Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me bring love.
Where there is offence, let me bring pardon.
Where there is discord, let me bring union.
Where there is error, let me bring truth.
– attributed to St. Francis of Assisi (c.1182-1226), from “Peace Prayer”
After having my first experience of light at the age of eight, I grew up as a devout Christian. I was going to adult church at ten and reading the Bible daily when I was twelve. My college major was early Christian history. When I married I became an ardent Catholic, but all the while I continued my decades-long hobby of researching what comes after death. And once I was sure the afterlife is real, I put a lot of follow-up effort into seeking any evidence at all that what Christians believe is true. My inevitable crisis of faith landed with a thud when I was in my fifties. Not only had I found no evidence that Jesus actually died for our sins, but I had found abundant and consistent evidence that such a thing is impossible. The genuine Godhead is nothing like the cranky and judgmental Christian God that I had believed in and feared since childhood, and the afterlife turns out to be far more glorious than anything I had ever imagined. Everyone goes to the same afterlife. Everyone is forgiven and perfectly loved!
The moment when I first accepted the fact that the Gospel words of Jesus agree with what the dead have been telling us, but Christianity has nothing to do with Jesus, was a hinge in my life. It took me years to come to terms with it. I was mourning the religion I had so much loved while I sought a way to shield and vindicate Jesus. I went through a period, too, when I was struggling to understand how a perfectly loving God could have allowed Christianity to betray us this way. Had it all been part of some gigantic plan so clever that no human mind could comprehend it? I didn’t have the right to ignore my discovery, but I didn’t have the right to trumpet it either, so in the end I settled for making it just the topic of an Appendix to most of my Fun books. When Thomas told me it was time for us to write Liberating Jesus, I felt flat unworthy to speak for the Lord until Thomas appeared to me through a medium in 2015 and insisted that I do it anyway. In 2017 he inspired me to write The Fun of Loving Jesus – Embracing the Christianity that Jesus Taught, but then he had me put that book aside until some future day when the time will be right. In recent years I have done a great deal of work under his guidance, but with no clear idea of where this work is taking us.
And I have been fretting about the rapid decline of my childhood religion. Since I first realized that my beloved Christianity actually has nothing to do with Jesus, I have gone through all the stages of grief as they are generally listed: shock, denial, guilt, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. For years I worried that Christianity was dying so rapidly that I had to do something big – and fast! – to separate the genuine historical Jesus from that old-time religion in the public mind. We had to save our precious Baby from being thrown out with the bathwater! But whenever I thought about the possibility that saving Jesus might be up to me, I floundered. How do you even begin such a task? Eventually I came to suspect that we might be supposed to emulate the spiritual movement of the Lord’s first followers, the persecuted but joyous movement of a hundred different perspectives that its first-century adherents called “The Way.” But Thomas kept telling me to do nothing big. The time wasn’t right, and neither were my ideas. Instead of giving me a clear direction, he week after week gave me pieces of his thinking to share with you here as he built a base for our eventual deeper understanding.
And now, quite unexpectedly, he tells me it is time to begin our work.
Thomas guides me, but he serves the Godhead. And the individual tasks that millions of us volunteered before birth to undertake with the assistance and direction of our guides are being carried out in close coordination with a heavenly host of the guides of millions of God’s other minions on earth. There is nothing being done in this field now that is not of great importance! But there is no one bit that is more important than any other servant’s part. Thomas reminds me now that when I was going through my writing-bad-poetry phase at twelve, I channeled a poem that was something about sticking to my work, not wondering why I was doing it or what the end would be, but trusting that there was a point to it all and eventually I would know what it was. That poem’s last line was something like, “And when it all is plain and true, you’ll see the little puzzle-piece that was your work and joy.” He tells me that all the previous years of my life have been spent in preparation, and now l am ready to begin to do what I agreed before birth would be my little part of the great work of elevating this planet’s consciousness vibrations.
Thomas tells me that our particular aspect of God’s work is to serve disaffected Christians. I have been hearing from so many! Typically they are in their fifties or older, and most of them have advanced spiritually to the point where they recoil in horror from the most fear-inducing Christian dogmas. And yet, they still love Jesus! They are eager for a closer walk with the Lord. Thomas tells me that he and I volunteered to spend decades in preparation, and then in the fullness of time to offer spiritual care to the Lord’s strayed sheep (MT 15:24). For Jesus, the good shepherd is a powerful model. He says, “What man among you, if he has a hundred sheep and has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open pasture and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?” (LK 15:4). And, “I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. … I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father … (And) I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd” (JN 10:11-16).
Thomas tells me that our first task is to attack and destroy the fear of death. Fear of death is the one great fear, to the point where every lesser fear can be seen at its core to be a fear of death; so once we no longer fear death, we no longer fear anything. Jesus said, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened” (MT 7:7-8). Long ago I asked, and over fifty years I have been given the truth abundantly. Now Thomas has some exciting ideas about how we can efficiently teach the truth about reality and eternal life online! We’ll be saying more about this soon.
As we are easing people’s fear of death, Thomas intends that we will quietly launch a new Christian denomination. He wants to call it Christianity as a further assurance to disaffected Christians, but as is true of all the forty-thousand-odd other denominations of Christianity, it will have its own name. We will call it “The Way.” As he says, this will be the only Christian denomination that is centered on the Lord and nothing else, so if any mode of thinking should bear the honored name of Christianity, it is this one! And he has given me a few first details:
I had been wondering how we might hold spiritual services without any fear-based religious trappings, but my beautiful friend Sandra Champlain is doing it now. She hosts a weekly Sunday gathering online that “celebrates life and the afterlife,” and it happily grows in attendance each week. Here is the link for Sunday, July 26th, in case you might like to drop in.
How can we live a Christianity that is based entirely in the words of the Lord? Let’s talk about that next week. It is time for all the world to take the Lord Jesus at His literal Word!
O Master, let me not seek so much to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that one receives, it is in self-forgetting that one finds,
it is in pardoning that one is pardoned.
It is in dying that one is raised to eternal life.
– attributed to St. Francis of Assisi (c.1182-1226), from “Peace Prayer”