My friend has a dream to start a new Recovery Church. Another Reformation? But how can he put new wine into old wineskins? And is it really new enough? Will he end up with just another religion? His concepts are good ones following the AA principles. He has been able to get many people to think about and question their hidden agendas, secrets, doctrines, theology, religious views, etc. And many have come to follow him because they are hungry and looking for comfort and reassurance concerning their “addictions” and fears. Fears of facing death and fears of facing the truth about themselves and fears of facing a Christ-god who will return to chase off his enemies – all these fears are the result of the sincere well-intentioned teachings of the church which has controlled the minds of Christians with their “holy” words for some 2000 years.

I wish him well because I have seen his growth in Love. For that reason alone I doubt that his new Recovery Church will stagnate. Besides, we must all begin with what we have, and what he has is a talent to write and speak and a very recent training in the church which asked him to leave it prior to his seminary graduation because of his questions concerning their teachings.

I also encouraged him to step out even further. Question the human scriptures even more. Where they are oppressive and speak of punishment and payback justice (man’s way), question if they come from a Supreme Love or from the mind and pen of a prodigal’s brother who thinks that the forgiving justice of Love is unfair. When you do this, you will also grasp why the prophets complained about the oppressive religion of the priests and the oppressive decrees of the kings. Jesus, bar Nasha  (“the man” as he called himself) caught the Spirit of the prophets and repeated their message, a “new thing” from an everlasting Love: generous acceptance and endless unconditional forgiveness, – “mercy without sacrifice!” It was this good news that drew in his followers because it comforted them and slammed their fears of death and punishment and meeting an angry sky-god who could destroy them.

 Jesus did not teach that he was their perfect substitute. He did not teach them to depend on Easter either. He taught the REAL good news above and that they were ALL brothers and sisters, sons and daughters of Abba, unique images of Abba who lived in them and around them (not in the sky) and who would NEVER leave them or forsake them! No wonder their fears melted away and death had no sting!

 There was no need for the church’s perfect bloody payment as a sacrifice. And there was no need for the church’s Easter account as recorded two generations later. (That does not mean to say that Jesus did not appear to some of his followers out of Abba’s Reality to reassure them of the truth in what he had taught. Their great disappointment in how things turned out for him needed considerable bolstering.) Again, I declare that the message of the prophets and Jesus is the message people yearn to hear today. The old wineskin of a religion and the old wineskin of theology and the old wineskin of a church as it is understood today cannot hold this great news. It would burst at the seams with such a scandalous message.

 A gathering that declares this new message and reassures each other with it and accepts one another and cares for each other, especially for those in need, forgiving and loving each other unconditionally – now THAT’s what I would call a Recovery Group!

The new word of Love is the Father’s REAL judgment call. It can be found hidden within the scriptures of humans who wrote and taught of brutal payback demands. And it can be found today in a loving smile, a compassionate and comforting word, an accepting and forgiving hug. And what of those who have not caught this Spirit of Love? Father forgive them. They do not know what they doing — yet. But the time will come when they too will be surprised by their invitation to join the banquet and celebrate with those who are already celebrating, here and now, in Abba’s “Head Start Program.”

June 12, 2011 ~ Henry Hasse

Published in: on June 12, 2011 at 9:09 am  Leave a Comment  

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