This website is still under construction but a brief introduction is in order in case you stumble across this site. The inspiration for Elder Brother Ministry came to be many years ago. It really began as an idea to show Jesus in a new light. This emerging picture of Jesus began with my journey with A Course in Miracles, a contemporary spiritual path claimed to be authored by Jesus through the scribe of Helen Schucman, and continues with modern day Jesus scholarship such as the likes of the Jesus Seminar, Westar Institute, and scholars, Robert Funk, John Dominic Crossan, Marcus Borg, James Robinson, Stephen Patterson, et al. The name for the website originally was Elder Brother and I added the Ministry part recently. The name, Elder Brother, reflects this emerging picture of Jesus through the two aformentioned influences. The following is a passage from A Course in Miracles that will highlight this view and was my original inspiration for this endeavor (Note: Jesus is speaking directly to the reader):
An elder brother is entitled to respect for his greater experience, and obedience for his greater wisdom. He is also entitled to love because he is a brother, and to devotion if he is devoted. It is only my devotion that entitles me to yours. There is nothing about me that you cannot attain. I have nothing does not come from God. The difference between us now is that I have nothing else. This leaves me in a state which is only potential in you.” T-1. II. 3: 7-14
I find the idea of Jesus as an elder brother compelling, comforting, and inspiring. So much has been made of Jesus as somehow different in quality than the rest of us. Traditionally he is seen as the one special Son of God, God in flesh, sent to save mankind from his sinful nature. In the above passage, Jesus is no different in quality from us, an equal in God, but different only in experience and wisdom which he seeks to teach us so that we too can awaken to a nature that only comes from God. The predominate picture, that is emerging from the detective work of historical Jesus scholarhip, is a Jesus who is primarily a teacher of wisdom and social revolutionary. Yet, many scholars negate this wisdom of Jesus as pointing to a spiritual reality but rather as a creating a more humane society. I don’t have a problem with this view but I think it misses the larger spiritual reality that allows one to actual “turn the other cheek” to demonstrate that our world does not have the final say on who we are. Therefore, this website is an attempt to bring this vision of Jesus as a teacher of a particular way, or path, that is born out of his direct connection with a spiritual reality he called “the kingdom.”
Yet, I wish not to stop there. Jesus, both in A Course in Miracles and found through scholarship, is calling to us to listen, practice, and demonstate his teaching. Thus, to follow Jesus is to awaken to what he referred to in the gospels as the “kingdom” and in A Course in Miracles, “the real world”, which is a way of seeing that can be experienced here and now. Whatever the terms used, Jesus is guiding us into seeing anew, a world that is present, attainable, and filled with God’s indiscriminate generosity and love. We are to learn and experience this world by following our elder brother, Jesus, through his teachings.
Lastly, this seeing anew is not for just us alone. It is to be brought to others through acts of genuine love and devotion. It is not about converting others to a particular view but bringing a tangible sense that God’s world is here and now and that God, in His Love, wishes to meet our most pressing needs. Therefore, the ministry aspect of Elder Brother is to be of service to others in a way that is most helpful to those who find themselves in need of such a world–which I would have to say is all of us.
This is my little part in bringing this vision of the kingdom Jesus spoke about 2000 years ago and his attempt to communicate it again through A Course in Miracles over forty years ago. This is definitely a work in progress.
Reverend Ken Froessel