088 – Celebrating Halloween With Purpose (With Austin Fletcher)

What does it mean to celebrate Halloween with purpose? How can you bring purpose into a holiday?

To some this day in all candy and costumes, yet to others, it is all demons and devil worship. But what if we told you it was actually all in your intent? This week, Austin Fletcher is back on the show and he is bringing a very unique perspective to the table. As someone who deals in both Christianity and New age, Austin can see both good and bad intention in something and helps us understand that like most things, the value of our celebrations come down to our intent. 

But this week we talked about so much more than just Halloween. We rabbit trailed off into how to revive the local church, personal conviction, and so much more. Not to mention this whole conversation just flowed so easily! You don’t want to miss it!

This week we talked about:

  • The actual danger of halloween
  • the intent of your actions
  • The Value of Denominations 
  • A method to save the church
  • Being branded as backslidden or a heretic
  • Reincarnation
View Transcription (by Otter.ai)

Cody Johnston 1:24
Hey everyone, this is the reckless pursuit and my name is Cody and my name is Elaine and this is episode 88. And we are talking with Austin Fletcher Austin is the host of new age Christianity, quite an amazing podcast that I am actually an avid listener of. He’s also the founder of New Age christianity.org and he’s returning guests here on the show. We brought him on to finalize our entire October conversation surrounding Halloween and all things spooky. And this was just a really great conversation about should or Shouldn’t you celebrate Halloween personal conviction intent? We tied in a little bit even talking about superstition. And then we really just got to talking about how to unify the church and what unity looks like and what it means to pursue truth and find freedom. And it was just a very deep, intimate conversation that went a lot of different directions. But it just, it was very life giving honestly was like two podcast episodes rolled into one. So I love this conversation. I’m just going to skip right to it because it’s worth just cutting right to the chase. So here is our conversation with Austin Fletcher, host of new age Christianity. Alright everyone, we are back with Austin flusher host of The New Age Christianity podcast and founder of New Age christianity.org. It’s dot org. Right. I got that right.

Austin Fletcher 2:50
Yes. Sweet. Yep.

Cody Johnston 2:52
Yeah. So Austin, we’ve been trying to get this interview scheduled with you. We’ve had audio issues. We have had scheduling issues. We have I’ve had family emergencies. So finally, we are here actually recording.

Austin Fletcher 3:06
Yeah. Hey, that’s superstitious. The devil didn’t want us to do this.

Cody Johnston 3:09
Yeah, it was definitely the Devil Satan himself. Were in our Wi Fi that was,

Austin Fletcher 3:15
you know, we’re kind of a big deal

Cody Johnston 3:17
we are. We’re big enough for Satan himself to show up and stop this episode. That’s impressive. So just props to us, guys. Anyway, so Austin. Oh, man. So we’re here. We’re talking about Halloween. We’re talking about New Age practices, all the different stuff. We’re just going to roll with it. So Austin, before we get into any of that, dude, I’ve gotta say like some of your recent episodes have been absolutely like great Today’s my gym day so I get to catch up on your newest stuff today but uh, for anyone listening Austin show New Age Christianity is one of like, maybe three, maybe three shows that are remotely spirit. Show and I emphasize I feel like your show is like not even really categorized in those but of all of them. Yours is actually what I listened to on the regular and keep up with so props to you on that. Because whenever you get busy hosting and doing podcasts, I’m sure you understand you kind of lose time keeping tabs of shows. But I especially I’m just gonna do a shout out here your episode on meditation. I absolutely adored it. So if you want to even talk a little bit about that today, I’m open for that too. But uh, it was very, very good and put into words something that I wish I could so elegant, eloquently say. So props on that. What do you got coming down the pipeline?

Austin Fletcher 4:37
So actually, this week is going to be the one year episode. Oh, wow. The 52nd episode, so I’m going to be actually I just got off interview with Bob Hudgens from, say rumors of grace.

Cody Johnston 4:54
Yeah, we’re about to bother interviewing both of us on the same day.

