Anarchy – the inner kind

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Hello friends! I’m checking to say that I’ve had my nose buried in the computer the last few weeks, finishing up my next book, Inner Anarchy. I’m hoping to get it finished and through the publishing process to make it available by Christmas. Yikes! It’s gonna be close. This is an independent self-publishing effort, and if you are interested in supporting the cause, you can visit my Friends of Jim Palmer GoFundMe page. Thanks :)

I’ve been asking lots of questions in social media. Here are a few of them:

I’m curious about something as it relates to those who have “shed religion” or deconstructed many/most of your traditional Christian beliefs. Have your thoughts changed in terms of what/how you think about all the “end times” teachings, doctrines, etc? Or maybe a better question would be, does it have any relevance or significance for you now?

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So, we live in a world that is governed by the laws of nature, science and physics. What are your thoughts about there being a “supernatural” realm or dimension that is not subject to the laws of the natural world?

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Over the course of my journey, including my MDiv and years as a Christian pastor, I eventually came to the realization that the Christian religion as I experienced it did not accurately represent and even obscured and falsified the teachings of Jesus and the truth he bore witness to. How open would you be to revisiting Jesus life and teachings on different terms?

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Is it possible that the Christian religion has confused and misrepresents the life and teachings of Jesus, and that there’s truths Jesus lived and taught that are worth knowing?

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If you were an all-powerful and all-loving God, would you have waited this long to rescue this world from its pain and suffering? If Jesus was going to return to make things right, what is the reason for his delay? These are the questions people are asking.

I’d be interested in hearing your thoughts on the above questions and topics. Thanks!

Climbing over Christianity to get to Jesus

One of the most tragic results of the Christian religion is the way it has prejudiced people against Jesus and his teachings, even among those who have left Christianity behind. It’s difficult for him to get a fair shake, given what Christianity has done. Many people wrongly assume that Christianity accurately represents the truth that Jesus bore witness to and demonstrated.

Leaving religion behind… one book at a time.

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Divine Nobodies is the book I wrote during that part of my journey when I was discovering the insanity of many of my Christian beliefs and ways. My follow-up book, Wide Open Spaces, tells the story of what it looked like for me as I charted a new spiritual path beyond the mindsets and mentalities of religion. Though I had deconstructed and left behind many of my former Christian beliefs, I was confronted with the question of how and why Jesus was significant. I devoted a year of my life to answer this question for myself, and tell this story in my third book, Being Jesus in Nashville. Over the course of those three book so much in me had changed. As a former Christian minister, I often held out the hope of heaven in the afterlife. But something about this didn’t seem quite right. Jesus promised freedom and an abundant life in the here and now. My fifth book, Notes from (Over) the Edge, is a direct and no-nonsense guide to bringing an end to your inner suffering. The book identifies several ways that religion and false Christian teachings have gotten in the way. 

Writing my next book: Inner Anarchy

JimPalmerNashville

I have started the process of writing my 5th book. In fact, I’ve written nine chapters and hope to have it available by Christmas. Did I just say that? Yikes! After publishing my first books with a major publishing house, I’ve decided to self-publish with the support of my reading audience and social media friends. This feels much more organic to me, and I find the process much more enjoyable, creative, constructive, and worthwhile.

One of the themes of the book is what I call “inner anarchy” – dethroning all those false worldly and religious ideas, beliefs, mindsets, and ideologies that rule us from inside. My primary goal is to open the way for people to turn toward what is real inside them, and see that we are to birth the “messiah” out of that higher spiritual presence within us and into the world.

In the process I am addressing several Christian teachings that are blocking the way for many people to take these steps. The biggest blunder of religion was convincing people to mistrust what is inside them, and to become dependent on the religious mindset and system to work out their relationship with God. Unless people have the confidence to turn within themselves to access the life-giving Spirit and source of all, then we’re going to be wandering around in circles forever, and getting nowhere. This was what Jesus’ life and teachings were fundamentally about, but Christianity applied the same religious mindset to Jesus, and little progress has been made. It’s going to be a rather hard-hitting book, and I don’t mince words as it relates to the ways the Christian establishment (myself included) has led people astray.

This book is aimed at empowering people to connect with what is real deep inside them, which happens to be the way the Spirit most naturally works. The goal of the book is simple – getting people to leave the heady/mental mindset of religion, and to experience, live and speak in their own words what they know in their deepest feelings to be real and true. If this happens, people’s lives will be transformed and we will birth a new reality in this world that has never been seen before. It is this vision that Jesus lived for and died for, and I believe we are on the precipice of seeing it realized as never before.

As mentioned, this is an independent publishing effort. If my books and writing have been meaningful for you and your journey and you’re so inclined, you can support the effort to publish this book through the Friends of Jim Palmer GoFundMe page. Thanks! :)

I’ll keep you posted on the details as things unfold.

