Of course, Jesus wasn’t serious about…


 

Any empirically based Western Societal individual knows how the bible is filled with scriptural passages of hyperbole.

Naturally, when Jesus tells us to love our enemy he wasn’t serious; instead, he was speaking in exaggeration. No, he didn’t really mean we should forgive our brother 7 times 70 or to give our coat when someone stole from us, demanding our cloak.

Jesus certainly wasn’t insane.  He didn’t really mean for us to actually love our enemy but to strive for greater agape love.

Jesus didn’t really mean for us to hate our mother and father and to give to bums, the homeless and the poor for surely, he meant for all to prosper by working for a living.

Jesus couldn’t really have meant for us to love a God with all our heart, a God of whom we fail to see:  a God that requires so much.  Clearly, God knows we must spend most of our energy attempting to pave out a living.

Again, it must have been hyperbole for Jesus to explain we should take up a cross—to follow him, to deny ourselves, to do without and to store our rewards in a place we cannot verify.

Any Christian fool knows that all of Jesus spoke about is virtue, but His virtues are only noble aspirations for beings higher than human and only for some day when we live in a perfect world.

Finally, any real serious Christians knows that our savior, Jesus was absolutely serious about all that He said and that He exhorts our obedience and that nothing in the world could ever be more serious and real except for the ideas, the concepts spoken about from Christ.  And indeed, was Jesus so very serious about ALL—yes, yes, and yes, he was and even probably more emphatic than explained for to Him he lost His life for us and forfeited it all for our sake as He believed it so much.  In consequence, so should we.

Non-Personal Girlfriend



Imagine that you have a girlfriend or a wife.  In that relationship, you never see her face, never meet—you read about her, speak to her but never audibly the other way around and when you question her about it, she tells you that you have a deep inner personal relationship with her.

The above scenario leaves much to the imagination, but indeed, we have many today who speak about that concerning God.  They say that they have a personal relationship with Him, but much is left to the imagination.

We witness the connection between Moses and God, and again we see it somewhat with Jesus and His Father, but otherwise there is NO prescription of this in the bible.

Some would have us believe that God only speaks in a whisper, so much so, that often times we don’t even know if it is Him who is speaking.  Again, in other accounts throughout the scriptures, God’s voice is loud, terrible at times, and very, very real to all around the intended receiver.

In fact, while we have direct access to God, even though we are not a High Priest, we have access only by going through the ultimate High Priest and that is Jesus.  Jesus is there standing in the gap speaking for us with His Holy Spirit.

Getting directly to the point:  our access, our personal relationship with God’s spirit is first with Jesus, second with His Church and finally with His creation.

We are to experience that spiritual relationship one on one with members of His church—those who walk within His spirit and abide by his Spirit and of whom His spirit is indwelling.

Make no mistake about it.  The only way to experience God is through His Son and His church.  This means that we are not as Holy as we’d like others to see us and that an act of faith is required to provide service to others as commanded by Christ.

We should not kid others about our sanctification.  True sanctification comes about as a result of giving and doing through action of our faith as it is expressed towards others.  Here, the attention is not so much on us, but on our faith as it is manifested in reality.

This is a moment to moment, daily manifestation, not about mere words of piety.

It means getting down, getting dirty and hurting and sharing the pain that is generated as the outcome of being in this world with out brothers.

So then our communion is consummated by being and sharing with others through Christ.  It is not about praying, reading the scriptures and then proclaiming our love.  It is doing the love in which we proclaim and that which we have learned from the scriptures that establish us as a living testament in the act of doing.

In the end, it is a matter of pure logic.  Would we ever marry someone we have never seen?  Of course not. And the same is true in serving a God that we have never seen.  WE see God through other Christians as they step up to the plate in announcing His presence.  It is by that, we give witness to the goodness of the Spirit that is the embodiment of God.  That is the God that is personal and that is the fundamentals of a personal relationship.  It is performed through the body of Christ, His Church.

It’s all about Food


 

Agent X has this part right.  Man is separated by God and His people by a lunch counter.

Sometime around 1960 when I was around 12 years old, I ran across a lunch counter in downtown Jacksonville that had one section that said: white only and still another which stated:  colored.

For the life of me, this didn’t seem right and so then when I asked about it on the white section side, I was told the reasoning.  Indignant with the answer, I left my stool and went over to the colored section and sat down.

Yes, I was surprised when the ‘negro’ waitress refused to wait on me, saying I was in the wrong section.  However, after deliberating for some time with the waitress and with encouragement from nearby whites, I was eventually waited on and ate my meal in peace.

That was at an infamous downtown Woolworth that later was the scene refer to as ‘Axe handle’ Saturday where protestors were met with the throngs of baseball bats and axe handles.