Austin Fletcher 4:58
What’s up It was a great interview, but so out of often out of my own mouth comes stuff and I’m like, I need to take notes right now. And I had one of those at the end. I’m like, So Jesus says that the truth shall set you free. And Bob’s questions were kind of like, what is it was kind of the classic like, you know, how do you define truth and what is it? You know, it’s a spiral and is there such a thing as like a an ultimate definitive truth that there’s nothing there learned after that and it was a really good discussion on truth and I thought, Man, I I do enjoy that and I do enjoy kind of the mental searching for this nebulous. I mean, even Jesus with pilot what is truth? I mean, it’s it’s kind of this classic question that humanity has been seeking for it, I think in some ways, and this came out of my mouth in the interview, and I was like, holy crap, this is really good stuff. And I’m gonna do an episode on it, because it is exactly what news Christianity is about. And that is, the truth shall set you free. So, if you reverse that and realize that truth, true truth feels like freedom. So what if instead of pursuing truth mentally, what if you just switch to a more emotive pursue in life and actually just pursued freedom? That’s good. And what would happen if you pursued the things that set you free? You would wake up one day and feel yourself surrounded by truth. Yeah. Right. Because if that’s what truth does, then you should be able to follow the intuitive leading of freedom. And he initially is like, so you’re saying like the pursuit of happiness? And there’s like, actually, no, because sometimes freedom is makes is very hard. Sometimes it ruins your life. Sometimes it’s scary as hell sometimes it’s really the most difficult decision, but you know that it’s freedom. And so it’s not about just finding what makes you happy, what makes you feel good, because sometimes that doesn’t, so I’m going to actually impact that more. And for me, that is what this entire podcast is. My entire project is the personal of freedom. And it kind of hit me out of my own mouth again. It was like, holy crap. This is perfect for the one year episode is perfect for kind of summing up What news Christianity is the pursuit of freedom.

Cody Johnston 7:13
Yeah, I really like that, especially because going back I think so many of us have our issues that we’ve had in the past from people pursuing, you know, air quotes here on truth, right? Like the pursuit of truth almost becomes dogmatic it becomes a box that we trap ourselves into, and everyone

Elaine Johnston 7:29
has their specific truth.

Cody Johnston 7:31
Right? Yeah, truth is a very subjective thing. So I really liked that. Very cool. So I’m excited for all that. So everyone, go subscribe to Austin because you need to be keeping tabs on

Elaine Johnston 7:41
graduations on a year.

Cody Johnston 7:42
Yes. Congratulations. Thank you. That’s your stuff. You guys do and

Austin Fletcher 7:47
you guys are what year Oh, you’re well over here. You’re in like, episodes. 1990s. Right. Yeah, we’re close.

Cody Johnston 7:53
Yeah, we’re will be a year in March or two years in March. So which is crazy. Yeah, given two years. Behind this microphone anyway. So why are we going to hell for dressing up and having candy?

Austin Fletcher 8:07
Oh my gosh, oh. So you might use might actually be a little bit surprised me. So I’ve thought about telling you before, but there is because of what I’ve seen in the New Age world and what I’ve seen in my journey, there is it’s one of those things, it’s like, people can go so overboard with that they’re the devils in there, and it’s going to get, you know, it’s going to get you. And at the same time, I think we can also go in with a little bit of a, I don’t know, a measure of immaturity and like bring our guard all the way down. That here’s the here’s the truth is that there is there are demons are real, and they are mostly found in church. But they can be found everywhere. And so it’s one of those things. It’s like, I did an episode with the epic podcast on on this and I realized at the end of it, I kind of really You know what, for me, it all comes down to intent. And if you have a bunch of a bunch of believers or a bunch of quote unquote Christians engaging in Halloween in an in the opposite way and they’re doing their harvest festivals and they’re doing their, you know, all that stuff to try to like fight the darkness, what you’re actually doing energetically is you’re just empowering darkness. Right? Right. And so it’s not about fighting Halloween it’s not about fighting you know, demons and warlocks and devils. It’s about acknowledging that there’s an energy people carry about Halloween. And so I would kind of go at this kind of, you know, it’s the are you for it or against it will actually, I am for being against the darkness, but not fighting it in the sense of I don’t this is hard to explain. But when you go celebrate, bring the light and celebrate it like I’ve never I haven’t celebrated Halloween for my adult life. In the early years it was because I was one of those like well it’s the devil and its darkness and the last few years it’s just because it’s I’ve not had my reason and I I don’t personally enjoy scary movies I’ve had experiences as a kid

