My son and I were talking about religion and he brought up that although other religions have truth in them, as a Christian it is important to believe in Jesus and that He died on the cross to save us. I think I can officially say I’m no longer a Christian, but rather a follower of Christ and a student of universal truth. Last night I was laying in bed thinking about what I think about Jesus as my savior. The odd thought, that has never popped into my mind before, was that I don’t need a savior.
The church for the last 2,000 years has drilled into people’s heads that they are dirty, rotten, evil sinners and that they have to say the magic words that Jesus is their savior and they can secure their ticket into heaven. That is their foundation and basis, even now. They have to believe in their “heart” that Jesus died on the cross to save them from their sins when the reality is saying the words is not what saves them, but the change in their mindset to having hope rather than being in despair that they are alone and unloved.
It is interesting to me that Jesus while on earth that doing rote practices was not the way to please God. He spent a lot of time trying to get his followers to look into their actual hearts (a.k.a. motivations/conscience) and work to get the weeds out there instead of going through motions that were completely irrelevant to how they showed up as people. Do you love your neighbor as yourself? Are you willing to sacrifice your comfort to help others? Are you completely accepting of people not like you? Jesus’ message was that we are to love others, fight for what is right, and keep our thoughts and our actions pure, but from a place of kindness, not judgment or superiority.
Why do I think Jesus died on the cross if it wasn’t to save me from my sins? Historically, the Jews required a sacrifice to atone for the sins of the Jewish person who committed a transgression. They could slaughter a bird or something small for small transgressions and a cow or something more valuable to them if they did something more egregious. The symbolism of Jesus’ death was to be the ultimate and final sacrifice. He, who was without blame, gave his life to end the need for sacrifices because his death symbolized our oneness with God on a heart level rather than a “works” level. He ended the need for separation between the Holy and the Common. He ended the need for rituals that made us acceptable in the eyes of God because who we are in our minds is what determines if we are acceptable to God.
What Jesus did was profound and extremely beautiful in that he opened the door between God and Man and showed us that we are all able and invited to commune with the Most High on an individual basis rather than through priests or needing something else to bridge the gap. So, what do early church members do? They create priests and redefine Jesus’ act as a bridge between God and Man so that we look to something other than ourselves to save us rather than our own hearts and minds connecting us to God directly. Do Christians who believe Jesus is their savior still have access to God? Absolutely! But I no longer believe I need to see myself as needing a savior because what Jesus did eliminated that requirement. It is done.
As people, we are always looking for things to imbue with the power that God gave us. Instead of the traditional idols, we use crosses, crystals, or mantras to protect ourselves instead of realizing we have the power within ourselves to be our own saviors. We are the ones deciding to believe the object has power, so why do we need the object? It is scary to imagine we have the power without the object and feels like we are being arrogant. We have the ability to connect with the divine, heal, manifest, prophesize, and all that weird stuff without a middleman. However, the power ultimately comes from God. We ultimately have to accept that power whether through ourselves or through an object of our choosing.
I know, growing up in the Christian church, that my words would be rejected and shamed as being heretical. However, I truly feel that in going back through the words of Jesus his indication that the way to the Father was through him can be looked at as the way to God is to be like Jesus. As in duplicating not just admiring him. He told his followers that they would do even greater things than he did and empowered them to teach others to do all those things. If we can do greater things than Jesus, we are also “sons of God”. Why not believe we can do what Jesus’ followers were able to do? It is our choice to separate ourselves or not. Jesus is our example, our leader, our guru. His death eliminated my need for a savior because I have the power within myself to reach God. I have nothing I need to be saved from except myself, my own negative thoughts, and my own limitations. Once I accept that I’m not limited by anything other than my own mind is when I am saved.