The Real Heresy – Part 2
Submitted by Jerry Kvasnicka
As indicated in part 1, the third strand of contemporary spirituality that New York Times columnist Ross Douthat considers heretical and potentially narcissistic has to do with what I actually consider to be an absolute truth, namely that God is within you. As Jesus plainly stated, “Behold, the kingdom of God is within you.” Was this statement recorded in Luke 17: 21 somehow omitted from Douthat’s Bible? Does this pronouncement reveal a latent narcissism in Jesus? Certainly not. Over and over again Jesus made it clear that he was on earth to serve, first of all the Father and secondly his fellow human beings. And human consciousness has now evolved to the point where some of us are beginning to remember that “Yes, I am divine; I am here to honor and express the God within.” And if this involves a departure from traditional Christian “thinking” and an exodus from churches built on these fallacious concepts, I would say it’s something to be welcomed, even celebrated. At last we’re remembering who we are and what we came on earth to do!
David Karchere, spiritual director of the Emissaries of Divine Light program, had this to say on the subject: “For the most part, the Christian world has salvation all wrong…. Is it possible that, as in so many other things, the common understanding of salvation, by whatever means, is exactly opposite to what is true? That the world needs to be saved from humanity, and not the other way around? Is it possible that the power and intelligence of the universe that we are designed to bring to Planet Earth is being methodically excluded from the human world through the machinations of people manipulating the world to meet their own ends? If God is universal power and intelligence, then maybe God needs saving; saving, first of all, from the limited beliefs, ideas and images humanity has of God. Saved from the impact of human beings on this planet, which after all was created by the universal power and intelligence. Then saved from imprisonment in heaven—in the realm of unseen potential. Despite the apparent brilliance of some of our inventions, the real potential of humanity to live in peace and abundance, and in harmony with the natural world, has been largely locked up within us.”
Yes, the world needs to be saved from humanity, because humanity, in a state of false identity, has in effect imprisoned God in heaven. The whole point of creation is that God be a reality on earth (“Heaven and earth are one”), but the beliefs, the systems of theology and all the religions that human beings have developed have served to lock God out of the earth. And look at the horrific mess that has resulted, now threatening the very survival of the planet. I realize that it’s almost inconceivable that billions of believers over at least twenty centuries have been deceived and are victims of “bad religion.” And it is this deception, this heresy, that more than any other factor has kept the human race in a state of bondage and brought the earth to the brink of destruction.
“Religion” derives in part from the Latin root “religio”—“to bind together.” If Jesus’ intent was to form a religion, I’m sure it was for this purpose: to bring people together in acknowledgment and expression of the truth of love and the reality of the divine within themselves. But religion has been a very divisive force within human affairs. Many if not most of the wars throughout history have been fought over religion. Why? Because religion as practiced by human beings has been “bad religion”—based on beliefs and concepts seriously out of touch with the true design of life and the universal whole.
It is generally assumed that if a system of thought, a philosophy or a religion has a large number of adherents it couldn’t be a cult. However, Deepak Chopra made a most accurate statement: “Organized religion is a cult with a large following.” To assume that Christianity, because of its large numbers, is anything less than a cult is a serious error. The plain truth of the matter is that Christianity is a cult, Islam is a cult, Judaism is a cult, all human religions are cults. And cults are invariably destructive to their adherents and to the whole body of mankind.
So I welcome what some have called “the awakening,” the emergence of a body of people who are awakening to the truth of themselves, who are becoming conscious of the God within and who in their living are bringing the qualities of divine character into expression on earth. These conscious representatives of the Creator have taken to heart this injunction spoken by Jesus: “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also and greater works than these shall he do.” It is essential that courageous and capable spiritual leaders come forward at this time, putting aside victim consciousness and the heresies of the past and assuming full responsibility for the expression of the finest qualities of character in their living, giving God access once again to the earth and allowing all things to be made wondrously and gloriously new.
Jerry Kvasnicka, a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary, has had a varied career as a youth minister, a radio news reporter, a writer and editor for several magazines and journals and a custodian with the Loveland, Colorado school district. He has lived at the Sunrise Ranch spiritual community in Loveland for twenty-four years. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.