that make it very like good stuffs challenging for me to like get excited about but you guys know me hopefully you know me by now like I could care less about what other people do if it’s producing the fruit of the Spirit love joy peace patience, kindness, gentleness and self control is producing Joy’s producing those kind of things and more power to you have a blast, I’ll celebrate you along the way. For me, the scary stuff can be can kind of be triggering from from experiences I’ve had in my past. And so I’ve stayed away from it for in later years just because I was like, Well, I’m just gonna go there but it wasn’t like a judgmental religious thing. But this year I’ve kind of flipped a switch realizing Wait a minute, I do know better. So what if I am go celebrate this thing with the intention of. So if you have the entire world, taking the evening taking a day to celebrate a certain energy, and let’s say there really are people doing sacrifices and doing evil on October 31, which there are, then what if you actually had a whole bunch of people also celebrating but not just ignorantly celebrating, not just ignorantly kind of engaging energetically with a party and opportunity, you know, in the episode with the epic we talked about how a lot of like it’s a life it’s kind of like a modern day but it’s a real live version of the purge for a lot of adults, right? They go out and that’s the one day a year they can put a mask on and they can do whatever they want. And I think you can do that ignorantly but what if you did that with it with a powerful intention of being joyful and light and happy. I love what you guys do with your your your Halloween party. You guys are pushing into this very intentionally. was very much about like, Look, we’re going to, it’s not even about taking it back. I’m not even going there like let’s take it back because that it’s about just celebrating with your friends and Joe and joyfully experiencing a time to dress up or whatever it is that you do. But do it realizing that I am I am bringing an intention into this evening, globally that I believe is needed and it’s something that I’m celebrating and i i do think it’s worth the conversation worth having a quote unquote reframing that I personally this year and largely because of you guys because I knew I had a feeling I know where you knew where you were going. I’ve seen follow you guys on Facebook and a lot of the stuff that you’ve done and I’m looking at it going I’ve I don’t I’m not against Halloween I just not really for it either. So where does that leave me and realizing like well what if because of what I know because of who I am. What if I engaged with Halloween on purpose in the right direction. And then suddenly No, I’m adding my energy globally, in, in the opposite direction of what everyone’s afraid of, in. But everyone is afraid of those things for a reason. I mean, I have found, I have found sacrifice cats in a, in a pentagram,

Cody Johnston 13:17
there’s a reason that you can’t buy a black cat from a humane society on certain times of the year. Like, that’s a very legitimate reason.

Austin Fletcher 13:24
So, you know, I’ve seen this stuff and I’ve experienced as a kid, I found those that that sacrifice site next to my school, right, it was a Christian school, like, I’ve had experiences. So there’s the reason that Christians are so afraid of it, because there’s some something there, but their fear, what they don’t realize is that their fear is just adding to it. The law of vibration and the law of attraction, just they’re part of the problem. So how do you fight it up part of the solution? So you know, I’m going to celebrate this. I’m gonna have a blast. I’m gonna have good time with my friends. I’m going to do this the right way. And kudos to you guys for not only helping me kind of examine this in a new way. But, you know, I know you guys. This is this is one of the things that you’re fairly passionate about elitism you’re pretty dang passionate about. Yeah.

Cody Johnston 14:08
I wish I could pan up off to do it whenever we get off this entire three shelves above us is nothing but Elaine’s Halloween. Right. Yeah. So, you know, it’s interesting because Elaine is actually the one that pulled me out of my shell about it, too. I used to have a huge phobia of dressing up because I thought I was giving a false representation of myself. And I was so scared of being something I wasn’t. And it seems kind of silly to me now. But I was like, I would refuse to dress up for like a large portion of my like my young, like, I guess like later teen years and stuff. So like, I’m not going to falsely represent who I am, which I really realized was just my own lack of confidence in myself. And something that’s kind of beside the point here, but something you said that I love, because it’s exactly what I said our last episode is it’s about intent. Everything comes down to intent, whatever you’re doing, if you have negative intentions, and like you said, fighting negativity, I mean, psychology backs that up. Whatever you think about even if you’re trying to think about not thinking about something, you’re still thinking about it. You know, you’re fueling that negative thought. And so I love just that whole idea. And I kind of reference You know, this Tick Tock video we posted with the leaderboard and stuff and people were like, Don’t you understand the power you’re holding and the negative forces and the doors are opening I’m like,

Elaine Johnston 15:23
first of all, it’s a placemat. Yeah, the actual wiki board game, it’s just a place

Cody Johnston 15:28
and virtue like it’s just a mass produced item. If you want to use it for negative intentions, I’m sure you very much can. Or you can use it to make a funny video and it doesn’t hold any authority over my life because I don’t give it that authority. So I really want to push in Do you think I kind of feel where you’re going with this? A lot of personal conviction is involved in in pretty much anything but especially with something like this, like what would you say to someone who has convictions about this day or anything like that,

Austin Fletcher 15:59
for me The first question I would ask and this would be a genuine question not judging, not assertive, but genuine, is I would ask that person Okay, just take a moment and find Is there any fear? Or is there any fear in your perspective on this? And because fear is clearly that not the right energy to to pursue any change in in spiritual truth so that would be the first question I would have because I think a lot of people just are a lot of people are afraid of making a mistake a lot of people are afraid of being wrong a lot of people are afraid of getting something on them you want to wish then I would then say are you do you have Christ inside you? Yes. There are you powerful Yes. Do you have the light? Yes. So Jesus walked through hell itself and he came out as the only one that with the victory, right? How many demons how many darkness how many dark spirits over then he came out the victor so we can go through we can hold a big board and not going to get it get any of it on us. Right? If you have fear, guess what you guess what that would you boards going to grab on to grab onto your light, it’s going to grab on to your dark. And so, you know, number one is your conviction is you’re passionate about this doesn’t have any routing in fear, it would be my first question. That’s good.