In these areas of confrontation, albeit the Passover, an Easter Sunday Feast or on any other occasion, the inclusion or separation of people is always in reference to God.

Food is the subsidence by which we remain alive: along with oxygen and other essentials. However, we must spearhead this all with Our Daily Bread and our daily bread again, comes from God.

So then, this food is both spiritual and physical.  The spiritual food is our standard: that which provides our moral compass to our spirit, soul and body whereas physical food is necessary for our physical body and brain.

In peace, in war and in strife.  Our existence is owed to the fact that God permits our existence.  To that end, we must eat and in most occasions, eat among others.  In peace or in strife depends upon the Lord

We all died on a tree


Galatians 3:13

13 Christ sredeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, t“Cursed is everyone who is hanged uon a tree”—

 

At the Garden of Eden, Man fell from the grace of God by biting into the forbidden fruit. A curse was laid at man’s feet for the fruit was produced by one tree that man was forbidden to consume: the tree of good and evil. In at least some capacity here, the tree is perhaps a spiritual tree epitomizing the source of God’s knowledge of the universe.  The consequence for this act, the violation of God’s commandment, eating what God told them not to do, was death.

Upon first notice, neither Adam nor Eve died immediately, but nonetheless, death entered this world and has remained until this day.

Interesting enough, but the Garden of Eden also contained a tree of Eternal Life, and that tree was not approached by Eden’s inhabitants. Yet we discover about two thousand years ago, eternal life was offered, once again by a reference to a tree.

With the death of Christ who hung from a tree, the powerful victory over death was proclaimed.  And in this death, eternal life was granted for those who would believe on the Son of God who was sent to this earth for ransom.

Thus, we see two trees emerge that define history.  The first was the tree that produced sin and a curse, and the second tree produced the gift of eternal life.  In short, Jesus was the mechanism that conquered eternal death.

In the beginning, we find that a fruit, a substance of food cloaked that which was good and instead, install a punishment against man.  Enter Jesus, the Christ and we find another food supplants the initial food, only this time it is good.

Jesus is the living water:  He is the eternal manna.  Jesus’s words are the same as His father’s for Jesus spoke:

“I eat meat which you know nothing about, but every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”

Here, Jesus becomes a tree:  Jesus was described as becoming a curse, but he was must more than that for he was a tree.  The tree expresses a genealogy: a continuing history of man. For it is because of the curse that was placed on Jesus and the fact he overcame that curse of hanging on a tree, that death was defeated and everlasting life was established.

Then, the first tree involved a spiritual curse.  The first tree was a spiritual food but it spelled the death of man.  The second tree illuminates the Son of the Living God who died for us in order for our own spiritual food to endure forever.

 

Drive- by Christians


Luke 10:29-37

 29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

In drive-byes, the resultant product is mayhem, suffering, death, revenge, grief and generally even more hostilities.

A major consequent of a Christian driving by the extremely poor and homeless is the same.  This is real, genuine suffering we are speaking about with the eventual death of the victim.  In driving by in our autos and boosted up with our Bluetooth, cell phones, and air conditioning, our experience in opulence does nothing for those who are in such desperate need.

For the woman we glimpse at shifting through the garbage cans:  that listless woman, that no-account is someone’s mother.  More than likely that useless bum, that man is probably a father and a military veteran.

And so then, what is it that I seek?  Do I ask you to give all these people a house, to put them into your homes? No, that is not my request.  My request is for the Christian to treat these people with compassion, with love and to stop:  to get to know them and assess their needs as our Lord, Jesus as instructed us to do.

A drive-by performed either by bullets or by neglect produces the same effect.  The only difference is that with neglect, death is longer and prolonged suffering.  I pray for the day when people fail to walk or ride by us wistfully, but instead stop and know who we are as brothers and as children of God—All of whom Christians claim that they are.

A Day of Euphemisms (non-practicing Christians)


A Day of Euphemisms (non-practicing Christians)

I suppose some equivalents of un-documented immigrants would be:

Un-documented Pharmacists = Drug Dealers

Non-practicing Jew = hypocrite (the same as for a Christian)

Non-documented Banker = Bank Robber

Custodian = Janitor

Sanitation Engineer = Garbage Collector

I won’t even go into all the various ‘challenges’ we have in reference to inabilities or disabilities, but the low-down of any or all of this is that we believe that somehow renaming something changes the essence of that entity.  Of course, it does not.

There is no real substitute for the word sinner.  I guess you could refer to them as ‘to be atoned’ or some other stupid phrase as such, but in the end the terrible destruction and deeds performed by such is the same.

How can you make the reference:  God hated Hitler’s Sin, but not Hitler?  The two are the same.  The dumb idea of hating the sin, but not the person was generated by Mahatma Gandhi, but it is NOT biblical.

