This blog is for those attracted to Jesus but not to the traditional baggage often attached to his message, so it has two large centers of focus.
The first center of focus is learning who Jesus is and what he has said about how we should live and how we should understand the Father. The second is examining major baggage issues that often detract from following Jesus freely.
I grew up a fundamentalist and then became an evangelical. Along the way, as I examined my beliefs, I discarded a lot of baggage that had been added to the good news of Jesus. I hope to help and support others who are on the same journey.
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Who might be interested in this blog?
- Do you struggle with traditional baggage that seems to make no sense and are perhaps afraid to question it?
- Are you already on a spiritual journey away from traditional baggage and would like confirmation or conversation from a friendly co-traveler?
- Have you abandoned traditional baggage but have abandoned Jesus along with it and feel the loss?
- Are you interested in Jesus but not the traditional baggage often associated with him?
- Do you just enjoy discussion and interaction on these important topics?
If you are concerned by the unreasonable baggage (rules and beliefs) often associated with Jesus, then this blog is for you. It is a message of Jesus without baggage.
Let me make a clear statement. Many conservative believers and many atheist will disagree strongly with my views, but my purpose is not to persuade anyone to accept my perspectives on Jesus, the Father, or the Bible.
My objectives are:
- To offer for your consideration a foundation for following Jesus without baggage
- To offer support and conversation for those interested in Jesus without baggage or in the concepts involved
If my understanding of Jesus without baggage makes sense to you and is helpful, then I am happy. If you do not agree with my understanding, it does not bother me in the least. I respect your right to your beliefs even if you disagree with everything I believe.
What is Baggage?
Since the death of Jesus’ earliest followers, certain views have become accepted as ‘truth’ and those who disagree with these traditional ‘truths’ are often excluded from the Church and are no longer considered part of God’s family. This is baggage.
I was raised a fundamentalist, which is an extreme form of evangelicalism, and I fully embraced fundamentalism at a very early age. I accepted Jesus as my ‘Lord and Savior’ and accepted a lot of religious baggage along with that choice.
Over time, I discovered that much of that baggage I had accepted was not legitimate. I first abandoned legalism–the keeping of religious rules, and I also dealt with other baggage that came as part of my religious tradition.
What about Jesus?
However, I did not abandon Jesus. I still find the person of Jesus, as described by his earliest followers, intensely compelling. He resolves my alienation from the Father, myself, and other people, and he provides eternal life in his death and resurrection. Jesus is the most important thing in my life.
He included me in his invitation
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
I accept his invitation, and the invitation comes without baggage.
What Baggage Do I See?
Some of the more prominent elements of baggage I see among Christians today include:
- The belief that the Father is an angry, capricious God
- The concept of eternal punishment and torture in hell
- An insistence that the Bible is somehow inerrant in every word
- Insistence on a literal approach to creation in Genesis
- An over-emphasis on rules and doctrinal requirements
- Disapproval and rejection of gay people
- Promotion of end-times mythology
We will discuss these and many other issues here. To all the groups listed above–and more, I invite you to explore Jesus without baggage.