Episode 17: Navigating Tension in Faith| Spiritual Development III

This is our third episode in an arc on Spiritual Development. We look closer at Stages II and III of M. Scott Peck's Stages of Faith, and how we can navigate tensions to this journey moving towards union with God.  It's important to evaluate what part of Christianity we try to protect out of fear. Our goal: "Life in the Spirit" (see Romans 8) meaning to move into union with God. 

Our guest music today is: Feel Your Love, by Still Spoken
You can find it on Spotify:
https://open.spotify.com/track/3wWxnAjCikcl6Ug9Fymr09

Reminder of the M. Scott Peck's Stages of Faith:
Stage I: Chaotic, Antisocial
Stage II: Formal, Institutional, Fundamental
Stage III: Skeptic, Individual, Questioner
Stage IV: Mystic, Communal

Part of the dark side of stage 2 is high boundaries, but because of fear, there's no openness to tension.

Sermon on the Mount reference re: murder, adultery and divorce: Matthew 5:21

Jesus is moving the focus of spirituality out of the rules into the center of our heart, where we need God to be transformed.
If faith is not marked with compassion, and is not moving you towards openness in God, then it'll become religious and legalistic.
The point of healthy boundaries is to lead you into LIFE.

Recommended podcast on Jewish & Hebrew culture: "Stuff Jews Should Know."

Examples of Stage II to Stage III transitions in the Bible:
-Galatians 6: Paul reframing the importance of circumcision vs. being transformed into a new creation through Jesus Christ.
-Peter having a vision about allowing "unclean" foods to be eaten. (Acts 10:9-16)
-Jesus breaking sabbath laws with healing, eating grain, etc.

This transition is usually a result of suffering. These "rules" or the way that God and the world make sense based on religion until suffering happens in life, and the rules stop making sense.

Matthew 12:1
A Discussion about the Sabbath
12 At about that time Jesus was walking through some grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, so they began breaking off some heads of grain and eating them. 2 But some Pharisees saw them do it and protested, “Look, your disciples are breaking the law by harvesting grain on the Sabbath.”

3 Jesus said to them, “Haven’t you read in the Scriptures what David did when he and his companions were hungry? 4 He went into the house of God, and he and his companions broke the law by eating the sacred loaves of bread that only the priests are allowed to eat. 5 And haven’t you read in the law of Moses that the priests on duty in the Temple may work on the Sabbath? 6 I tell you, there is one here who is even greater than the Temple! 7 But you would not have condemned my innocent disciples if you knew the meaning of this Scripture: ‘I want you to show mercy, not offer sacrifices.’[a] 8 For the Son of Man[b] is Lord, even over the Sabbath!”

Development is a process of maturing over time, through life stages. We can get stuck in different development stages, and never move past them.

From the therapeutic perspective:
Looking at the amygdala + limbic system, the amygdala triggers "fight or flight" in our reactions. Even though in our current culture, our lives are rarely threatened day to day, we'll continue to experience life day to day as "threatening."

"Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom."
Viktor E. Frankl

Our guest music today is: Feel Your Love, by Still Spoken
You can find it on Spotify:
https://open.spotify.com/track/3wWxnAjCikcl6Ug9Fymr09

Susette Magana