What Jesus didn’t say

Darla.Alone

15 things Jesus Didn’t Say:

“For God was so disgusted with the world and you that he gave his one and only Son.”

“I have come to bring you a new religion.”

“By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have correct theology.”

“If anyone would come after me, let him disparage all other religions and their followers.”

“If you love me, you will regularly attend a church of your choice… within reason.”

“Blessed are the tithers for they shall be called the children of God.”

“Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in Heaven after the earth goes up in flames and is destroyed.”

“You have heard it said, ‘Love your neighbor,’ which means the people with whom you attend church and relate to in your Christian sub-culture.”

“In my Father’s house there are a limited number of rooms. But no worries, there is plenty of room in Hell.”

“The kingdom of God has come!… Well, not exactly. I mean, not completely. Let’s face it, the really-real kingdom comes after we die. Hang in there. It won’t be long.”

“And you will know the truth and the truth will make you superior to all the other simpletons who never learned Greek or Hebrew.”

“You are the light of the world… well… in a sinful-filthy-scum kind of way.”

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you a checklist of things to do and not do in order to remain in God’s favor.”

“For God so loved the world… you know like theoretically… as in, God loves the big ‘W’-world. But when it come to you specifically, there are quite a few things that would need to change for God to actually and specifically love… or even like… YOU.”

“He appeared to his disciples over a period of 40 days and spoke about how to incorporate his life and teaching as a 501(c)3, and go into all the earth to build mega-churches in his name.”

- Jim Palmer, Notes from (Over) the Edge 

(Photo by Darla Winn)

5 things not to feel guilty about on your spiritual journey

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As people shed religion and walk in freedom, they can feel guilt about the changes they are going through. Thinking about this I identified 5 things not to feel guilty about on your spiritual journey.

5 things that may happen on your spiritual journey that you don’t need to feel guilty about:

1. You may discontinue your active involvement in a church or religious organization. This doesn’t necessarily have to be some sort of judgment orcondemnation against the church or organization you were part of, but a choice you make because your involvement no longer relates to or supports where you are on the journey, or may be an obstacle and hindrance to it.

2. You may grow weary of incessant God talk. It’s possible there will be times when you grow sick of the constant theological discussion and debate, and the never-ending wheel of new and improved concepts, beliefs, understandings, teachings, etc. At some point it all might sound like, “Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah…” You might fall dead to the need to be constantly figuring out things with your mind or in your head. One day you might wake up and say, “Okay, I’m done!” Don’t feel bad about this. It actually may be a very important milestone in your spiritual journey. In my view, theology is not even the best way by which God and spiritual truth is known. It may be that subject of “God” as a whole feels a bit overdone and boring, but this is only because you were taught to equate God with all that blah blah blah stuff.

3. You may find that the very people your religion judged and condemned are the people you find the most interesting and enjoyable. Once you come out from under the judgmental labels, views and stereotypes you learned through religion, you start realizing how much you truly like and enjoy the people you were taught to hate. This is a good and liberating aspect of shedding religion. For too long you were shut yourself off from a lot of beautiful and extraordinary people in this world to enjoy and learn from.

4. You may find and express a rebellious or defiant part of you that has been dormant. Don’t feel bad about this. Too often religion turns people into nice, complaint, repressed, timid, inhibited, mannerly, obedient, fearful, amiable, submissive people. By the way, I would not use any of these words to describe Jesus. Here’s the deal, you can be a loving, compassionate, respectful and kind person AND be a rebellious, defiant, passionate, disobedient, subversive, nonconformist, mischievous, self-willed, fully expressed, freethinker, heretic, and free spirit human being.

5. You may find less fulfillment in religious things, and more satisfaction in human things. It’s okay and good to be human, and to enjoy each moment of your human journey. Religion caused many people to create a false division between “sacred” things and “secular” things. There is no such line. All of life is sacred, spiritual, and divine. There’s no need to defend, theologize, or spiritualize your human experience. Just live it! That is enough. Life is made complete by you living each moment. There’s no need to maintain a running commentary about how God is part of it. God IS part of it. Life and God are inseparable. End of story. It’s okay to enjoy life, experience delight and pleasure, do the things you enjoy doing, and that breathe life into you, whatever those things may be.

(Photo by Darla Winn)

The salvation of the world is birthed out of us

Darla.Hands

So many people are waiting on the future and the fulfillment of “the return of Christ,” not realizing that this “return” – this breakthrough of the life-giving Spirit into our world – is a reality that is birthed out of us.

Why isn’t Jesus saving us?