Cody Johnston 17:19
That’s really good. So with that, what are some areas that you have personally noticed? Or what are some areas we can work through some of those fears? Like how do we even recognize whenever we’re operating out of fear versus out of, you know, our light or out of faith?

Austin Fletcher 17:38
How to recognize when you’re reading out of fear now that that is a book.

Cody Johnston 17:44
Get Right.

Austin Fletcher 17:46
Right, it is it is so incredibly personalized. In my experience. I would say probably some of the markers if I’m just a spit balling off the top of my head, probably some of the markers that I’ve seen And just about everybody, when they operate in fear is that they are afraid of slowing down and logically thinking about something. Right? So they like to throw platitudes at it. They like to throw, you know, wrote answers. And anybody who says no, no, let’s actually, you know why? So tell me, please tell me. Can you explain to me why God needed to murder Jesus? In order to be satisfied with you? Can we have a discussion about this doctrine that you, you are too afraid to talk about? Because it truth should stand on its own. And we all say that, until one of our so called truth gets challenged, and we don’t trust it to stand on its own. So fear often looks like the inability to have an honest conversation. And it’s one of those things is very easy to kind of, you can talk 20 minutes without talking. Right. And so it’s it’s so nuanced and it does take an open country. between people. So you realize we’ve been talking for 20 minutes. And you still haven’t actually said anything. Like, this sounds like fear to me. So the inability to be logical. And I would say the other one, you know, the kind of common standard that I’ve seen, is the need to defend yourself and that you take it, it’s that personal. Suddenly, it’s about me and it’s about Well, why don’t you agree with me? Why do you Why? And, again, truth to be able to stand it naturally should speak for itself, it should stand on its own. It shouldn’t need your identity to defend it. And so when people talk about Halloween, and they don’t want to talk about the beauty of the value of the festival of sewing, you know, the the old Celtic festival, and how cool it was. And if you’re not even willing to have that conversation, you’re not willing to take an honest look at the beauty of something. You’re in fear, for some reason or another. And it’s not to say that you’re a loser and you’re stupid. It’s just, hey, you need to realize that there’s something you’re afraid of here. elusive suddenly you’ve been taught that is not letting you have an honest conversation and then often if it’s deep fear then it turns into so you’re saying I’m not and then suddenly they take it as personal attack and in into that second level of fear normally doesn’t stand on its own but it also can’t speak for itself so I think those are the to that and then everything else from there is to figure out

Cody Johnston 20:22
the rest of the church was a very good for pulling that off that was very deep or hot fly like that so very nice

Unknown Speaker 20:28
introduction Yeah,

Cody Johnston 20:29
so anyway, kind of shifting just a little bit you’re very intertwined involve your you have both camps New Age like people who came out of New Age is a more toward Christianity people who came out of Christianity more toward New Age, you’re kind of a bridge between the two right? And so just speaking because of the season but this really just goes in general. What are some of those similarities you see from like, so in is an old you know, Celtic tradition and New Age isn’t new New Age is quite old and it has written And more Earth based magic and, and earth based practices. You know, we use fancy words like magic, but what is magic? I mean, pharmacology is considered magic and witchcraft at one time, like all these different things that have these different, you know, backstory and everything. So what are some of the similarities between New Age practices and Christianity and I kind of think this all kind of ties back into your intent, but I just I really want to hear your heart on that

Austin Fletcher 21:25
cool story with this one. I was in Detroit a few weeks ago at a and there was a store there were that was a druid store. Yes, I went into a druid store. And guess what? I didn’t get any of it on me. Wow. So lucky.

Cody Johnston 21:46
You saw your doorway behind you. You may want to be

Austin Fletcher 21:48
careful there. Yeah. Well, that’s Bob.

