About Jesus Without Baggage

Jesus without Baggage is for those attracted to Jesus but who question the baggage often attached to his message, so it has two large areas of focus.

The first area of focus is examining major harmful baggage issues that often detract from following Jesus freely. The second is learning who Jesus is, what he says about the loving Father/Mother, and how we should relate to God, to ourselves, and to others. I grew up a fundamentalist and later became evangelical. As I examined my beliefs, I discarded a lot of baggage that was added to the good news of Jesus, and I hope to help and support others who are on a similar journey.

Following Jesus without Baggage

The Intended Audience for this Blog

If you are concerned about unreasonable baggage (rules and beliefs) often associated with Jesus, then this blog is for you. It is a message of Jesus without baggage.

1. First and foremost, this blog is meant as a support for those questioning beliefs they have been taught as true or even essential. This is often an extremely frightening process, so this blog is a safe place for interaction, questions, and support.

Those escaping religious baggage sometimes abandon Jesus along with it and really feel the loss. We are here to say that baggage is not part of Jesus’ message to us; you can certainly follow Jesus without it.

I don’t claim to be an ‘authority’, and I certainly don’t want to become an authority figure to replace authority figures people are escaping. I believe everyone should decide issues for themselves, but I am pleased if this blog provides information and help on your journey. The regular readers and commenters also give a great deal of support.

2. The second intended audience are those already on a spiritual journey from religious baggage and would like confirmation or conversation from friendly co-travelers. Readers here interact freely with me and with other readers. It is nice to be part of a community of like-minded persons, especially when you might not have that in your local area.

3. Finally, this blog is for those interested in Jesus but not the traditional baggage often associated with him, whether or not they identify as followers of Jesus. It is also for those who simply enjoy discussion and interaction on these important topics.


Let me make a clear statement. Many traditional believers and many atheists will disagree strongly with my views, but my purpose is not to persuade anyone to accept my perspectives on Jesus, God, 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

I am happy if my understanding of Jesus without baggage makes sense to you and is helpful; but it does not bother me in the least if you don’t agree with my understanding. I respect your right to your beliefs even if you disagree with everything I think.

The Meaning of Jesus without Baggage

Since the death of Jesus’ earliest followers, certain views have become accepted as ‘truth’ and those who disagree with these ‘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 Jesus at a very early age and accepted a lot of religious baggage along with that choice. Over time, I discovered that much of the baggage I accepted was not legitimate. I first abandoned legalism–the keeping of religious rules, but I also dealt with other baggage that came as part of my religious tradition.

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 God, 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.

Major Baggage Issues

Six Signs You May Be Lugging Heavy Religious Baggage

Most issues on which followers of Jesus disagree are not alarming or destructive, but some are very harmful. Some primary elements of harmful baggage I see among Christians today:

  1. The belief that the Father is an angry, capricious, vindictive God
  2. The concept of eternal punishment and torture in hell
  3. An insistence that the Bible is somehow inerrant in every word
  4. An over-emphasis on rules and doctrinal requirements
  5. Commitment to a literal approach to the creation stories in Genesis
  6. Disapproval and rejection of gay people

These views are not only misguided, but they create burdens instead of freedom and are harmful to our relationships to God, ourselves, and other people. We discuss these and other issues, and their ramifications, in this blog.

The Good News of Jesus

The Good News of Jesus

Religious baggage is not the only important thing we discuss on this blog. Opposite to the baggage is the Good News of Jesus. As we begin to learn and live the good news of Jesus, we no longer need (or want) to hold on to our baggage. Here are a few posts on the Good News of Jesus.

