Episode 18: Integrating God's Goodness | Spiritual Development IV

How do Christians engage in drawing closer to God in a real church environment?  This is a break-it-down episode, where we spend time talking more about moralism + hedonism and how we experience M. Scott Peck's Stage 2 in our lives, and in our churches.  

We break down the concept of inviting God into the darkness of our shameful thoughts by asking "God, how can you be so good?" in the midst of it. 

Stage 2 can be associated with high degrees of rigidity

Brandon's theory: The Anatomy of Religious Rigidity

Two ways to soothe Anxiety:  Moralism/Hedonism (maladaptive coping skills) that don't help us in the long run.

People have anxiety because they have insecurity, people compensate by being rigid, because that feels like piety, piety feels like God will like us, soothes our anxiety

“In”-- am i in? What if I'm rejected?  Am I fully loved, accepted, respected by you?

Looking at expectations of pastors in church--how do church members respond when pastors talk about difficult concepts or try to deal with difficult issues in the church?  How do Christians engage with their pastors, and what roles to they expect pastors to fill?  

Susette talks about her experience in shifting her pastors out the expectation of being close friends, or in an intimate relationship, even though the pastor-church goer relationship feels so intimate.

But anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise that person at the last day. John 6:54

Integrating love into shame is a spiritual discipline, and a neuroscientific process. Inviting God's goodness into the dark thoughts that we have, instead of hiding as a result of the thoughts, can neutralize them.  

Brandon invites us to an exercise: when we're angry, sad, ashamed or embarrassed, or in the darkest thought of hatred, sexual desire, etc, we can state "God, how can you be so good?".  We invite "light" into the "darkness", which neutralizes it.

The Word gave life to everything that was created,
    and his life brought light to everyone.
The light shines in the darkness,
    and the darkness can never extinguish it. John 1:4-5

This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in him at all. 6 So we are lying if we say we have fellowship with God but go on living in spiritual darkness; we are not practicing the truth. 7 But if we are living in the light, as God is in the light, then we have fellowship with each other, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:5-7

More on: False self vs. True self


Neuron info, with myelin sheath: https://www.khanacademy.org/science/biology/human-biology/neuron-nervous-system/a/overview-of-neuron-structure-and-function


"One of the signs of maturity is the thought that no longer occurs to you."  --Dallas Willard


Outro music:

Feel Your Love by Still Spoken featuring Soy Maulit


Susette Magana