Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’”
John 3:5-6 (NLT)
It is interesting how culture and media affect our understanding and our perceptions. They can influence the way we think (or refuse to think) about spiritual concepts. I often hear the term “Born Again Christian” thrown around in the news in an effort to identify a particular sub-culture.
How sad that our social and political views can taint our ability to approach and consider a simple spiritual teaching on its own merit. Let’s try to forget, for a moment, all of the socio-political connotations of the term “born again.” Jesus made a simple and profound statement about spiritual transformation. Those who wish to enter the Kingdom of God must go through a spiritual birthing process that parallels the physical birth we all went through. Just as the path of our physical life begins with a transformational experience in which we exit the safety of the womb and enter our physical world, the path of Spirit begins with a transformational experience in which we pass from a state of spiritual death and a new spiritual life.
I have come to abhor labels of any kind that are placed upon people. They are all a type of prejudice allowing us to categorize a complex human individual into a comfortable mental collective which allows then allows us to accept or dismiss them. How many great people have I missed knowing because I took one look, placed a label on them, and subsequently wrote them off?
Along my life journey I experienced a spiritual transformation that set me on this course, yet I find myself running from the “born again” label and all the baggage that comes with it. I’m saddened that an amazing spiritual metaphor has been effectively reduced to a cultural and political tag for the purposes of a media sound byte.