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Is the gospel good news? Or is it spiritual slavery. A relationship with god is described in the bible in master-slave terminology. We’re told this slavery is good for us; it’s a special kind of slavery in that it’s “freedom.” The bible is quite literal: We have been bought with a price through a human sacrifice: our lives, bodies, and souls are no longer our own. We are to dedicate ourselves to the deity as a living sacrifice. If called upon to die as martyrs for the cause of advancing the deity’s message, we are to consider ourselves privileged. We are sold into spiritual slavery firstly by being convinced of “the bad news.” The bad news is we are sinful and rebellious towards the deity. The idea of sin is the first untruth, the beginning of slavery.

After the deception that our nature is tainted takes root, then the deity’s message can sink in. The deity offers us the solution for the snake oil hoax of sin he has created. The solution is a “relationship with god,” which is code for saying we must become spiritual slaves of the deity. The deity wants us to confess our sins and invite the Spirit of the deity into our hearts, to surrender all of our willpower, material possessions, and our eternal souls. We are put in an eternal posture of contrition and owing the deity. The ritual of baptism symbolizes that we die to our own will, and rise again to “new life,” which is to live fully as the possession of the deity. We then learn that the deity’s plan for saving the world is hostile invasion and destruction of the planet. Heaven means worshiping the deity forever. Hell means being tortured by the deity forever. Either way, we will all become the deity’s slaves forever.

This is not good news. It’s spiritual slavery. It keeps us from understanding that our nature is pure; we are fundamentally whole. Healing is the process of being empowered, not divinely enslaved. We don’t gain our freedom by giving ourselves up and entrusting our spirituality to a book or teachers who tell us what to do and how to think. Freedom is about finding our unique sense of purpose and fully embodying our true human nature, doing what makes us most human and makes us feel most alive. This is the good news, this is a message of universal peace and harmony. Learning to trust yourself and no longer act as a spiritual slave is a process, but it is true spiritual freedom.

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