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In this episode Joel and Antonia apply the Graves Model Spiral Dynamics to Christianity and show how the religion has moved up the levels through history.
In this podcast you’ll find:
- Initial Graves Model Podcast
- Podcast 155 – Stratified Levels Of The Graves Model Spiral Dynamics
- Podcast 156 – Conditions For Moving Up Graves Model Spiral Dynamics
- We wanted to explore something through the Graves model that we have seen evolve and change over the eons.
- Christianity – Judeo-Christianity – Protestant branch.
- This podcast isn’t an indication of the truthfulness of any specific religion.
- There was a period in history when most cultures were animistic – Graves 2 – looking for explanations and strategies and turning to superstitious beliefs to explain the unexplainable.
- Abraham likely graduated from Graves 2 to 3 when he started serving the God, Jehovah. He had a personal relationship with this deity. Not a detached animistic kind of worship.
- There was still a mystical quality to the relationship between Abraham and Jehovah. A likely straddling of 2 and 3.
- The Abrahamic tribe grew into an entire nation of 12 tribes. A coalition.
- By the time the Judges and Kings came on the scene, the 12 tribes of Israel was a warrior culture.
- “I want so I take.”
- All the early history (Pentateuch) was recorded by Moses long after the events. So the history was orally passed down to a large extent.
- A lot of the cultures at that time were heading into Graves 3.
- Not a lot of compassion during this stage. Lots of people getting killed, horribly.
- While Abraham transitioned to Graves 3, his family/tribe would have been Graves 2. He would have been their leader.
- “Worship the creator not the creation.”
- Moses covenant arrangements would have been very late Graves 3 moving into 4.
- The people would still have been Graves 2 and 3, so there was a lot of grumbling and complaining and insisting upon their rights. Ego.
- Judges would have represented late Graves 2, early 3.
- Adopting codifications and law codes – Graves 4. But the reinforcement of these statutes was still Graves 3 – “eye for an eye.”
- King David came along, and we see the people themselves moving into Graves 3 – a bloody period in history. A lot of conflict and in-fighting.
- Deity gives these cultures the authority to take what they want.
- Lots of building is happening. Temples. Royal Houses. These don’t bring benefit to the people as much as to certain individuals. No practical use.
- Prophetic books of the Hebrew Scriptures indicate a peak into Graves 4.
- Fast forward to Jesus.
- Judaic system very much tied into the Roman political structure.
- Rome is the best example of early Graves 4. They had lots of temples and palaces, but they also had communal structures – aqueducts, public bathhouses, higher educations, welfare system, etc.
- The Jewish system had codified groups – Pharisees, Sadducees, etc. – very Graves 4.
- We can see Graves 3 moving to Graves 4 guilt in the religion of the time. Jesus offered an easier way to sanctify oneself without all the animal sacrifices.
- One Sacrifice covers everything.
- Honor God above everyone else.
- Golden Rule
- When Jesus was put to death, it was procedural – very Graves 4 – he was put through the court system instead of just assassinated.
- His death was because of political/religious conflict – also Graves 4.
- Pilate asks the people who they want to release – Jesus or Barabbas – and the crowd asks for Barabbas. A Graves 4 Democratic action.
- Once Christianity is established, it starts as congregations – small family-like groups.
- Voluntary, shared belief systems – Graves 4.
- Apostle Paul establishes the rules of Christianity through democratic conversation.
- People coming from multiple backgrounds and adopting some old stuff and leaving others behind and creating a belief system that keeps them exclusive from the world – also Graves 4.
- Judaism was in Graves 3 for a long time – the majority of the Hebrew Scriptures.
- Then the modern era begins, as depicted in the Greek Scriptures, and we see the establishing of a Graves 4 civilization sprouting up around the Mediterranean.
- Constantine adopts Christianity in its established Graves 4 framework.
- Most of recorded history, Christianity has been sitting at Graves 4.
- Maybe during the Inquisition, Crusades, etc. we see Graves 4 implementing Graves 3 techniques to move people to where they want them.
- When Rome fell, there was a massive destabilization, and some of the structures may have regressed to level 3 – Dark Ages.
- Catholicism was the Christian religion for ages until Luther came along and started the Reformation. He may have been late Graves 4 early 5.
- Whenever someone comes from a 4 institution and starts making demands it is usually due to bumping up into the next level.
- Luther was very achievement oriented. Very driven.
- He wasn’t rebelling violently, like Graves 3, he was using structure and reason to change the system to work for the people – Graves 5.
- Graves 5 really kicked off during the First Great Awakening (the 1700s).
- Zeal for evangelism. Conversions. Missionaries. New church leaders. New church belief systems.
- The Reformation introduced Christian competition between ideologies.
- Competition itself is very Graves 5. So the religion itself may have been moving into Graves 5, even if the vast majority of the people were not.
- Late Graves 4 and early 5 can appear very aggressive and pushy.
- During these Great Awakenings, the Enlightenment is also growing. Printing, transportation, literacy, inventions, potential.
- 20th Century saw the commercialism of Christianity. TV Evangelists. Merchandise. Pilgrimages.
- One of the reasons this religion has survived as a dominant force is its ability to adapt.
- We are now seeing pockets of Christianity peaking into Graves 6 because people from the developing world are peaking into 6.
- Love Wins by Rob Bell – There is no hell fire. There is no need for conversion. God allows for everyone.
- Shock waves throughout Christendom.
- Christianity is still very much Graves 5, but there is a Graves 6 scene emerging and it is creating some conflict.
- All levels of the first 6 tiers are represented within the Christian faith.
- More in-fighting than ever before because of differing ideologies.
- In the U.S, if you go to a church that believes in snake handling it is likely a Graves 2 culture. Most people are related. Small groups. Snake handling is very mystical.
- Missionaries (Graves 4) that go overseas into a Graves 2 tribal village in Africa may find themselves creating a hostile situation by introducing a destabilizing influence and pushing the Graves 2 tribe into Graves 3. Some missionaries get themselves killed due to this unexpected result.
- Graves 3 Christian culture – Motorcycle Gangs for Jesus.
- The Graves model helps us understand why these conflicts occur.
- Graves 3 developing cultures are moving into 4, and that is why most religions right now are growing in developing countries.
- Religion provides a Graves 4 institutional structure for Graves 3s.
- Just one example of how we can apply the Graves model to structures, corporations, families, etc.
Book referenced in podcast: “Integral Christianity: The Spirit’s Call to Evolve”
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