For centuries, many Christian circles have been defined by theological beliefs rooted in a vengeful, violent, judgmental God. But Jesus’ life and ministry weren’t about ushering in a new set of beliefs.
Early followers of Jesus were known as “The Way.” Albeit imperfectly, those early disciples sought to live out the path of love that Jesus had embodied and taught them: “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (John 13: 35)
In short, Jesus offered a new way of holding our beliefs, based on one criterion- love. In the gospels, Jesus respects the law and beliefs, except when they no longer resonate with love. Jesus’ question to Christians and all spiritual seekers today is simple- do your beliefs align with love?
Our primary mission in the spiritual life is to embody the unconditional love, service, and peace we see manifested in the life of Jesus and saints of all religions and to make that love real in the world. Our task is simple, but not easy- to be instruments of unconditional, agape love today.
As a community, Agape values “Open Mind, Open Heart, Open Hands” above belief. All are welcome to Agape no matter what you believe! Agape is a community first of belonging- to God, to Jesus, and to each other. From that place, beliefs arise, particularly out of our core centering in God’s unconditional, agape love.
Agape welcomes a diversity of beliefs. Agape does not claim to hold universal truth, or possess all spiritual answers for eternity. We hold on to our beliefs lightly, knowing that religious beliefs have been used to hurt, exclude, and judge others. We value love over belief. We know that as a community and as individuals, we are constantly evolving and expanding, and so are open to learning and growing from points of view different from our own. Through dialogue, prayer, and discernment within diversity, we pray that we might grow and mature, coming to a greater understanding of life, faith, and God.
“Open Mind” refers not only to being open to a diversity of beliefs, but to the observation that many people have felt quite uncomfortable with a number of traditional Christian beliefs. Traditional Christian beliefs about God, Jesus, and life; about ourselves and others; about sexuality and sexual orientation; about sin, salvation, and scripture have not resonated with millions of Christians. At Agape, we seek above all to live out through embodiment and practice the unconditional love of God and the life and teachings of Jesus. We affirm that “God is Still Speaking”, knowing that new revelation and wisdom is constantly springing forth from God’s well of abundant life.