I’m currently reading a book, and it references the book Scott Peck wrote, particularly the part about the stages of spiritual growth. I’ll now have to get Peck’s book and read it from the horse’s mouth instead of second hand, but in the meantime it is helpful. I think it is a very good perspective of where we might find ourselves from time to time, and where I find myself especially at this time. I am no longer in stage 2, am certainly in stage 3 and hopefully have some stage 4 in me also, considering my age and experience. Stage 2 is where most churches are, in that time where rules are set and imposed, and where we as individuals like that, since it sets boundaries and gives clear-cut answers to life. but it also creates an attitude of looking down on anyone not in that same stage, as being not “saved”. Stage 3 is the rebellious stage, where you question all the rules you were told you had to follow in stage 2. This is actually very healthy, and I believe the only way to truly find the depth and breadth of your own faith and relationship to God. Stage 4 is supposed to be mature and wise, and don’t we all like to think we have at least a bit of that.
For those who are interested in life at the Community of Jesus, they have taken stage 2 to an extreme, and consider it the be-all and end-all of life. As I have said before, rules, strict guidelines, and absolutely no room for questioning. In and of itself, if that is what a person needs and wants, what is wrong with that? I actually have no problem with any person choosing a lifestyle that fits their needs. What I think needs to be exposed about C of J is that the style and extremity of their teaching and life has crossed the borderline into psychological abuse. There is no respect for free will, intellect and human dignity there. It is all strict obedience, mindless obedience, and freedom of thought and questioning are seen as rebellion which is “next to witchcraft” according to their teachings.