Christianity was supposed to be about becoming like Jesus. We went in the wrong direction.
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In the 1960s people started to inquire of Eastern religions (Hinduism and Buddhism in particular) to find meaning for their lives. In large part this was due to established Christian traditions not seeming to offer much substance. What seemed attractive in these alternative religions was the possibility that one could evolve or gain enlightenment. What people who pursued these practices often found was also a lack of substance.

Many sought tranquility, peace, and understanding as if it were just another drug to experiment with. Being raised in a consumer culture was just the frame of reference to experiment with new things to find what was useful or even, like drugs, briefly pleasurable. Even though schools and scientific culture assured everyone that humans were evolving, these experimental forays seemed to fail by offering little in the way of improved thinking, understanding, patience, or insights.

Ironically, this was all available to people through Christianity. However over the centuries Christian practice and tradition was more ritualized and systematized until what was of real value was not often discernable. Today most Christians do not even know what riches could be theirs.

There are some branches of Hinduism that promise enlightenment if one survives dealing with demonic spirits. Other religions have requirements such as severe asceticism to achieve progress. What is interesting about Christianity is that striving and accomplishment achieve nothing. The higher life is a result of surrender and yielding.

Christianity is about the transition from the selfish nature we are all born with to the giving nature found in Christ. This is first accomplished when we can surrender our trust in ourselves to trust in the gospel of Jesus (1Cor 15:1-4) by which we are placed into the body of Christ by the Holy Spirit. This allows us to be regenerated spiritually and have the life of Christ in us.

Where most Christians fall short is that the transition from our natural selfishness to the selfless love of Christ requires us to conduct ourselves (our “walk”) in a way consistent with what the Holy Spirit in us would accomplish. This introduces a degree of intentionality to our lives that we may not be used to exercising. To consider each thing we do, why we do it, and what effects it could have may be a new experience for some. Simple faith in Christ frees one from the compulsive baser nature. However, we can still choose to indulge ourselves in what the bible calls the flesh (Gal 5:19-21). Being in Christ gives one the option to exercise free will to choose transcendence. The work of transcendence is accomplished by the work of the Holy Spirit if allowed.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. - Galatians 5;22-25



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