Jesonian–Troubling (Part 11)… September 9th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Most troubling.

I was a very naive, impressionable fifteen-year-old boy with a volatile battle between carnality and spirituality raging in my soul. I was very enamored with the pastor of my local church.

He had baptized me. In many ways, he had befriended me. And he had welcomed me into the small-town church, which was now growing because young people were bumping up against each other, carrying the fellowship they felt at school into a second Sunday morning experience.

I had also made another friend. He was a young minister from a different denomination–a forbidden one–who was cool, cared about me and loved rock and roll music.

So when I was talking to the pastor of my “every week church” about this young fellow, he suddenly frowned and warned, “Stay away from him. He preaches a social gospel.

I did not know what that meant, nor did I ask. But it sounded really bad. And the delivery was enough to nearly make my heart stop. “Social” could be “socialist,” which was communist. Don’t want any of that. So I cut off all ties with the young minister, much to his chagrin.

For you see, my pastor taught redemption. “The blood of Christ cleanses from all sins.”

And later on in my life, as a young man, I ran across those who preached “the full Gospel.” They believed that the gifts of the Holy Spirit and miracles were just as available to believers today as they were in the time of Peter, Paul and Mother Mary.

The bizarre fact is that these three renditions of the Gospel of Jesus–social, redemption, and full–don’t generally get along very well.

It is troubling.

It’s what makes the evangelical church anemic–because it lacks social passion along with personal motivation.

It makes the “social Gospel people” appear to read from a book that in many ways they no longer believe in.

And often the “full Gospel people” contend that without the baptism of the Holy Spirit, you don’t have the presence of God working in your life.

It’s really quite befuddling.

  • Because you can’t start a fire with just a match.
  • Nor can you ignite a flame with kindling.
  • And no fire is possible minus oxygen.

It is the joining of all these forces that makes fire ablaze.

Therefore, to follow Jesus, you must have a social consciousness that shares a redemptive message, believing that God is still in the business of healing and moving by the Spirit.

Why would we want anything less than that? Why would we want to focus on one of these factors of fire, yet end up flameless?

Troubling.

I deeply believe in the social Gospel of Jesus. I believe there’s no need for me to bring my gift to the altar if I am not reconciled with my brothers and sisters. I believe I am to be the salt of the Earth and the light of the world.

But I also believe that when I have obvious, evident weakness, it is the redemption of God’s grace, through the life-saving blood of Jesus, that pulls me through. But once I am redeemed, I am compelled, challenged and exhorted to trust that the same spirit that dwelt in Christ also dwells in me.

My gospel should be full.

And when it is full, redemptive and socially aware, I become of value to myself, mankind and the heavens.

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Jesonian: Strict July 20, 2014

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Strict compliance to Judaism and Mosaic Law means you find yourself dependent on “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.”

Strict reverence to Mohammed and the Muslim faith requires an acceptance of the superiority of men over women and a mission of conquering the heathen to win them to the faith.

Strict understanding of Buddha is the suppression of pleasure in favor of neutralizing passions in order to achieve your enlightenment.

Strict allegiance to atheism eliminates any supernatural inclusion in one’s life.

Strict respect for democracy means that the majority is always ruling.

Strict interpretation of communism is the sharing of all things in common, pursuing social and financial equity.

Strict following of Jesus means to love your neighbor as yourself, not to resist evil, don’t judge and receive mercy by giving mercy.

They aren’t all the same.

They aren’t equal

They aren’t reflections of one another.

I have made my choice.

 

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It’s Time … February 19, 2012

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Sooner or later we all have to take responsibility for the fruit that is born through the philosophy we promote.
 
It’s time.
 
For instance, we can no longer claim to be the “greatest nation on earth”–a land of freedom–and fail to follow through with the symbols of greatness, which would include expansion for all of our people, caring for the needs of the weaker in our midst and offering vast opportunities for our citizenry who have chosen to excel and grow.
 
It’s time.
 
Watching a good bit of the funeral of Whitney Elizabeth Houston yesterday, I was struck by the makeshift wall constructed by her loved ones and the religious system, meticulously developing a storyline of Ms. Houston‘s life portraying her as a “prayer warrior,” a Bible enthusiast and a lover of God. Please allow me to be compliant to their wishes and concede that this dear woman did possess the by-products of the religious training which gave her rebirth. Here’s my question–why didn’t it do more than save her eternal soul? Why couldn’t it save her human life?
 
Why are we so insistent that God is concerned about only one part of us–our spirit–instead of all the parts of us, equally as created by Him? Because beyond any doubt, Whitney Houston was an emotional wreck, mentally confused and physically ravaged by a dousing in worldliness that easily cracked the protection of her spiritual upbringing.
 