What is the Good News of Jesus Anyway?
God is not Angry and Harsh with Us as Many of Us Thought
God’s Love for Us Takes Away Our Fear, Guilt, and Self-Condemnation
Do You Still Feel Guilt and Fear because You Fall Short of what God Demands?
We are not to Follow Burdensome Religious Rules
We are Agents for Expanding God’s Kingdom on Earth
Death is Not the End because Jesus Offers Us Eternal Life and Happiness
When the Good News of Jesus Doesn’t Sound like Good News At All

To all the groups mentioned above–and more, I invite you to explore Jesus without baggage. And feel free to join in the conversation. ~Tim Chastain

JesuswithoutBaggage-I will give you rest-a

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1,027 Responses to About Jesus Without Baggage

  1. rod says:

    After the fall of Satan, the people split up into two groups; those who chose to believe in good (Terrestrial and Celestial), and those who chose to believe in evil (Telestial and Perdition). Adam, at that time, was given the kingdom by a majority vote of the people who chose good. Adam was chosen because he was the best “terrestrial-subvertable” person available. (The majority of the people are terrestrial-subvertable, and people tend to vote for people that are like themselves.) Adam was “God the Father” of the Old Testament. (The guy King David was always praising and worshipping; although he didn’t even know who he was worshipping.) While Adam was on the Earth (for his 930 year Earthly life), Jesus “filled in” for him (as king in the heavens). He couldn’t choose Noah because he’s even more subvertable than he (Adam {Michael}) is. That would be dangerous, because the Devil might try to take the kingdom at that time and could probably have succeeded. (Noah {Gabriel} is second in authority in the priesthood, after Adam.) After Adams death, he took back the kingdom from Jesus (in the spirit world). It was prophesied that Adam would give the kingdom to Jesus in Daniel Chapter 7 verses 13-14. This prophesy was fulfilled after the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Jesus proclaims that “all power in heaven and earth were given to him”, (Matthew 28:18) which means that Daniel 7:13-14 was fulfilled at that time. Actually, what happened was that Jesus “took” the kingdom from Adam after His resurrection from the dead, and Adam just “let” Him take it. (Colossians 2:15 confirms it.) Adam “could” have used his army to stop Jesus if he had wanted to, but he didn’t because he knew he couldn’t keep the kingdom in the long run anyway. If he didn’t let Jesus take it from him, then the kingdom would be taken from him by force by the devil and the antichrist at some future date. If the antichrist were to “fall” on Adam, he would be subverted to the devil. But if (when) the antichrist were to fall on Jesus he (the antichrist) would be broken. So Adam Can’t keep the kingdom, but he Could choose who will get the kingdom after him, either Jesus, or the antichrist. If he (Adam) had given the kingdom to the antichrist, Adam would not be condemned to the second death, but would have been the lowest person not condemned as such (forever). But if he (Adam) gives the kingdom to Jesus, then he (Adam) is only “demoted” in rank by one person, namely by Jesus. Adam is First in authority in the priesthood. So Adam chose wisely, and “let” Jesus “take” the kingdom from him. The reason Jesus had to “take” the kingdom from Adam wasn’t because He was a megalomaniac, (even though I believe He is, but this wasn’t the reason here) but because if He didn’t, He would be given the second death by Satan (after subverting Adam and getting the kingdom from him). So it was a “do-or-die” situation for Jesus, because He (Jesus) is non-subvertable terrestrial. In other words, He would not be spared by Satan, if Satan, were to get his hands on the kingdom. So Jesus is “Top-Boss” now, and has been so, ever since getting the kingdom from Adam after His resurrection. But Jesus doesn’t get to be top-boss forever. During the “Great Tribulation” Jesus succeeds in defeating the antichrist, the false prophet and the devils army; but He can’t defeat the devil himself. (Jesus defeats the devils army by “subverting” the Telestial kingdom unto Himself. The antichrist attempts to subvert the Terrestrial kingdom unto himself with his “mark-of-the-beast” system, but fails). The scripture says that the devil is “cast into a bottomless pit” at the end of the great tribulation. But this is not true. The truth is that the devil “escapes” out of Jesus’ hands, by withdrawing himself to the center of the Earth. He (Satan) can’t be taken into custody from there without destroying the whole earth. Remember the devil has not a body of flesh and bones like we, and Jesus do. But rather he has a spirit body only, at that time. The problem is that Jesus is “unwilling” to destroy the earth. Why? Everybody is almighty at one morality or another. If you were to take Any person, and cast them into the lake of fire, they would have to choose one morality or another at that time while frying in the lake of