Can you see the wonder and joy on my face in this picture of my 2nd birthday party, and the even greater joy on my dad’s face, as he delights in my happiness?
Imagine a birthday just like this, a couple years later, where my dad decides to tell me the most important story I will ever hear in my life. It’s my 4th birthday, and I’m old enough to understand, so it’s TIME. It’s time for me to hear the good news about Jesus.
But in order to tell me the good news about Jesus, he has to first tell me the bad news about Noelle.
We sit down on the couch in the living room, and a somber look covers his face. The bad news, I learn, is that I AM BAD. I am sinful. I am fundamentally flawed because several thousand years ago, my great-great-(add a lot of ‘greats’)- grandmother ate an apple God specifically told her not to eat, and when God discovered her disobedience, He cursed her, which in turn cursed every generation after her.
My dad tells me that this made life really difficult for everyone, and that all humans, including me, have been separated from God ever since. We are all fundamentally sinful, and we can’t trust ourselves or our desires, because we are filled with corruption.
I look confused, and my little brain tries to process this, so my Dad backs it up with an example:
“Remember how you disobeyed your mom earlier today, sweetie, and didn’t stop playing with your toys right away when she asked you to?”
“Yes.” I reply softly.
“That’s an example of your basic sinful nature. You disobeyed, because basically, you ARE sinful.”
A sad expression mixed with shame covers my face now as I realize that yes, he is right. I am bad. This sucks.
But little do I know, this is just the beginning – it gets WAY worse:
“Because of your basic sinfulness, Noelle, and separateness from God, you are actually destined to suffer in hell (a horrible, fiery, dark place with endless torment) and be separated from God for all eternity.”
Now I start crying, because this sounds really horrible! I know I’m bad, but I don’t want to go to hell!
But then he touches my shoulder in a comforting gesture, and tells me the good news: That I don’t have to go to hell, because Jesus, God’s only Son, came to earth, and suffered a horrible crucifixion and died in my place. Jesus was brutally whipped and beaten and nailed to a cross, taking the punishment that I actually deserve.
And the good news is that he rose from the dead and is living today in the spirit realm, and if I invite him to live in my heart, I will be saved, and I will get to go to heaven forever.
OK, good, I think. Whew. At least there’s good news.
“So,” my dad continues warmly, “isn’t that wonderful? You don’t have to rush into anything, but whenever you are ready to ask Jesus into your heart, I will be here to help you do that.”
A mixture of panic and excitement come over me, and I say, “Now! Yes, now!”
And I feel overwhelming peace and joy and relief flood my heart as my dad leads me in a prayer to invite Jesus to be my Lord and Savior.
I don’t remember the actual details of this conversation. All I know for sure is that I was 4 years old, and I accepted Jesus. But the point is, this IS the story we are taught as Christians, if not fully in one sitting, then at some point. We are taught that we are fundamentally separate from God and sinful, unless we believe in Jesus as our savior, and only THEN can we be reunited with God and saved from hell.
My beloved Christian brothers and sisters, I am here to tell you, that this is a blatant LIE.
The truth is, you were born in innocence and perfect love, and at your very core
YOU ARE LOVE.
Your highest and truest reality, is that
you have never been separated from God,
and you never could be,
because God is the Source that holds everything together,
and is so enmeshed in who you are,
that to separate you from God,
would be to cease to exist,
which is impossible,
because you are eternal.
You are NOT basically sinful or bad,
you are fundamentally, absolutely, completely
This is the truth,
and the Christian story we have been told is a lie.
So why have we been lied to? This myth of the garden of Eden and the idea of original sin was created by humans and is a perfect description of the birth of the ego. The ego tells us constantly that we are inherently separate from God, which creates a sense of fear and shame, and leads us inevitably to believe that we need to be judged and punished for our sinful nature.
The ego is our false self – it is not really us. It’s the voice of fear and lack and shame.
The ego has created this mythical story and LIE in order to deal with the shame and the guilt — it’s an endless circle of lies.
And we humans are powerful! Whatever we focus on and choose to believe, becomes very real to us. If we focus on the idea of a fundamentally flawed nature, we’re gonna find ourselves acting like that false self we think we are. The ego has whatever degree of power we give to it.
But here’s the BEAUTIFUL TRUTH:
Our True Self is our SPIRIT, and our very essence is LOVE.
When we wake up to our true reality, which is innocence and love and goodness, we realize that we are powerful and magnificent — that our identity is LOVE, and we start to act effortlessly out of that real identity.
The ego dissolves, the minute we WAKE UP.
We exhibit love naturally, because we KNOW that’s who we really are.
We don’t need Bible verses to tell us how to act, because we naturally exude love, when we discover that we ARE love.
What about people who do heinous things? What about the pastor who sexually abused me when I was 9, catapulting me into the abyss of ‘hell on earth’ for 20 years?
That pastor is not the enemy. At one point, that pastor was a little boy, and that’s how I see him.
I can not feel any hate or anger in my heart for him, even though his actions caused such torture in my life. He was LIED TO as a little boy, just as I was, and told that he was fundamentally sinful. He also most likely experienced great trauma at some point, for him to act in such a way that is so contrary to his essence of goodness and love.
Hurt people, hurt people.
Those who have hurt us have just forgotten who they really are.
There are NO enemies.
The only enemy, is this lie about our identity.
It’s time to WAKE UP to the TRUTH!
YOU are Powerful, Loving, Magnificent, Beautiful, Radiant, Whole, fully Connected, and fundamentally GOOD.
This is what Jesus wants us to see. During his life he rose high above the egoic voice of fear and hate, and he demonstrated that there are NO enemies. He showed us that the way to true life is to see that
God is within each of us – always has been, and always will be.
While he was receiving the full brunt of egoic hatred by being killed, he cried out in LOVE (his identity) and said,
Father, forgive them, they don’t know what they’re doing. They don’t know who they are.
Let’s wake up and KNOW that we are Love, so we can BE LOVE to the world.
Could you look at your little newborn baby and see anything but pure innocence, perfection, and goodness?
Neither can God, when He looks at YOU today.