Do you ever wonder if Jesus had superpowers? Or is it cool to talk about Christ Consciousness? In this episode of SuperPower Up! Disrupt Reality, Dr. Mark Moore joins Tonya Dawn Recla to unwrap the connection between the church, Jesus, spiritual awakening and personal development. Mark is a Teaching Pastor at Christ’s Church of the Valley (CCV), the largest non-denominational church in Arizona and sixth largest in the United States, amassing over 28,000 congregants each week. How does a church this size handle the collective wounds perpetrated in the name of Christianity? Listen to this episode where the gospel meets woo woo and Jesus is cool enough to guide us into consciousness.
Hello everyone. This is Tonya Dawn Recla, your Super Power Expert, and I’m really, really excited about this conversation. I’m typically excited about my interviews, but this one in particular feels super crucial right about now and really an invitation for all of us to set down what we think we know, the barriers that we put up around us. As I talk about a lot, I came from the intelligence world, and you want to talk about the most like paranoid and suspicious environment in the world, that’s probably it.
And so there’s this natural tendency to see things as threats and to want to guard against it. And we’re going to dive into a conversation around the church and Christianity today. And I know so many of you have had experience with that. Some in really beautiful positive ways and you’ve continued to walk on that path. Some of you in not so beautiful and positive ways and you’ve veered off that path and may never return. Some of you haven’t been exposed to at all, but you certainly have heard stories about it, right? We’ve got an idea in our collectively consciousness about what the church represents, and it means something different to all of us.
The problem that I’m seeing in these conversations of personal development, spiritual growth, religion, spirituality, everything else, is the disconnect and this kind of desire to want to be right. And our guest today actually spoke too at this weekend about the difference between being righteous and right. And we’re going to let him kind of flesh some of that out for you. But I’ve invited Dr. Mark Moore to join us today. He is remarkable, first of all. I really enjoy his teachings and his perspective and the depth of knowledge that he brings in to these conversations.
He’s a teaching pastor at the Christ’s Church of the Valley. So for those of you who don’t live in Phoenix and maybe aren’t aware, Christ’s Church of the Valley has done something really, really, really remarkable. One, it attracted The Reckless. The cat’s out of the bag. The Reckless attend church. And we couldn’t always say that for a lot of the reasons why a lot of you don’t say that. But Christ’s Church of the Valley, CCV, is one of the largest churches in the states. It’s certainly the largest in Arizona, and they have just managed to breakdown some barriers that I’ve never seen another church do, and particularly at this size.
Well, over 30,000 people weekly in attendance. He joined them back in July of 2012 officially, but prior to that, he’s got this really remarkable resume that helps explain the depth of knowledge and the passion with which he brings to some conversations that are really trying the collective consciousness in these times that we’re in. So I invite you to sit down and kind of take a breath, take a pause. He’s authored many, many books. So you’re going to be able to consume more of his material. We’ll tell you how to find that.
But he’s really this remarkable embodiment of what Christ has asked all of us to do, if that’s your belief system. But let’s stretch that out even further and say on some level you’re drawn into this podcast because you do believe that there’s something bigger. You do what to be bigger. You want to be more fully who you are. And whether you call that the divine or source or spirit or energy, it just doesn’t matter on some level because getting in touch with it means that we acknowledge this connectivity that we all share.
And Mark just does a beautiful job of linking things together to help explain why we’ve seen some of those discrepancies and how we can work toward mending them. So we’re talking today about the frequency of Christ consciousness, and I invite you into this conversation with an open mind and an open heart and to really hear the synchronicities of what we’re going to share. You trust us.
You believe in our material, and I’m asking you to step into some places that maybe you haven’t been in in quite a long time and to receive it differently. Mark, thank you so much. I don’t know that I could thank you enough for being brave and courageous to come into a podcast called SuperPower Up! and share the word of Jesus and your take on that. So thank you for joining us today.
Well, listen, I’ve already gotten benefit from it because I’m going to take your introduction and I’m going to give it to my wife because she might not even recognize that person. So thank you for that. You know, honestly, I’m a fellow pilgrim, and just somewhere along the way, I’m hoping to connect with my creator and make that help other people who want to walk that same path just have a little wider on ramp to that. So thanks for having me on.
Beautiful. And I think that’s what CCV does so remarkably well, is they really open that invitation without this kind of desperate need to convert, and that I mean, it’s so beautiful to kind of open that up and say, “Hey, we just want to support you. If this is of interest to you we’re here to support that.” And I think that you just gave words to it in a beautiful way. Prior to, or before we kind of jump into all of that, you know what I’m going to ask you.
So what are your super powers?
Well, I’ve got like two spiritual gifts. One of them is sleeping. I’m incredibly good at that, any place, any time. But probably I would say I’m not the best at anything, but I’m a unique combination of two things. I’ll use kind of the classic terminology. I was a college professor for 22 years. It was a Christian college. We were training future pastors and ministers. So I’ve got the academic side down, but I’m not the best scholar that’s ever been.
I’ve met a couple of those, but I’m not in that echelon. The other thing that I do is I’m a preacher, or public speaker, communicator. I would say I’m good, I’m not the best but if you combine those two, I think my super power, to put it in like a colloquialism, I’m really good at getting the cookies down to the bottom shelf. Taking these big ideas and making them palatable, accessible for people who are just entering in. I try not to intimidate people with big words and big ideas, but just try to explain them in a way that someone can say, “Man, I’ve always felt that. Thank you for helping me to put words to it.”
