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Salvation vs. Sanctification

Common sense dictates to us that the concept of salvation requires no self-responsibility, self-reflection or ‘work;’ whereas sanctification requires personal responsibility as well as ‘work.’ The ‘work’ that I refer to is both spiritual and mundane: i.e. forgiveness (spiritual); right actions such as true talk (mundane).


Salvation as religious doctrine negates personal responsibility for ones words, thoughts and actions. A person’s mind may harbor thoughts of anger, resentment and greed but as long as they profess ‘belief in Jesus,’ it doesn’t matter. They are still ‘saved.’


This type of religion, a religion that is totally one of salvation, is destructive to a person’s true spirit and the spirit of the earth and is a religion of black magic—this is Christianity. Christianity is a religion of salvation—pure and simple. A religion of salvation is a direct assault against the indigenous nature/sky based religions that formed the backbone of religious practice and thought on this earth for thousands of years. These indigenous practices were, and still are, religions of sanctification.


One of the oldest patterns of shamanic initiation is to be ripped apart and then to be put back together again; a new heart and a new mind—a resurrected/regenerated spiritual body, the awakening of the divine within. This is sacrifice/suffering, death and re-birth; a primal theme that has been corrupted by the church.[i] When we put our resurrection into the hands of another, as the Christian Church preaches, we achieve easy and illusionary salvation using the language of Christianity. When we are not responsible for our own resurrection of self, we are prevented from becoming an authentic divine human being.


The resurrection/regeneration body is a Mesoamerican theme emphasizing the concept of life coming from death, highlighted by the Maya creation story, the Popol Vuh, of the Hero Twins’ journey to Xibalba (Underworld).  It is not the physical resurrection of our body after physical death. In addition, it is not the salvation of Christianity. If we have ‘eyes to see,’ nature teaches us the lesson of immortality. It’s all around us but specifically to the religion of the Maya, it was the rattlesnake that taught us to be ‘born again.’ It symbolized a material and spiritual regeneration through its tearing off of its worn-out skin to emerge as a brilliant new serpent with an added rattle. But what was Jesus all about? Was the message of Jesus one of salvation? Or was it one of sanctification?

[i] “… all the ecstatic experiences that determine the future shaman’s vocation involve the traditional schema of an initiation ceremony: suffering, death, resurrection.” Mircea Eliade, Shamanism, p. 33


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