My Christianity

Of all the questions I’m asked, I have found this one to be the most difficult to answer: “Are you a Christian?”

Now, it’s a difficult question to answer because for the vast majority of individuals who present such a question, I know in my heart of hearts that what they are asking behind the words, would not be accurately answered with my, “Yes.”

In other words, I know in my heart of hearts that what they are asking behind the words is, “Do you ascribe to my particular brand of exclusivism and elitism and specialness?  Do you ascribe to my particular brand of spiritual superiority?”

I know in my heart of hearts that what they are asking behind the words is, “Do you believe in us and them, and that all thems must ultimately become uses?  Do you believe that there is one right way, and that you and I are fortunate enough to be the ones – in the eternality of all time and in the expansiveness of all space – that you and I are fortunate enough to be the ones who have found that one right way?

I know in my heart of hearts that what they are asking behind the words is, “Do you get your frequent-visitor church card punched on a regular basis?  Do you complete the prescribed rituals, do you demonstrate the sanctioned behaviors, do you follow the rules?”  Are you committed to hitting some proverbial mark during this one, human incarnation so that you might be rewarded in some future existence?

I know in my heart of hearts that what they are asking behind the words is, “Do you share my prejudices and my fears and even my hatreds?”

I know in my heart of hearts that what they are asking behind the words is, “Have you abandoned your science, have you denied your sexuality, have you partitioned your humanity – do you pretend to love a God which your mind simply cannot accept?

“Are you a Christian?”

It’s a difficult question to answer because for the vast majority of individuals who present such a question, I know in my heart of hearts that what they are asking behind the words, would not be accurately answered with my, “Yes,” because my Christianity arose as a remedy for a culture in which exclusivism and elitism and specialness were rampant; my Christianity arose as a remedy for a culture in which spiritual superiority was commonplace.

What they are asking behind the words would not be accurately answered with my, “Yes,” because my Christianity doesn’t perpetuate us and them whatsoever; much less the pious and pretentious idea that all thems must ultimately become uses.  My Christianity asserts that there is a fundamental unity in which all life is united and that there are as many right ways to approach the Divine as there are expressions of this fundamental unity; and that in the eternality of all time and in the expansiveness of all space, every way of approaching the divine contributes its own, unique beauty.

So, my brand of Christianity is broad enough to embrace the Buddhist, to celebrate the Sikhist, to admire the Atheist, to converse with the Confucian, to hang with the Hindu and to love each and every one of them without any condition whatsoever; to love each and every one of them without any compulsion to coax, coerce, convince, cajole or convert.

What they are asking behind the words would not be accurately answered with my, “Yes,” because my Christianity demands so much more from me than the superficialities of the frequent-visitor church card, the prescribed rituals, the sanctioned behaviors, the rules; after all – countless mass murderers had perfect attendance in Sunday School.

Rather, my Christianity demands an ongoing accountability to the quality of heart which stands behind all such matters.  Yes, my Christianity trades the anthropomorphic God who tracks what you do with your body parts in some giant, leather-bound leger for a divine presence which forever whispers its question into the heart of every human, “Yes, but how fully do you love?”  My Christianity rejects a one-up/one-out shot at some out-there/out-then reward, for the consciousness of the heavens which is available in every moment.

What they are asking behind the words would not be accurately answered with my, “Yes,” because my Christianity calls me to challenge my prejudices, to transcend my fears and to eliminate my hatreds; because I don’t accept that my science, that my sexuality, that the fullness of my humanity stand at odds with my spirituality whatsoever; and that where they might appear to do so, it’s only because I must mature.

What they are asking behind the words would not be accurately answered with my, “Yes,” because I believe – more and more deeply with study - that the ministry about Jesus and the ministry of Jesus have parted ways and while longstanding abuse, misuse and malpractice turned me from the ministry about Jesus in years past, I remain to this day, a passionate student of this spiritual master teacher.