Beautiful. And I know that’s part of the reason why I’m so drawn into you and your style is because that’s a lot of what I serve over on this other side of the conversation. And we talked briefly about, and it’s perfect that we’re talking about frequency today because what you’re really kind of talking about here is something that I refer to a lot is this information is super, super conceptual, right? We know. We know every cell of our being.
You don’t touch the face of God or feel Him or have spirit coursing through your brain and not feel it, right? There’s nothing more real in those moments when we’re able to light up and the tears flow and our senses tingle. We know when spirit has moved us.
Yeah, that’s right.
The challenge is most people don’t know how to sustain that. And so they have their moment and then they go back to “real life”. And a lot of our work here at Super Power Experts is helping people understand that there’s nothing more real than that life. And the idea that you can live in it is super absurd to so many people, and yet isn’t that what Jesus did? Very clearly He was in the world but not of it, and He’s inviting us to do that. Why are we so disregarding of that?
Well, and I would even come behind your statement, one of the ancient texts of, well of all religion, but certainly of the Bible, Genesis Chapter 1 Verse 26 says that God said, “Let us make man in our own image,” male and female, He created them. And so I’ve thought a lot about what does it mean to be in the image of God? And this may be overly simplistic, but I think if you look at the characteristics of God, the characteristics of humans, the characteristics of animals, you could also put the inanimate objects, rocks and trees, or maybe angels and demons.
I just want to focus on those three. There are characteristics that humans share with animals. There are characteristics that humans share with God, but they don’t share with animals, and it’s that subset that I think defines what it means to have the divine spark in us. And what just inflames me, in a positive way, is those attributes, I mean, there’s more than what I’m going to list here.
But let me just list a few, language, art, love. Now, I know animals feels emotions towards owners and towards their own species, but the kind of love I’m talking about is love for a stranger, or even in Jesus’s words love for an enemy. The way we eat meals is part of the divine. No other animal eats like we do. No other animal designates times or decorates tables. And so if you just lay those across on a table, beauty, the arts, language, communication, eating, those are all mundane things that we do every day in multiple times in almost every human interaction.
So in a sense whether we recognize it or not our most mundane existence is at the level of the transcendent divine characteristics that God embedded in every human being.
Beautiful. I love what you’re talking about. And what struck me about CCV and really what started to chip away at kind of some of my own posturing around the church was, and you can definitely say it better than I can, there’s a statement that CCV holds that is one of the most beautiful kind of mission-vision type statements I’ve ever heard in my existence. But it’s the idea of the most important principles in that we’re unified. What is this statement that you all say in the Starting Point?
It’s actually a statement that goes back a movement in the early 1800s. It says in essentials unity. And now I just tripped over it. In essentials unity, in opinions liberty, in all things love.
And there’s a version of that in Starting Point that it just hit me, and I was like that is the biggest issue in why people are so repulsed by the church, are the controls measures or. I remember, I lived in Tijuana for a summer. I was working with a binational mission team when I was in college. It was a group that I was exposed to in high school through my church. Our pastor was just this amazing being who walked the earth and exposed us to mission work and being of service, and he has since passed.
But he was just this amazing, I mean, walked closer to Christ than anyone I’ve ever known. So I went back in college and I remember noticing that the rules, it was with the presbytery, the rules for the churches on the state side were extremely different than the rules for the churches in Mexico. And I asked the pastor, the Mexican pastor I said, “What? Why are your rules much more stringent here?” Like no drinking, no drugs. I mean, they really got into people’s business with that.
And his explanation was that the influences were so much harder for people to overcome in Tijuana than they were in Chula Vista, and I was like, “Well, okay, that’s interesting.” And I could hear him, I understood, and he thought about this and stuff, and obviously his flock, his church congregated to him. But I remember that sticking in my mind. And I do think as we grow and develop and become more autonomous and move through Maslow’s Hierarchy, the idea of somebody lording over us with regard to the rules and the this and the that, it’s exhausting to have to wonder if you’re doing the right thing and everything else.
And so that one statement really narrowed it all in for me, really honed into this easily consumable kind of myopic perspective of look, there are some foundational principles that are crucial, and they’re very clear. There’s really no wishy washiness about that, but yet everything else is opinion. Everything else is the human overlay and everybody trying to interpret it as best as they can. Some of it as control. Like very clearly we’ve seen examples of that.
But that’s this beautiful intersection of allowing people to be and develop and to find their own resonance with Christ and spirit and keeping the construct clear. Right? Because otherwise it gets too chaotic. It gets too all open for interpretation and there’s no continuity, right? Well, that’s an extremely delicate balance.
Well, there has to be some essentials, and everyone would agree with that. And I think everyone would also agree, when you have any kind of grouping of people, call it an organization, call it a community, whatever term fits for you, every community has some internal structural rules that holds the unity of the gathering together. But that’s okay. But what you’ve identified is not just one of the core points of the church that I serve, CCV, but it was a core principle for Christ. And if you go and just scour the history of Jesus, everything you can learn about Him and the four gospels of the Bible, you will find that three times He lost His temper, only three times.
Every time He lost His temper it was with religious leaders who were keeping someone away from access to God because of one of these rules that was unnecessary. So we’re trying to be a church that gets angry at the right things, and not angry at the wrong things.
I love it.
You can tell a lot by a person to what fires them up. I think where we’ve gone wrong, and look I’ve been in those churches that are a little bit more legalistic