The idea here is that by separating what people do by changing words, that then somehow or someway, the damage they perform becomes less.  Of course, this is total rubbish. What more is a person that the total summation of their actions?  And when people are no longer able to perform actions, we are usually considered dead for even breathing itself is an action.

Yet, I believe we could argue successfully that a non-practicing Christian is NOT a Christian at all.  Okay, let’s take this to logical extremes for sake of argument.

What is a:

Non-practicing murderer?

Non-practicing Liar?

Non-practicing Husband?

Non-practicing Cook?

You see, we could go on all day with this, but the results do not change.  If it walks like a duck, quakes like a duck, then it must be…

 

 

What is wrong with this picture?


http://100photos.time.com/photos/kevin-carter-starving-child-vulture

What is wrong with this picture?

“South African photographer, Kevin Carter was criticized for his famous Pulitzer Prize winning photograph of a starving Sudanese toddler with a vulture lurking in the background. People felt he should have been helping the child rather than taking the photo. Whether his actions were right or wrong will no doubt be debated for many years to come.”

 

I really don’t need to say a thing.  The photo speaks for itself.

Jesus was WRONG!


At least one attribute about Jesus that is so wonderful is the fact that he came down to this earth as a MAN.  This face to face relationship established the personable relationship as it came to God to man.

Whereas Jesus was perfect in reference to His spirit, he was still a man.  As a man, he was able just like you and me to be wrong.

Let’s reason this out.  Whereas some would suggest that Jesus was incapable of doing wrong, i.e., to sin, I maintain that what made Jesus so fantastic was the fact that just like you and me, he failed to sin even though he could just as easily as Adam.  Yes, Jesus was capable of sin but in all ways, he remained in the good grace of His Father.

As a man, Jesus was subject to error in reasoning, which means he made mistakes.  So to speak, if he had been in school taking Algebra, Jesus would not had made perfect scores.  He was human, remember and subject to mistakes.

In one account even, and this is subject to interpretation, even God the Father was even sorry that he had made man and was going to zap them all until Moses ‘reasoned’ with Him.  This suggests that even our Father can make mistakes, but again, this is subject to interpretation.

But when it comes to Jesus, the principle virtue of Him as a man is that He was subject to all things the same as you and me.  If he didn’t have to struggle to endure or pass the test, then there would be no big deal to it.  Yet, the opposite is true.  The only real difference between Jesus or you and me is that Jesus was blameless in reference to sin.

I realize that some would think it sacrilegious to think that Jesus could ever be wrong.  While this might be true and it might also be true that we’re not used to thinking about Jesus in these terms, to think otherwise ignores the greatness of our savior as Jesus’s role on this earth was anything but a piece of cake.  This means that Jesus struggled day to day, not just on the cross and he struggled for he had the failings as a MAN.  And since men must think and thinking can be flawed, there were times then that Jesus was wrong.

Way up There and Down Here


 

The way it is spoken and alluded, we pray to a God who lives way up there in an indeterminable Heaven located, well somewhere far away from here. As Christians, we seek our friend and savior, Jesus who speaks on our behalf to His Father, our creator.

With these facts, we sermonize constantly from the Bible about the life and times of Jesus, His death and resurrection.  Up to this point, I think all would follow me in terms of this basic theology.

Here is the sticking point.  If I understand things properly, then Christ is not some idea or notion of some 2,000 years ago, through our spiritual rebirth process, Christ is to be living inside of us as Christians through His church.

If this is true, and I believe it is, then this also means that Christ is here on this earth now and is alive through His spirit through us, His body the church.

And since this should be a fundamental tenet of beliefs and catechism, then there also should be full agreement of performing the will of Christ and His commandments today.

Yet, this is where we suffer from our cognitive dissonance.  The reality is so far separate and different from our belief system.  Our real, true belief system supports the philosophy that Christ died a long time ago and is with His Father in Heaven so far, far away and removed from our lives.

So then, this is the challenge:  Somehow or so way, we must merge and reconcile the problem of Christ NOT being in our lives.

This is what transcends reality from fiction:  it is the fusion of our belief system into common ordinary principles and experiences that rule our lives.  It also means that at some point we should be forced to confront our doubts, our faiths and speak in plain honesty in terms of what we actually believe.

I think too this is where the world simply fails to take Christianity seriously for even a child can separate the realness from the fakeness of Christians.  In other words, if we are genuine and real and authentic, then the actual, real realness should be surfacing in our actions to others in concrete terms of service to others through love.  Sadly, the weakness of my own intellectual argument demonstrates the futility of my own words.  It comes back to haunt us for once more, we see God way, way up there.  Christ is lost somewhere in the middle and we wander around scattered way down here on earth.