If Jesus is the savior, where is he? Why is he not saving us or our world? Where is he??? Something is seriously wrong somewhere. Our mission shouldn’t be to escape the threat of hell in the after life when we are already in it! Consider the possibility that we’ve missed something. Maybe start questioning what you’ve always been told, especially if it doesn’t line up with the reality of the situation. Jesus is never going to save us or our world in the way we have been told. Acknowledging this is the first step. What Jesus taught, demonstrated, and lived has the power to save this world, but NOT in the way we have been told through religion.

The authority of Jesus was the truth itself

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“In many religions, authority is based in a sacred book or Scripture, and often, by extension, to those who are deemed most knowledgeable or equipped to interpret and understand them. Jesus’s religious tradition, Judaism, was very much a religion anchored in a sacred text, the Torah and the rabbinic commentaries.

But Jesus was a sage and story-teller, and typically did not take his point of departure from texts of Scripture. In his core sayings and parables, the Scriptures are conspicuously missing.

The province where Jesus spent most of his public life and drew most of his support was in Galilee. This was a region noted for its more cavalier or indifferent attitude toward the religious traditions of Judaism. The crowd who followed Jesus, for instance, was declared to be under a curse because they were ignorant of the Torah or Holy Scripture. Yet there is no evidence that Jesus took on the role of a Bible teacher to remedy their Scriptural deficiency. In fact, the only people he chided for their ignorance and misuse of Scripture were the orthodox elite.

Neither did Jesus write anything, or instruct his apostles to record what he said or did. It was not Jesus who commissioned the writing of the New Testament. Instead, Jesus confronted the religious elite, finding them guilty of what amounted to Bibliolatry – the glorification of a scared writing. Jesus said to these religious leaders, “You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.”

Jesus was continually challenged, “By what authority do you say this or do that.” He never answered by appealing to the authority of the Bible. He laid no claim to a vision from any kind of special revelation. In fact, what makes Jesus immeasurably greater than any religious guru is precisely the fact that he spoke and acted without authority and that he regarded “the exercise of authority” as a pagan characteristic.

Jesus’s perception and teaching of the truth was direct and unmediated. He did not even lay claim to the authority of a prophet. Unlike the prophets he did not appeal to a special prophetic calling or to a vision in order to legitimize his words. Jesus never used the classical prophetic introduction, ‘God says…’ What gave weight to the words of Jesus were the words themselves. Jesus was unique among the men of his time in his ability to overcome all forms of authority-thinking. The only authority which Jesus might be said to have appealed to was the authority of the Truth itself.

It’s curious to me that we don’t think of “being like Jesus” as including listening to and following the spirit of truth inside of us. Instead we externalize this authority to someone or something outside ourselves. I think we do this because we assume that what’s supposed to be happening is that we somehow should be coming up with a correct set of absolute beliefs or theology about God, and therefore, we figure we should refer to the “experts.” Being led by the spirit of Truth that is inside you is not about constructing theology, but about living and being in a whole and complete relationship with yourself, God, others, and life. The spirit of Truth inside you is not there to lead you to correct concepts and ideas about God, but is there to guide you into the same truth that Jesus lived, expressed, and was.”

- Jim Palmer, Notes from (Over) the Edge 

Nice is overrated

Darla.Walk

“People often envision Jesus as someone tiptoeing around in a flowing robe, speaking softly, and carrying a baby lamb in his arms. But the real Jesus of history was a lightning rod. He got angry. He was the greatest debunker of religious hierarchies and traditions, and the greatest desacralizer of holy places, times, people, rituals, priests and things, that this world has ever seen. The religious establishment hurriedly condemned him to death for blasphemy, while the secular powers executed him for sedition.

“Nice” is overrated. “Nice” is being “amiably pleasant, pleasing, and agreeable.” Not exactly the word I would use for Jesus when he was turning over tables in the temple. Jesus did not do this nicely. Jesus was a person of deep love and compassion, but the word “nice” doesn’t fit him. “Defiant” and “subversive” fit much better.

You’re too nice.

Religion taught you that you should be nice, considerate, polite, amiable, and selfless. An antonym for “nice” is “improper.” “Improper” is defined as: “not being in accord with acceptable behavior and procedures; not in keeping with conventional mores.” Yep, that was Jesus!

The road to Truth has improper written all over it. People traveling this road are a threat to all the nice people. Don’t expect them to be nice anymore, at least to you. Your world works because it hinges on you being nice. There will not be a crowd cheering you on. Knowing Truth is not a popularity contest, and the road to your freedom and end of suffering will be lined with people expressing disapproval.

Every step on the path of Truth is an act of non-conformity.

There will be resistance. There will be a lot of chances to turn back. Keep going! Be fearless!”

- Jim Palmer, Notes from (Over) the Edge

(Photo by Darla Winn)

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