thought it was OK to eat consecrated bread, talked to women and let lepers touch him. Made Samaritans (the New-Age religious outcasts of his day) the heroes of his stories. Predicted the destruction of the temple, the centre of their religion. Jesus had no problem being post-Judaism. We should have no problem being post-Christian.
Perhaps we should dump our restrictive language and move on to post-Christian conversations. Look for more of ours in future posts.