fire. No matter what morality they chose, they can’t get out of there. So whatever morality they chose, they become almighty at that morality, right? So Jesus is almighty at just that morality, where he can’t destroy the earth, because it’s His treasure, and where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Jesus also says in the scriptures that He comes to “destroy” those who destroy the earth (Rev.11:18). So He waits out the millennium without attempting to “get” the devil. But at the end of the millennium, the people begin to rebel against Jesus. Satan sees this and comes out of his hiding place and leads a rebellion against Jesus. If Jesus did nothing, He would be defeated by Satan. So Jesus is “forced” to give up the kingdom to “Iron Man”. Who is Iron Man? In Revelation Chapter 12 a constellation is given which points to a specific date. September 23, 2017. On that date the events of the next paragraph are fulfilled. What events? A baby is born in Israel who should rule all nations with an iron scepter. The devil shows up as a Great Red Dragon to devour him the moment he is born. But he is caught up to heaven, to God, and to His throne. No name is given for this person, so I call him iron man because he should rule all nations with an iron scepter. This is the person Jesus gives the kingdom to, because Jesus can’t beat the devil Himself, but Iron Man can. So Iron man sends down fire from heaven and devours the rebels and Satan again retreat to the center of the earth. But this time the earth is not spared. Now that Iron Man is “top-boss” he is going to destroy the earth so he can “dig out” the devil from his hiding place and give him the second death with the antichrist and the false prophet. When the earth is destroyed to the very center, the devil has nowhere to hide and is captured and condemned. Iron Man doesn’t get to keep the kingdom for himself either. The book of Daniel says “the time came when the Saints possessed the kingdom” (Dan. 7:22). So why does Iron Man give the kingdom to the Saints (those who belong to the celestial kingdom)? Is it just because he’s such a “nice guy”? No, he’s “forced” to give the kingdom to the Saints. How? If he were to attempt to keep the kingdom, Jesus would become a “thorn in his side”. Remember Jesus comes to destroy those who destroy the earth? And who was it that destroyed the earth? Iron man did. So what do you think Jesus wants to do to Iron Man? He wants to destroy him. Jesus will at first try to “trick” Iron Man into giving the kingdom back to Him by saying something like this; “The devil is defeated. This means good-wins, and evil-looses. And if I were in your shoes, I would give the kingdom to the saints. And you are not doing so. Therefore I am holier than you, this means you should give the kingdom back to me.” If Iron Man were tricked into doing so it would be the death of him; Because Jesus would give him the second death. Remember Jesus comes to destroy those who destroy the earth, and Iron Man destroyed the earth. And afterwards Jesus would Not give the kingdom to the saints. He was lying when he said He would, and he’s Not holier than Iron Man is. Jesus has been tricking people out of their exaltations for thousands of years. The reason is because He wants to fatten His army with them so He can beat the devils army and save Himself. (If He were to let too many people get their exaltation, His army would be too weak to defeat the devils army, and we would all lose to the devil. If you get your exaltation above Jesus, you don’t have to do what He says, and you don’t have to fight in His army.) {How do you get your exaltation? see “note 1” below.} So why would He give the kingdom to the saints now? He wouldn’t. Like I said, He’s a megalomaniac. The people would know He tricked Iron Man and condemned him unjustly. But Jesus being the top-boss couldn’t be defeated. He would “pick them off” “one’sy-two’sy”, until everyone but Himself was in the lake of fire and brimstone. Remember when Jesus said He is the “first and the last”? Well, that’s what it means. But this isn’t going to happen. Iron Man is too smart, and will not give the kingdom back to Jesus. (That would be suicide.) So what if Iron Man doesn’t “give” the kingdom to Jesus, and doesn’t give it to the saints either? If that were to happen then Jesus would gather together his followers (Jesus has a lot more followers than Iron Man does) and deceive them into thinking Jesus is holier than Iron Man (because iron man isn’t giving the kingdom to the saints, and He would falsely claim that He (Jesus) would, if He were in his shoes. And the people would swallow His lies “hook-line and sinker”.) Therefore, Jesus should be the top-boss and not iron man; and He would overthrow the kingdom by coup d’état. Then Jesus would give iron man the second death, and Not give the kingdom to the saints, and pick people off until He alone were not in the lake of fire and brimstone, as in the other scenario. But this isn’t going to happen either. Iron Man foresees All of this, and gives the kingdom to the Saints. (It’s