So I went in and they were doing it just happened. A day that they were doing their weekly ritual. And they even said, we’re going to do ritual today. You’re welcome to join us. You’re welcome to keep looking around the store. And there was somebody there like filming it for a project at school. They’re like, do you know Do you mind if we film and I’m like, I’m good. You know, I don’t think I don’t know if I ever got in the film. But so, um, there was a couple of friends and they’re doing this ritual. And they go through this, like, they call it ritual, we would call it a church service. And literally, the about halfway through as they’re going through, and they started with a song. And then they went to kind of like some call and response stuff. And then the leader, like said some things off of his heart and then they like, they start laughing. start laughing out loud. And my friends like to stop it. Like what? Like they think you’re laughing at them and I’m like, Oh, no, I was laughing at them. I was laughing because I’m listening to the things they’re saying they’re talking about god they’re not they’re not calling it god they’re calling I think the druid is superior or something like that, like, the different the names were different. But the concepts are the same. They talked to this Holy Spirit they talked to, to Mother Earth, they talked, and they use different words. And the prayers were exactly the same contextually to the same entities to the and and I’m literally laughing and in my friend was like, why are you? What are you laughing? And I’m like, because Christians think that they’re the only ones who love God. Christians think they’re the only ones who want to do good. Christians think they’re the only ones who want to live better lives and love their neighbor and sacrifice themselves for the ones they love. Christians think they’re the only ones that want to give and change the world and and be make God proud. And so, you know, you talk about what are the similarities? Most of the time the similarities are at the heart level. similarities RR their intent as you said, it’s, it is people wanting to be the best they can be wanting to people wanting to be powerful, it’s people wanting to be kind, they want to be impactful in other people’s lives. And, you know, dare I say the fruits of the Spirit, they want to be more loving, more joyful, more peaceful, more kind, more gentle more, you have more self control, they want those fruits of the Spirit. And they use different language and they use different rituals. And what used to I used to think that the fact there’s 44,000 different Christian denominations was an abomination. Right? And that if we were really Christian, we would all be one. And now I’m like, Oh, good on us. Good, good on all of these different people for figuring out what really drives them. Shame on us for having to like drive them out and have them denominated. But as far as the desire to worship God a specific way, you know, I’m in a group that majors on understanding the Bible, I’m in a group that majors understand understanding, healing. I’m in a group that majors understanding, doing good for the poor. I’m in a group that majors on understanding how to go into heaven and have a spiritual experience. Good on you like that, again, shame on us for having to dominate but good for us for kind of embracing the difference. It is we are a body for a reason you have fingers and toes and kneecaps and cheekbones for a reason. And, you know, there’s 12 tribes for a reason. And I think most of the similarities on the heart level and the problem is, is that we don’t take the time to listen to the, and we just look at the actions and we go where you’re wrong. That is also how you open yourself up to other religions, open yourself up to other traditions. You know, I don’t know, man, just if you weren’t born in Western culture, and you were born into Islam, or you were born into Hinduism, or you were born into Buddhism, what, what do we expect from those people? Honestly, do we expect them to to not buy into the, to the religion that has brought them some super kind people in their life and go, you know, I want to be like that guy. What does that guy believe? Oh, he’s a Buddhist, well, then I’m gonna believe that. Like, that’s how you hopefully, hopefully that’s how you became a Christian is that you found something that was light and love and peace and you pursued that. So what do we expect from people who aren’t surrounded by Christians? Yeah.

Cody Johnston 26:23
Well, no, that’s really good because sometimes it’s really been hitting me really hard lately, is just the realization that there are so many people out there who don’t claim Christ who act and behave and operate out of the love of Christ deeper than a lot of the way we teach Christ, like the whole like, I’m going to teach you hell so you’re scared into salvation. That is so Satan, right? That’s the epitome of evil. And we’re tricking people. I mean, honestly, that is the Great Deceiver. Right? Like you’re deceiving people into this relationship based on this fear and if anything is based on fear, it can’t be based True Love and people go their whole lives, and they grow up and they become dogmatic and they preach and they abuse behind that. But my heart’s really been broken for those people because that’s what they know. They’re reacting out of this pain that they were tricked into taking on as salvation.

Austin Fletcher 27:17
But so I can’t help but just want to ask people like, what do you think the tree of the knowledge of good and evil really is? Because I’m pretty dang sure it’s religion.

Cody Johnston 27:28
That’s good. So is it simple as that? Is it safe to practice any of these other things? What? What Uh, I’m being really vague here intentionally. Okay. Leaving the floor wide open. I have some really dumb questions. Is it safe

Elaine Johnston 27:42
to say because I know a lot of people are like, a lot of Christians are like, ooh, essential oils like holistic healing and stuff like that. And then other Christians are like, Oh, no, that’s against the Bible. I would never do that. And the same thing with incense and crystals and all this stuff. And I’m like,

Cody Johnston 27:56
you just pick your poison. It doesn’t really matter which one wonderful Over here is okay with this. The other one says that’s evil, but they’re okay with this next generation wants is all of its evil. Yeah.