Another case in point: why do we continue to insist on the right to bear arms, while further punctuating our point that “guns don’t kill people; people kill people,” and then do nothing to try to improve the quality of the clientele who wield the weapons? It’s fine with me if someone wants to own a gun as long as I know that their pursuit in life is to live in peace and joy with their fellow-man. Because the truth of the matter is, neither guns nor people kill–bullets do. And bullets come out of a gun when someone has lost the tolerance to continue debate and chooses to eliminate the competition.
 
It is time for us to take responsibility for the notion of a land of freedom and democracy which no longer leads the way in all the categories of human benefit.
 
I do not think we can argue the necessity of birth control for women while simultaneously lamenting the abortion of children. We have to decide which category we want to lead with during this season. Do we want to be a nation that lowers our abortion rate by granting women the power to time the birthing of a child, or do we want to lead the world in the number of abortions performed yearly?
 
It is time that we teach nations like Syria and Iran that our free-will process of electing a President, senators and congressmen is laced with the dignity of discussing the issues instead of pummeling the opponent with insults and accusations. Why would anyone in China want to imitate a system that is nearly as abusive to its proponents as communism?
 
It is time that we stop trying to rationalize archaic ideas that do not bring human satisfaction or fulfillment just because we already have the props, mechanism and gimmicks in place to maintain them. In two hours of flipping channels last night on TV, I decided to do a little count. In that 120-minute period, I eyeballed thirty-four guns and saw five smiles. (If you will forgive me, I did not count leers, sneers or jeers.) Honestly, my dear friends, in the course of one week, although I am a well-traveled man, I never see a gun in real life. Yet in two hours of television, I am led to believe that thirty-four guns become visible in a normal period of activity.
 
It is time for us to take responsibility for the message we share with the world. It is time for Christianity to shed the baggage of Old Testament doctrines that require an “eye for an eye and “a tooth for a tooth” and permit ourselves to be the country that insists that diplomacy and turning the other cheek not only are needed, but are the only way for progress to be achieved in diverse environments.
 
It is time that we embrace our sister, Whitney Houston, as the lost lamb of our failed religiosity and begin to question whether we could revamp our focus towards making more enlightened spiritual humans instead of rationalizing her behavior and willing her to be something that she really wasn’t.
 
It is time that a nation of greatness cease applying for the job of leader of the free world by Xeroxing the resumes of Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln and ignoring the mediocre efforts of our present crop of leadership. It is not good enough to have once been good enough. It is not adequate to discuss adequacy. It is not intelligent to merely insist that you’re smart. It is not Godly to preach about God. It is not generous to recite past deeds of giving. It is not righteous to claim superiority. It is not American to be mediocre.
 
It’s time.
 
It’s time to accept a grade card on our philosophical approach. Receiving that evaluation, it’s time to go back and hit the books and improve our status where we are weak.
  •  Religion fails us because it insists on pleasing a God who told us He was already pleased with us.
  • Politics fails us because it struggles for power instead of carefully using power to ease the struggle.
  • And we fail ourselves when we’re more frightened of revelation than we are of our own reality.
 It’s time.
 
It’s time to understand that greatness is achieved by shrinking our egos and expanding our self-awareness.
 
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http://www.janethan.com/tour_store.htm

Sitting One

 I died today. 

I didn’t expect it to happen.  Then again, I did—well, not really.

No, I certainly didn’t expect it.

I’ve had moments of clarity in my life.  Amazingly enough, many of them were in the midst of a dream. For a brief second I would know the meaning of life or the missing treatment to cure cancer.  And then as quickly as it popped into my mind it was gone. I really don’t recollect dying.  Just this unbelievable sense of clear headedness—like walking into a room newly painted and knowing by the odor and brightness that the color on the wall is so splattering new that you should be careful not to touch it for fear of smearing the design. The greatest revelation of all? 

Twenty-five miles in the sky time ceases to exist.

The planet Pluto takes two hundred and forty-eight years to circle the sun. It doesn’t give a damn. 

The day of my death was the day I became free of the only burden I really ever had.  TIME.

Useless.

Time is fussy.  Time is worry. 

Time is fear.  Time is the culprit causing human-types to recoil from pending generosity. 

There just was never enough time. 

Time would not allow it.  Remember—“if time permits …”

Why if time permits?  Why not if I permit?  Why not if I dream?  Why not if I want?  Why does time get to dictate to me my passage? 

It was time that robbed me of my soulful nature.    It was time that convinced me that my selfishness was needed. 

I didn’t die. The clock in me died, leaving spirit to tick on.  

So why don’t we see the farce of time?  Why do we allow ourselves to fall under the power of the cruel despot?  Yes, time is a relentless master—very little wage for much demand.

I died today. 

Actually … a piece of time named after me was cast away.

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