either that or the second death for him.) After that, Jesus is unable to convince His followers that He is holier that iron man, and cannot lead a rebellion to overthrow his kingdom. The people would say He gave the kingdom to Iron Man and is not justified in taking it back now (because He’s not holier than iron man is). So Jesus ends up becoming the king of Israel (Luke 1:32) and a “high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek” unto Iron Man. When the Saints get the kingdom, they have a “knowledge competition” to determine who gets to win the race, win the prize, and become Heavenly Father. (There is no Heavenly Father at this time. Jesus lied “and said there was” because it’s a “winning strategy”. Yes Jesus and Adam lie, 1 Kings 22:22 proves Adam lies.) {What makes me think there is no heavenly father now? see “note 2” below.} Adam was “God-the-Father” of the Old Testament, but he’s not the heavenly father talked about by Jesus. That person doesn’t exist. But that doesn’t mean there’s not going to be one in the future; there is. “And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come.” (D&C 130:19) {see “note 3”) So if you know more than the person who knows the most, then you know the most. And that means you have the advantage over everyone else, which means you win the race, and win the prize. So we know that “the race” is a knowledge acquiring competition of spiritual truths. So what is the prize if you win? One; you get the kingdom, and you get to keep the kingdom from everlasting to everlasting. Two; you become owner of the whole universe, and it becomes your personal property and you can do Anything you want with it from everlasting to everlasting. And Three; you get to become Heavenly Father, and this has meaning to it. After Iron Man creates the new heavens and the new earth (another Big-Bang is coming), there is no biological reproduction allowed, except with you, or your biological descendants (however you wish to handle it). And so you get to “fill up” the Whole New Universe with your biological descendants, and that’s how you become Heavenly Father. So get your noses in the scriptures and compete to win the race. It’s worth the effort. (And more things), remember you may know the truth of all things by the power of the Holy Ghost. (Not Jesus, sorry, He’s Terrestrial) And don’t lean to your own understanding, but in all things acknowledge goodness and truth itself, as revealed by the Holy Ghosts, and let them direct your paths. And don’t concern yourself with whether other people agree with you or not. (You will never win the race that way. If you try to be accepted in your church you will be under a Lot, of pressure to pervert the truth. It’s better either to be the least accepted person there, or just not to go to church at all. I don’t go to church at all anymore. They don’t like me.) And don’t argue with others either. (Let them win the argument. And you win the race.) The only exception is the Holy Ghost. You should concern yourself with whether He agrees with you or not, because He is the one who gets to decide “who got it right, and who got it wrong” on competition day. This is the best way “I know of” to compete successfully to win the race, win the prize, and get “you know what”; (The chicks). Good luck. Note 1: You don’t get your exaltation through a Temple marriage. Job 17:4 “For thou hast hid their heart from understanding: therefore shalt thou not exalt them.” How has He hid our minds from understanding? By feeding us a Terrestrial (not celestial) version of the gospel. How is it that He will not exalt us? You cannot be saved in the celestial kingdom through a terrestrial version of the gospel. The whole “Quad” is terrestrial. Jesus wants to rob you of your exaltation so He can use you in His army. He needs His army to be big and strong enough to defeat the devils army. If not so, then the devil will win, and we lose, and we don’t even want to contemplate the ramifications of that scenario. Jesus is trying to divert your attention away from how you “really” get your exaltation by saying you get your exaltation through a Temple marriage. You get your exaltation by defying Jesus, and disobeying His “bogus” commands, laws and rules. What is a bogus command, law and rule? Any command, law or rule that requires you to do evil, or says you can’t be celestial, or is against a need, both directly, or indirectly. Remember, “A good tree Cannot bring forth evil fruit.” You want an example, Right? God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. Tell Him No! That’s murder! Abraham didn’t “pass” the test; he failed it. He lost his exaltation. God told Nephi to cut-off Laban’s head. Tell Him No! That’s murder! Nephi lost his exaltation also. There are other examples also. Note 2: Joseph Smith Jr. said in the history of the Church that “the notion that God the Father and Jesus Christ dwell in the heart of man is an old sectarian notion and is false. The reason is that both God the Father and Jesus both have bodies of flesh and bones as tangible as mans and therefore they