Earth, the purgatorial planet

Brian Grandon
  • Brian Grandon

Christ Church Unity of El Cajon

311 Highland, El Cajon

Membership: 80

Pastor: Brian Grandon

Age: 53

Born: Tacoma, WA

Formation: Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, WA; Unity Institute and Seminary, Kansas City, MO

Years Ordained: 1

San Diego Reader: What is your favorite topic on which to preach?

Pastor Brian Grandon: Love, because that’s all it really takes. That’s what Jesus talked about predominantly. He talked about money a ton, but he boiled down the law and the prophets to loving God and your neighbor as yourself. Loving yourself implies unconditional love.

SDR: Why Unity?

PG: The human is made in the image and likeness of God — and that is spirit. So, it’s the spirit which keeps the whole universe alive. So, if people don’t ask Jesus to be their Lord and Savior, does that mean they’re going to hell? Well, that brings us back to John — where Jesus said supposedly that “I am the way, the truth and the life and no one gets to the father but by me.” This is the biggest bone of contention with Evangelical Christians; but what was Jesus really saying? I believe he was saying that through the Holy Spirit he was representing the pathway to spirit. Jesus gave us the example of daily communion with God, getting away from everyone and going to a quiet place in communion with God.

SDR: What is the mission of your church?

PG: We just rewrote our mission. Of this particular church, our new mission statement is that Unity Church of El Cajon provides fertile ground for discovery, healing, support, connection and happiness. Through prayer, meditation, inspiration, fellowships, and fun, lives, families and communities are transformed. Our vision is to be a welcoming spiritual home where the presence of God inspires and transforms lives.

SDR: Where do you go when you die?

PG: I don’t doubt there is reincarnation, but I believe we’re continually evolving. People come into this lifetime — if you’d had more than one child you can recognize that people are at different levels of consciousness. How could it be fair — how could there be a just God — if someone is so physically or mentally handicapped — where’s the fairness in that? But if we’re all evolving, then multiple lifetimes could be seen as one life. We’re all on a path and perhaps we’ve all had different ailments over time to balance the books, if you will. So, in my experience, I guess I have no problem with reincarnation or the billions of people who believe in it.

SDR: Is there divine justice or retribution for people who have lived wicked lives?

PG: I believe that God doesn’t stand there as a gatekeeper and say, “You there, you there, and you there.” It’s automatic; we’re drawn to a magnetic pole based on our actions. Jesus said, “In my father’s house there are many mansions” I believe there are multiple facets of heaven and hell — not just hell, purgatory, and heaven. I think Earth is purgatorial; we’re working out our salvation.... I think there is a whole lot of truth everywhere, but there are relative degrees of truth everywhere. Humility is the key to letting go of what I learned yesterday so I can realize what I’m learning today. I don’t believe in a geographical place called hell, but we put ourselves there — and it’s only a moment of surrender that gets us out.

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