Good News and Better News … March 5th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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A Jesus mask: Putting the face of Jesus on things we have decided are nice, easy, positive or comfortable.

In doing this, we attempt to transform the Gospel into a social message which is palatable for our chosen lifestyle, never really asking ourselves if it has a universal flavor.

Honestly, I almost didn’t write about this today–there are so many examples that I didn’t know how to isolate them off to the number of paragraphs you would be willing to read–but I trust that you might be willing to do some investigation on your own. So let’s look at three of the masks:

1. If you work real hard, you can get whatever you want.

You hear this on every talk show. During the Olympics it became a mantra. The variations, like “dream big, get big” pepper the common dialogue of the average day.

We put Jesus’ face on it. We decide it sounds like Jesus. But Jesus spoke a startling phrase: “To those who have, more shall be given, and to those who have not, even the little they have will be taken away from them.”

2. Giving to the poor is the highest form of charity.

It makes for a great nightly news story–some individual or organization passing sandwiches out to the homeless, complete with a hygiene kit of toothbrush, toothpaste and a small washcloth.

We’re moved to tears. We put a Jesus mask on it.

But Jesus said “the poor you have with you always.” They’re not going to go away. “Do for them what you can” but don’t make it an all-encompassing mission.

Poverty is more than a lack of things. It is often a lack of understanding.

3. God has a wonderful plan for your life.

Now we’re really crying, because even though we’re going through these huge problems, in the long run God will pluck us out of our pain and place us on higher ground. Unfortunately, although we put the Jesus mask onto this concept, his message was quite different.

Jesus said, “Except ye repent, you will perish.” In other words, ladies and gentlemen, you are in the middle of an evolving situation and an evolving planet, so you’d better evolve or you will dissolve.

Jesus is not against positive thinking. Jesus just wants us to understand that thinking good thoughts and clinging to them by faith is not the same as “letting your light so shine before men that they will see your good works and glorify the Father in heaven.”

The good news is that the Gospel is meant for humans.

The better news is, the Gospel makes us better, not things better.

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PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant … November 2nd, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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pohymn-the-middleland

The Middleland

I was born, begins the tale

Will I win or surely fail?

“Be yourself” was what they said

It left me lonely, cold and dead

Dreaming big was a huge mistake

Tooting my horn–such a fake

Charity begins in the home, you see

The family is everything–all to me

“Don’t trust strangers” was the plan

Made me blind to my fellow man

“Don’t be weird”–people will talk

Stand real tall when you walk

A man is a man, a woman is a mother

Stick with your skin, avoid the other

Black is black and white is right

Don’t take that shit–stand and fight

Believe in God once a week

Say the words but don’t be meek

Cheat if you must but keep the trust

Sin when you’re down but far from town

Smile at them you know real well

Accept the neighbors, send the rest to hell

America is good–right or wrong

Honk and cuss, don’t wait too long

Be slow to try the newer ways

Be normal and proud all your days

Find your hate and press it down

Create a face, your personal frown

Be thankful for what you’ve got

But always know it’s not a lot

Seasons come, seasons go

Plant the corn, watch it grow

Babies born, grandma dies

Promises are made, everyone lies

I was born in the Middleland

Control your life, keep things in hand

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