cannot dwell in the heart of man.” But he said the Holy Ghost has not a body of flesh and bones, but a spirit body, and therefore He Can dwell in the heart of man. Now we know there is no Heavenly Father right? And that’s the point I’m trying to prove here, right? So bear with me. Joseph Smith believed there was a Heavenly Father because he was terrestrial and not celestial. Jesus doesn’t pick people to preach His gospel (or be prophets) unless they are terrestrial and will swallow His lies. But the point I’m getting at here is that “if you have a body of flesh and bones, you can’t dwell in the heart of another person.” Now for the scriptures. Jesus said, “I am in the Father, and the Father is in me.” How can the Father be in the Son, and the Son be in the Father, when they both have bodies of flesh and bones as tangible as mans? They can’t. So what is He saying? He’s dropping a hint to those who will pay attention enough, that there is no Heavenly Father. He’s saying that He (Jesus) is taking upon Himself two (2) identities, both the Father, and the Son. He’s saying that the Father and the Son are one and the same person, Himself, Jesus. Scripture 2. Jesus said “if you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father.” Get it? One and the same person. Scripture 3. Jesus said “no man comes to the Father but by me.” Get it? If Jesus is claiming the identity of the Father, you can’t come to the Father but by Him, Right? Scripture 4. Jesus said “The Father and I are one.” Get it? One and the same person. Scripture 5. In the Book of Mormon Mosiah 15:1-2 It says that Jesus is both the Father and the son. Get it? One and the same person. Note 3: If you are not a Mormon, then why should you reject it? It’s Only, another terrestrial version of the gospel. You not only need to progress in the faith To Mormonism, but also Past it. Past it to what? Past it to a Celestial version of the gospel, that’s what. The Bible only, is 30 fold. Mormonism is 60 fold. And a Celestial version of the gospel is 100 fold. (Mark 4:20.) So how do you get a celestial version of the gospel? You may know the truth of all things by the power of the Holy Ghost. (Moroni 10:5.) Pray to the Holy Ghost, and ask Him (not Jesus, He’s terrestrial and lies. Sorry.) to confirm or refute all of your beliefs, views and understandings. If you are correct, He will give you a “burning in your bosom” so that you “feel” that it is correct. But if it is not correct, then you will have no such feelings, but He will give you a “stupor of thought”, so that you forget that which is wrong. And through this “iteration process”, of reading the scriptures, then studying it out in your minds, then praying to the Holy Ghost, you will slowly build up truth. And this is what is meant by the phrase “running the race”. The Holy Ghost will keep throwing out the wrong, and let you keep the right, and truth will build up. Run the race and get more truth than everyone else and win the prize. Good luck again. Note 4: The celestial understanding is this; If you do good, you’re innocent. If you do evil, you’re guilty; pretty simple, right? But the terrestrial understanding is (if you want to call it that) is a bit more confusing. It is this; if you keep (obey) the law, you’re innocent. If you break the law, you’re guilty. The problem is that the laws of the terrestrial kingdom are not designed to make you holy (celestial), but designed to make you terrestrial. They are also designed to make you guilty. Jesus wants to make you guilty so He can give you death threats and ultimatums. Why would He want to do that? Jesus needs to defeat the devils army of followers. Without that the “good guys” lose. So if He can make you guilty, He can force you into His army, in exchange for forgiveness. (His army is organized like a human body. 1 Corinthians chapter 12. I call it, “the Giant Jesus”.) Jesus Himself said “no man is justified by the law”, which means no man can keep the law (well at least not all of them). Because if you could keep All of His laws, you Would, be justified by the law. So if there is anyone who was able to keep All of His laws, Jesus would just “make-up” more laws until he was able to force you to become an offender. “Sin is the transgression of the law, and the wages for sin is death.” The only way to escape this situation is to get your exaltation “above” Jesus, and become a member of the celestial kingdom. Jesus will still try to “frighten” you out of your exaltation with death threats and ultimatums, so you need to stand firm, and fear Him not, and refuse to keep His bogus commands, laws and rules. You will not be condemned for breaking bogus laws, because they lead to bogus sins, which don’t count. The only caveat here is that you had better know the difference between a bogus law, and a legitimate one. One mistake, and Jesus might “cut your throat” (so to speak). He’s plenty evil enough to do it to Anyone. I say it’s “worth the risk”. Go for it. The rewards are too great to throw away this “once in an eternity” opportunity (chance) to become Heavenly Father.