Elaine Johnston 28:05
And it’s just really like, why are we even arguing about this type of stuff? Like, like you said, it goes back to your intention. Like if you have essential oils, because your intention is to, you know, make yourself feel better help somebody else feel better than do that. Or if you believe that there’s power in crystals or incense and stuff like that, like do that if it’s for good, but if it’s for bad, like, totally do that, but I think a lot of people forget that. Other people, besides Christians also have good intentions. And I know a lot of people say, or I guess a lot of Christians have like, this dirty rag mentality or other people who aren’t Christians can’t be good people. They can’t be good people by themselves. And there was this church that we had recently went to, and they had this small group for women and it was called real women. And it just there was a A lot of other things about this specific church that really like got under our skin. But I was like a real woman. What does that mean? Like I you can be a real woman and not be a Christian. Like, it just really bothered me. You know, I was just like, What do you mean? I’m a real woman, like I don’t had nothing to do. I’m sure the actual small group had to do with God, but like the title, none of it. It was just very vague. And I was just like, I don’t I don’t know what that means. What does a real woman mean? Because I know a lot of people who aren’t Christian women who are in fact a real women, so I don’t have

Unknown Speaker 29:33
enough over here on the soapbox now. goes,

Cody Johnston 29:39
I think, I mean, would you say Christianity’s more open or closed than we make it out to be?

Austin Fletcher 29:44
Oh, this is an honest question.

Cody Johnston 29:45
This is an opportunity for you to we’re the hosts on this and so we’re trying to give you the room to express yourself. Oh my gosh,

Austin Fletcher 29:56
I would absolutely say it’s way more clothes than they’d like to I think they are. And the those of us who start to open up, immediately get branded and labeled. Yeah, as as heretics as dangerous as crazy. I was at my doctor’s office recently. I love him to death. He was a and I was just telling him some of the the belief changes that I’ve experienced, starting to look more into ideas like reincarnation, or, you know, I think that was the specific one, that suddenly he was like, well, I just, I don’t know, I couldn’t I couldn’t leave Christianity. I couldn’t leave Jesus and, and, you know, turn all that away and understand that by grace, you’re saved in this not by works and, and it just kind of started preaching. I mean, I’m like, I haven’t left that. You know, I think you have, he says, I think you have been like, no, I I actually, and I and I respect them enough to we’re close enough is the chiropractor we go into for five years. So, you know, we’ve had some really good conversations and it wasn’t it wasn’t about I wasn’t offended and I wasn’t trying to like, you know, start anything but like, in the back of my mind, I’m like, No I can I can describe who Jesus is and go through the Scriptures. I said, you know, you want to know that Jesus talks about how john the baptist was actually, Elijah, if you can handle it. This is Jesus actually tags on if you can handle it, like, and he goes that’s in there. I’m like, yep, go look it up. Like you’re talking about crystals and an oil and oil, like Hello, did spend a lot of time talking about how the anointing oil was made for, for its makeup to not be important. Or the crystals that the stones on the breastplate of righteousness, all of this stuff that Christians are freaking out about. There’s remnants of it inside of the Scripture that you know, and I People often think I’ve just turned the Bible out, and then I realized that I know it. So well, that I have, that I can unpack all the ways in which that ceremony over there that Druid ritual, actually is very biblical, you know, and it drives them nuts when I do it because then they can put it’s a Yeah, I think Christians think they’re open because they think they’re like Jesus. But in fact, they’re like the Pharisees. And it’s okay, I used to get mad about it. I don’t anymore I, I just kind of look for those who are on the same path who have heard the call of the Spirit. And I will tell you that my kind of my foray into kind of even the idea of reincarnation or, you know, kind of that you’re here to learn the lessons you need to learn, has freed me up to realize, hey, maybe this time around, my brother’s not meant to discover the truth that I’m here for. And maybe he’s here and, you know, here’s the here’s the dirty little secret is it produced more, produce more love, joy, peace, patience. kindness. You know what the idea of reincarnation has produced more love, more joy, more peace and patience for me. I can be more kind to people who disagree with me because I can realize that that’s not where they’re here. So, if I pursue freedom, maybe I’ll find truth. As I said earlier on, if I pursue truth, probably find bondage. And so, you know, for better or worse, that’s the path I’ve chosen to walk. And that’s how I’ve chosen to walk it. You know, those who want to those who it sounds like a good idea. Let’s go. And if it sounds scary as hell and it, you know, sounds risky, and maybe you’re going to get some devil on you, then maybe this isn’t your time, but you can judge me all you want. I’m good with not judging you because I got plenty.

