“So the Christians and the Pagans sat together at the table,
Finding faith and common ground the best that they were able,
Lighting trees in darkness, learning new ways from the old, and
Making sense of history and drawing warmth out of the cold.”
-Dar Williams/The Christians & The Pagans
I must first give credit to the source of this information– Erwin McManus at Mosaic. You can download his sermon -“Truth Between Us: Scientology and Christianity” here.
Here are some of the highlights:
- We should not be surprised that Scientology’s incubator is Los Angeles. It should be no surprise that it encompasses the culture of LA.
- We should not be surprised that L. Ron Hubbard made his living from writing and using his imagination. LA is the epicenter of creativity.
- LA is also the epicenter of brokenness, the artisan’s dilemma.
You can’t be an artist without being depressed. -E. McManus
These central narratives of Scientology can be defined as “the truth between us:”
- Every human being is spirit. We are essentially spirits with bodies.
“Scientology is where atheists and loners came together.” -Paul Haggis
- Scientology emerged in the 1950’s when the Church was focused on “sin management.” Scientology was focused on a human’s “unlimited creative potential.”
Where it’s a little overstated is the word, “unlimited.” Change “unlimited” to “unimaginable” and this aligns itself with the Christian perspective. Dreams and imagination are part of how God designed us. The human spirit does need to hear that. Jesus does want to come to the table and speak to that.
Scientology countered the idea that we need to live in our weakness. Christianity agrees: “in our weakness is His strength.” Where we deter slightly is that, even in our optimal best, God is still way better.
- Scientology stepped into Christianity’s silence on creativity and imagination.
Scientology says that there are wounds and scars in our past lives that paralyze us from truly living. If you take out “past lives” and simply state that there are wounds and scars in our past that paralyze us from truly living, we really could agree. Scientology created the “E-Meter” to deal with this karmic debt. Christians needed to address these deep wounds and brokenness to be relevant in LA. Scientology has — perhaps this is why it’s “mecca” is in Los Angeles.
Some of us spend our whole lives just holding the broken pieces together (like a broken mosaic). These things anchor us to the past. That’s where Scientology steps in for so many Angelenos. While most of us are born unordinary with unordinary potential, the tragedy is that we choose ordinary lives and die ordinary.
Where we align with Scientology is when we realize that living out of our best is not incongruent with God’s plan. Yet, there’s so much stuff holding us back. We’re living under all this rubble.
Romans 12:2 calls us to be free from the weight that standardizes us.
Again, I urge you to listen to the full sermon here. I am longing for a world that seeks, as Erwin McManus says, to find the truth between us. To find where we agree, where we can sit together.