  2. Chas says:

    Tim, I understand that the Mormon scriptures say that there were chariots in North America at the time of Jesus, yet we know that the indigenous peoples did not know the wheel until the European peoples arrived after 1492. This suggests that the Mormon scriptures are largely nonsense,, being the work of men who had major axes to grind.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      Chas, I read the complete Book of Mormon 49 years ago–Wow, that’s a long time ago! I don’t specifically remember chariots but I bet they are in there. I wouldn’t call the Book of Mormon nonsense because I think it a good fiction if one does not take it as truth. I believe it was written by Joseph Smith and, perhaps, Sidney Rigdon, and I do not consider it at all valid.


  3. Perry says:

    I am currently about 2/3 of the way through reading the book “Fantasyland” by Kurt Anderson. It is a real eye opener about the evolution of lots of things in the United States, including how religion has been folded, spindled, and mutilated to produce a uniquely American brand of religion, especially when it comes to Christianity. When you see all the facts about it, it becomes clear how so many of us became folded, spindled, mutilated, and CONFUSED. Highly recommend what I’ve read so far.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Perry says:

    I said here when I first found JWOB that I’d finally admitted to myself that Paul’s letters are just that: letters. Paul didn’t claim they were infallible & divinely inspired. What we’ve seen unfold for decades in the Catholic Church is proof of that. It’s unnatural to REQUIRE normal humans to live lives of celibacy.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Jonathan says:

    This is what I’ve been looking for i love it Jesus with out baggage is wonderful

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Perry says:

    FIRST: Tim, please delete this if it’s inappropriate for here. I was first heartened to see many of our country’s most harsh evangelical leaders pay tribute this weekend to a fallen American they often disagreed with. But I was saddened that many of their followers were angry they had anything good to say, and proceeded to pronounce hell & damnation, and say things long ago proved untrue. I shook my head and didn’t have to wonder why so much of the world wants nothing to do with that form of alleged christianity (small “c” intended). This kind of hate hiding under the guise of religion is nothing short of taking the Lord’s name in vain. Give me the loving Jesus of JWOB any day over the hateful god (little “g” intended) of hardcore fundamentalism.

    Liked by 2 people

    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      Perry, I too am saddened by those who feel they must condemn even a person so upstanding as our departed senator. Disagreement is one thing; hate is quite another.


  7. Mahir Gazdar says:

    I am a Muslim and part of the WordPress community. I have an interest in comparative religion and creating better understanding between people of different communities. I have setup my page where there is a QA section about Islam so please have a look and feel free to contact me with any questions. I look forward to hearing from you



  8. Teri says:

    So eternal life with Jesus is found in believing in him and what he did on the cross what about the people who don’t believe this don’t except he’s the son of God don’t except what he did on the cross where did they spend eternity

    Liked by 1 person

    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      Teri, that is a good question. Perhaps this will help:

      Feel free to continue this conversation.