Cody Johnston 33:42
Yeah, that’s good. That’s very well said. And I think it’s just it’s beautiful to realize when you when you are able to realize Christianity is such a fragmented religion. I say that very intentionally. It’s it there’s so many influences from so many different places. sown in I mean, you look at Israel and all of their history, all their different activities, all the different influences they had on him. That was all, you know, on those people. God, that was intentional, because I think that is a unification of just God’s people and all the different philosophies and all these different little fragments we have of God that when it comes together, it makes it beautiful mosaic. So I love that I never considered that all those captivity is were intentional. I’ve studied that in so many different ways. But that’s actually really I think that’s genius. Like to realize, like even who Israel became and what their religion became. Absolutely, if you don’t know that, how influenced they were by a big thought, by Babylonian thought, by Roman thought, by Greek thought, then you are ignorant. And

Austin Fletcher 34:49
I’m not ignorant of those things. I just never kind of put them all together like God did that on purpose. Thank you. I don’t

Cody Johnston 34:55
know where that came from either. one of those things where I’m like, I need your an episode about

Elaine Johnston 34:58
writing it down. Just going to say, I know a lot of Christians whenever you start like, that’s where the fear comes in is whenever you can’t have those conversations when you can’t look at context, when you can’t look at the history, and you start saying, Oh, well, there’s a lot of intertwining religions and practices, then they start getting scared. They’re like, Oh, no, that’s a of the devil because the devil wants to confuse you. And it’s, there’s only one God and only one history and all this stuff. And that’s where the fear comes in is because they don’t want to know or they’re scared that if they start knowing things, they’re just like in Genesis when they ate the fruit of wisdom, and then they’re like, Oh, I know too much. And, you know, I have too much information and I don’t like they may question their own faith or question if God’s real and stuff. But the beauty is there is so so many things that are similar than there are different and if we would just focus on our similarities and like you said, you know, it’s it’s great that everyone has their churches if they want to spend more of their time learning about the vehicle history or healing and all that stuff. But then whenever you start over focusing on those differences, that’s when you have the segregated denominations and then people you know, pointing fingers, even though we’re all Christians,

Cody Johnston 36:14
it’s me that spider man mean, I don’t know if you know what I’m talking about. I am you are watching the to spider man’s are pointing.

Unknown Speaker 36:21
Yeah,

Cody Johnston 36:22
yeah, exactly. All right, Austin, I’m going to give you the floor before we wrap up here. You got anything else you want to throw at us?

Austin Fletcher 36:28
You know, it’s just thinking as you were talking about. I used to have this idea about the church. I haven’t spent much time thinking about it because newest Christianity is my answer to years and years of thought on and trial and error on how do you do church and the New Age. You know, in the previous episode, I did unpack a bit, that New Age Christianity is not as much about mixing two religions as it is about understanding that everything’s changing in the Age of Aquarius. And when you look at there’s not a system in the world that isn’t going under undergoing massive shifts and massive change. And for me and my part, I want to participate in a positive way for that same shift in the tradition of religion or the tradition of spirituality and thought.

