Toxic Jesus - with Marc-Henri Sandoz Paradella
Hello and welcome to Episode 23 of This Little Light Of Mine. My name is James Powell and I’m glad that you’re able to join me for today’s interview episode, ‘Toxic Jesus’.
On today’s episode I’m joined with author Marc-Henri Sendoz Paradella. Marc-Henri’s new book Toxic Jesus – A Journey from Holy Shit to Spiritual Healing is creating international acclaim in progressive Christian, deconstruction and religious trauma circles.
Marc-Henri has a fascinating story of deep faith, questioning, deconstruction and reconstruction.
Don’t forget, if you want the chance to win your very own copy of Toxic Jesus all you need to do is subscribe, rate and leave a review of This Little Light Of Mine on Apple Podcasts. Next story episode I will choosing one of the reviewers and will send them their own copy of Marc-Henri’s newest book so they can devour it themselves.
For those of you not yet familiar with Marc-Henri, he grew up in Europe and was the son of a charismatic Pentecostal minister. As a young boy, Marc-Henri was spiritually and psychologically abused, as he forced to undergo multiple public faith healings to cure him of a leg impairment. Despite the insistence of his church and his family that Marc-Henri had been healed by God, Marc-Henri and his medical doctors continually confirmed that no healing and no change had taken place.[/caption]
Feeling lost, confused, and angry Marc-Henri internalized these messages at a very young age. He believed there was something wrong with him and that he was broken and unwanted by God but put on a brave face and kept pushing forward. He studied Protestant theology at the University of Geneva and fulfilled what he thought was his life mission when he became a pastor of an evangelical church for over 15 years.
But Marc-Henri’s internalized messages of shame and unworthiness never went away. By not addressing his toxic shame, the parts of him and his beliefs that he tried to exile had only grown stronger. His deep questioning of his faith led him to resign when he realized that he could no longer run away from who he was truly designed to be.
Toxic Jesus shares how Marc-Henri faced his shadows, began long-term therapeutic and integrative work and began his process of deconstruction and reconstruction. In that process he discovered the need to grow into a deeper and renewed spirituality, one that would fully take into account what was happening to him, without sugar-coating or falling into the magical thinking he was taught as a child. He found a spirituality that would truly help him to face reality. And as he calls it, a “no bullshit” spirituality that will always be a work in progress.
And with that, here’s my interview with Marc-Henri Sandoz Paradella
And that was my interview with Marc-Henri Sandoz Paradella. How did his journey from Holy Shit to Spiritual Healing land for you?
What spoke to you? What challenged you? What angered you? What inspired you?
What I appreciate most about Toxic Jesus is the intention to help us heal from toxic spirituality, wash away the layers of guilt and shame, and bring us into profound connection with the Devine.
I also loved the deep exploratory work that Marc-Henri did on his own life to discover and name the man-made Toxic Jesuses that have been used to oppress, manipulate, guilt and control humans for centuries.
Have you seen how any of these idols have been used to mis-appropriate the name of Jesus, God and Christianity?
All of these idols come together to control, create, grow and promote trauma. All of these idols are the antithesis of the Jesus we know from the Bible. Instead of promoting love, inclusion and the fruits of the spirit, these idols are the source of Religious Trauma Syndrome as they perpetuate harm, cover up wounds, suppress and bypass our Divine Knowing, hide the truth and reject any pain.
These idols are toxic, life depleting and deadly. These idols are not my Jesus.
And yet, when we take the opportunity to deconstruct how these manmade idols have infiltrated our own lives we remember and are uplifted with the expansive and Devine energy that frees us from our own pain and suffering.
I love how Marc-Henri defines this process as GRACE. Grace is what happens when we stop to acknowledge, explore and overcome the pebble in our shoe.
When we become present and intimate with our own hidden pain we have the opportunity to heal, grow, flourish and thrive. When we become dedicated to healing – instead of denying, defending, or justifying it – we begin to live our lives from a place of nourishment, integration where we welcome home the parts of us that we have been taught to exile.
Healthy spirituality is a renewal of our Devine energy, greater receptivity and intuition, increased confidence, healing body shame, emotional literacy with the full spectrum of emotions, more resourcefulness to navigate challenges, and being more in touch with our infinite self.
This is how we were all created to live.
This is who we are. This is who you are. You are loved.
A special thank you to Marc-Henri Sandoz Paradella for joining us all the way from Switzerland.
And, thank you for being with us today and before I go I want to remind you.
You are loved unconditionally by God who made you exactly as you are.
You are created for spiritual growth that embraces your full humanity. You are designed to learn, grow, thrive and evolve.
Your growth doesn’t have to look like someone else’s growth, in fact, it probably shouldn’t because you were designed as a unique and Divinely inspired person.
Our world needs to see, hear and known your unique personhood. We need you.
You are loved.
I look forward to being with you all in two week’s time where I share my next story episode called ‘Outted’.