    • Sojourner says:

      Teri, I agree with Tim, that is a very good question. One that many people are asking. I read the article that Tim linked to his reply to you and you can read my comment to Tim about that. It’s a good start to finding some truth towards the answer you are looking for. At this moment, there is only One who knows the answer right now. What we have is a lot of opinions. So I guess I’ll throw out a little bit of mine. I believe God is good and full of mercy and compassion. I believe God would have everyone to know him and be in relationship with him as he created us to be. I believe Jesus death on the cross was God’s way of entering into our messed up broken lives to work on healing us from the inside out. I believe God is eternal and is not limited to working in our lives by the number of years that the body we dwell in on this earth is kicking as in “I’m still kicking.” I believe there will be a day for all people to stand before God and see for themselves the depths and riches of his love and what he actually did for each one of us by dying on the cross . I believe that Jesus gave his life, nobody took it from him. He submitted to the wrath of man which is in all of us. On that day which may very well be the judgment day referred to in the Bible, all people will see and experience the love and mercy of God and most if not all of them will surrender themselves to that love and enter into relationship with God and with all other people. I don’t want to get too lengthy here so let me end this for now by saying hellfire and damnation and God pouring out his wrath on those who die without jumping through the right hoops and believing the right way and having a proper understanding of God does not fit into my picture of who I believe God is. Thanks for asking that question Teri. You got my opinion for what it’s worth minus Bible quotations.

      Liked by 3 people

      • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

        Sojourner, you said a lot of good stuff here. I particularly like, “He submitted to the wrath of man which is in all of us.” It is an excellent alternative to penal substitution’s ‘He submitted to the wrath of God for our sins.’

        I also very much agree with, “hellfire and damnation and God pouring out his wrath on those who die without jumping through the right hoops and believing the right way and having a proper understanding of God does not fit into my picture of who I believe God is.”


  9. Sojourner says:

    Great article Tim. The only thing you left out is that people, all people, will have an opportunity, possibly over and over and over again, after they die to accept Jesus’ gift of a relationship with God being Father/Mother, Son and Holy Spirit. This is something I believe and I recollect that you told me you do as well. Please correct me if I am mistaken.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      Sojourner, I don’t recall saying that but very well could have. I know others believe that and it resonates with me as well.


  10. Maria Harris says:

    This blog was like a breath of fresh air;I was told recently by my sister that I would go to hell for not believing in all the dogmas of the cathoic church but they are man made I prefer to believe in Jesus.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Lu Biemiller says:

    Love you! Thank you for this. ALL of this. 💜

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Karen Carter says:

    Hello from the UK!
    I turned my back on religion many years ago. The dogma and archaic Christian belief system just didn’t sit comfortably with me any more. In my opinion such a rigid religious structure is more to do with power and control over people. Fundamental evangelism and the like is my biggest bugbear! As for the King James version, well let’s not go there…
    I’ve heard it said that Jesus didn’t come to start a religion. That I do believe.
    Glad to have found you whilst surfing the net 😊💖

    Liked by 3 people

  13. ProAmFam says:

    On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?” (John 6:60)
    The danger of watering down the gospels is always there.
    And the temptation to rationalize away our own sins is also, always there.
    But in a world filled with countless man made institutions, stripping away baggage that would distract us from our focus on Jesus Christ of Nazareth, is a noble cause.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      ProAm, I agree that stripping away baggage that gets in our way of the important objective of following Jesus is a very good thing. Do you feel that I have watered down the gospel and/or rationalized sin?


  14. David Poultney says:

    I would like to join please. I am a clergy person dismayed with organised religion

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Walt Valentine says:

    The Lakota story which parallels the story of Jesus’ coming is the story of White Buffalo Woman. She brings the Pipe to the Lakota People along with ceremony and rules to build life around. She magically eliminates a man who thinks evil and as she leaves she turns into a White Buffalo. Writer and poet, John Neihardt asked the Lakota elder Black Elk if he thought this really happened. The medicine man responded, “I don’t know if it happened. I know that it’s true,”

    That’s where I’m at with Jesus. It’s all a wonderful, awesome mystery, I don’t know what happened, but because of my relationship with Jesus, I know The Story is true.