And so I haven’t spent much time thinking about these things in the last few years. But one thing that I used to always kind of push against when when you consider all of the different traditions inside of Christianity is what if, you know, Paul always wrote his letters to the Church of Christ in this city? Alright, so I live in a place called Traverse City. It’s it’s a smaller city, it’s by no means is the size of, you know, San Antonio or Dallas, right? Like I I live, I think there’s maybe 100,000 people here we have one mall. We have a good movie theater, but only one and so it’s a perfect kind of microcosm be able to say okay, the Church of Christ. in Traverse City, what would it look like? If instead of my church trying to have all the parts of the body? What if I realized that I just love focusing on helping the poor, and I’m a senior pastor. And let’s be honest, because I love helping the poor, I’m going to preach about it a lot. I’m going to have a lot of ideas about because I meditate on it, because I’m going to gather people around me who think a lot about it as well, we’re probably going to have a board that’s pretty passionate about helping the poor. We might even open up a shelter, or a food bank or something like that, because that’s what our church does, because that’s who I am as a senior leader. And at the same time, I’m told, well, it’s the full body of Christ. So apparently, we also need a nursery and we need a, you know, a youth program and we also need some business leadership stuff and a family thing. None of that am I passionate about? It’s pulling teeth trying to get anybody in my church to lead those things, but I’m trying I need to have my church be the entire body, because that’s what we’re supposed to be. Instead, what if I just embrace the fact that the body of Christ in Traverse City was all the churches and Trevor city? And what if I just allowed myself to be super passionate about helping the poor, and I attracted to my church, all the people who were super passionate about helping the poor, even if the liturgy was different, or if the music was wrong, if if you’re helping the poor, and let’s say you’re helping the poor in your Methodist Church, and you’ve got your kind of high church, and there’s a charismatic, who also is just super passion about helping the poor, I’m always willing to bet that they’ll still go to your church because you’re you’re meeting their passion. Now what if somebody comes to my church and they’re Methodist, and they moved into town, they go, I hear your Methodist Church and you go, yes, we’re helping the poor. And they go, Well, I would really like to start a leadership you know, heaven in church, heaven and business concept and you go you know what? Pastor Bob down the street is super passionate about how Kingdom can invade the marketplace. It’s a Baptist Church. But I’m guarantee you, he’s going to be preaching on the thing. you’re passionate about three out of four Sundays a month. As a matter of fact, Bob and I are great friends, we’re that we’re the help the poor church. And this is what we do. And it’s probably going to be frustrating to you because we’re not going to meet you where you’re at. But if you go down to this other part of the body of Christ, because the body is more than just my church, it’s the entire city. What would happen if the churches started treating each other like body parts instead of trying to force people inside their church to do things? Because Well, apparently, we’re supposed to do all the things. I think if there’s any way to four years, I thought if there was any way to revive that old model, and I’m not sure there is I’m being a maybe a bit pessimistic at this point. I’m not sure there is but if there is, it has to be in the acknowledgement that The body is bigger than just my church. It has to be in the in the acknowledgement that the ideas that I’m passionate about are my passions. And they’re not necessarily God’s eternal passions for the world. There’s something I’m passionate about. And I can honor pastor Bob, who has this huge men’s group because they’re all CEOs, and they’re changing this community through their way. And we’re helping the poor and they’re and they’re changing the businesses of the community, and so on and so forth. I think if there’s anybody listening this podcast, and they’re still trying to figure out because we’ve talked about kind of, newish Christianity is a little bit further down the chain, maybe one or two links from wherever your guys you guys are, at least where you were. So maybe you have some people in your audience who are still trying to like man, how can I How can I fix this? How can I How can I readjust the vision for my church? That’s I submit that to and I do feel it’s a bit spirit lead. So I submit that to your audience to say hey, embrace your passion and embrace it and it in as you own it and embrace it, stop judging people who don’t have it. Like, it’s okay. That they don’t want to do what you want to do. It’s a body for a reason. There’s 12 tribes for a reason. And then and this goes right you know, full circle back into Halloween itself. If it’s not something you’re passionate about, it’s okay. If something you’re passionate about own it, and don’t judge people who aren’t, you know, it is that live and let live and honor the diversity and it is something that for me it is it is freeing and it does produce more patients more kindness and more

Cody Johnston 42:36
love is about to say that just right back into the the aspect of freedom of if that’s something if this church is passionate about that it’s going to produce freedom in that person is going to produce truth in them because they’re pursuing what brings them light. What brings them that very thing. I love it. Very good. Austin, always a pleasure. I love these conversations. I guess. Maybe we’ve been had a couple extra weeks to mull over this One but I’m happy that we got it out there and I love this. Yes, I didn’t go on a glitchy rant I’m gonna have to, like throw that up on our Instagram and be like so if you’re listening to this, we’re going to throw that up on our Instagram because I have the video where I go down you can see Austin’s face, because it happened before and we thought we fixed it. And I just go on this laughing glitch non stop. And it was hilarious because you thought I was joking. And I could just see your expression go from laughing just like, Oh, it’s serious. It’s really again

Elaine Johnston 43:31
put that on the overlying music to set the mood. I’m

Cody Johnston 43:34
gonna make a dub mix and me just laughing in the back row. Yeah, anyway. There’s like a trap beat out of that. Very cool. Austin. Thank you so much guys, anywhere Austin is it will be linked up. The NAC community is actually linked through nomads. So if you’re a part of nomads, you can find Austin’s communities there in the recommended group section but we’ll throw a link down for it as well and of course, your podcast Your website everything you have going on and guys seriously go check it out, especially his meditation episode and everything he’s doing right now. It’s just been super like on fire. So

Austin Fletcher 44:10
props to you, man. Thanks, man. Appreciate it. Absolutely very humbling.

Cody Johnston 44:14
Austin thank you again for coming on and sharing all that that conversation grew to be it’s always a joy talking with you guys. If you have not done so thus far, go check out his stuff over at New Age Christianity. You can find it wherever you’re listening to this very podcast. Unless you’re listening on our website, then you need to go down to our show notes and click the link one way or another it’s all linked up in the show notes go and find it guys. As always, we invite you to nomads a safe community for Christians to ask unsafe questions, which is also linked to Austin’s group, the NAC community, you can find him there as well. Guys, we love you all we thank you for taking time out of your day and spending it with us and we look forward to next time and as always be brave, be bold and be reckless.

Elaine Johnston 44:59
We’ll talk soon

Austin Fletcher

Austin Fletcher

Host of New Age Christianity
Austin is the creator of NewAgeChristianity.org and is the host of New Age Christianity, a podcast exploring faith as it is changing and understanding the fullness of the Spirit free from the burdens of religiosity.Visit New Age Christianity

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