    Liked by 2 people

    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      Walt, I really like that story! I believe in Jesus, but there is a lot of wonderful, awesome mystery involved.


    • tom minkler says:

      LOVE that, especially, “I don’t know if it happened. I know that it’s true,”
      I might rephrase like: I don’t know if it ALL happened…
      I wish more people could understand it like that, or at least grasp what the statement means without freaking out.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. nobodyatall says:

    December 30, 2018


    What has become of the presence on the internet of good old , Mainline , theologically liberal Christianity : the sort of Christianity that
    is interested in the Tubingen School of Bible scholarship and the research of Albert Schweitzer and others into the quest for the historical Jesus .? As well as research into how some of the New Testament letters may have been redacted …

    One of the threads at the present website , does mention mainline , NON -fundamentalist scholars and Bible scholars . Yet that thread , unfortunately mentions (which is a fly in the ointment) a website on Facebook called “Progressive Christians” , which is not theologically liberal/ mainline in the old historic sense , but is more Postmodernist and sexually lurid at times, and NOT the historic mainline Christian scholarship one would find in , say, the writings of Albert Schweitzer or James Barr .

    . There are some quite scholarly writings by N.T. Wright online . Yet it seemed that there was more of the scholarly sort of mainline Protestant sort of discourse online back in the 1990’s and early 2000’s .It seems like fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals have taken over much of the internet in the past 12 or so years .
    Instead of mainline scholarly Christianity, one in this current decade often finds on the world wide web merely forms of evangelicalism that are more about being accepting to various sexual lifestyles, as well as junk like postmodernist narrative theology (yuck), as well as the nauseating pop culture relevant churches , all of which are NOT anywhere the same as good old mainline , scholarly Protestantism ….

    Liked by 1 person

    • newtonfinn says:

      I hear you so loud and clear that my ears are ringing. The American Baptist church I was fortunate to grow up in was certainly not a perfect embodiment of Christianity. It lacked the sharp prophetic edge that should always come with that territory. BUT, being non-doctrinal, it was able to straddle divergent theological beliefs, and most everyone got along, learned from each other, and came to love and care for each other in a friendly, welcoming, and nurturing environment. From childhood to old age, there were church groups and activities that met social and spiritual needs, and worship was enriched by those profoundly beautiful old hymns, now discarded IMHO for praise-song pablum. And my Baptist church was just one of many more like it–liberal mainline churches that graced with their handsome architectures the edges of my mid-sized city’s downtown and so many other urban centers across America. Part cause, part effect, the demise of these churches marked the point when our society began its steep decline. No other institution was able to step in and perform their crucial person and community-building function, and people and communities and society in general began to, as they now say, “deconstruct.” Why don’t we hear the mainline Christian message on the internet? Because that entire tradition, once so vibrant and vital, has gone the way of all flesh, seemingly leaving behind no spiritual children–only those of us who are aging and ailing but still remember, with gratitude in our hearts, that we lived at least a portion of our lives in a far from perfect yet better, more beautiful world.

      Liked by 1 person

    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      Nobody, I think, despite their differences, mainline believers and progressive believers have a lot in common. And many progressive believers who have left evangelical and fundamentalist churches have found homes in mainline churches. I, myself, was a member of a Presbyterian Church, USA until they introduced worship music projected on the wall instead of hymns and a pipe organ. I was very comfortable there as a progressing former evangelical.

      You said: “Instead of mainline scholarly Christianity, one in this current decade often finds on the world wide web merely forms of evangelicalism that are more about being accepting to various sexual lifestyles, as well as junk like postmodernist narrative theology (yuck), as well as the nauseating pop culture relevant churches , all of which are NOT anywhere the same as good old mainline , scholarly Protestantism.”

      You don’t seem to be describing progressive believers. Progressive believers are often very scholarly. I have read Schweitzer’s ‘Quest’, but there have been several quests since then. I have read my share of NT Wright, Bultmann, Barth, Berkhouwer, and others (some Barr).

      Don’t judge progressive believers by a single website.


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