Jesonian… February 18th, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Christianity is not a religion–it is a lifestyle.

It is based upon the human example left behind by Jesus of Nazareth. Any attempt to build the Kingdom of God on doctrines, practices, rituals, worship, attendance, prayer, Bible study or fasting will flail, because the Kingdom of God is within us.

In other words, until we tap ourselves–our passions, our errors and get our questions answered–there really is no Kingdom of God.

Or maybe better stated, it’s a theory.

To emphasize this, Jesus told us that God is our Father.

Once we realize that He is our Daddy and not the smoke at the top of the mountain, an angry disciplinarian, the Force, or just karma, we can then predict what God’s reaction will be in situations due to His paternal instincts.

  • As a Father, He is certainly not going to plan our lives for us. Any dad who would do that would be considered a first-class asshole.
  • As a Father, He’s not going to give up on us, disown us, or throw us out in the desert with a canteen.
  • But as a Father, He will institute chores for us to perform–and by our faithfulness, evaluate our present mindset.

Jesus came to show us the Father.

We should be studying the life, ideas, tendencies and predilections of the Nazarene. Instead we focus on His arrest, trial and death.

In doing so, we attempt to divert the Christian message from being a revelation of the Father to a pre-destined, pre-ordained human execution in order to acquire blood atonement.

Actually, the crucifixion makes so much more sense when you realize that the Father was hoping his children would be more receptive–but still made a pathway of salvation for all of us through the courage and sacrifice of our elder brother, Jesus.

It is not that dissimilar to the story of Joseph in the Old Testament, who is thrown into a pit by his brothers, left for dead, only to redeem those same brethren in Egypt after he gained power, rescuing them from destitution.

Nothing good happens in the Christian church until we realize that the entire ministry of Jesus was about showing us the Father.

Even in the midst of the agony of the cross, he said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”

So if you’re wondering why religion is leaving you flat, and church seems redundant and meaningless, it’s because invented ideas have been passed along and given primary importance, while the congregation thirsts for the relationship with their Father promised to them by Jesus.

It is time for us to show Jesus to the community–so he can reveal the Father to all of us.

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Jesonian: Reasonable (Part 15) Doubt … March 13th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(2872)

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Somewhere between faith and unbelief lies doubt.

As faith is promoted as a God-pleasing virtue and unbelief is denied by those who are fearful of coming across calloused, doubt is universally regarded as a negative. Yet doubt is the most prevalent sensation that inhabits the human heart.

Yesterday, former First Lady Nancy Reagan was laid to rest next to her husband, Ronald. When asked, the most common response given by the surrounding mourners was, “At least Nancy is where she wants to be–with her beloved Ronald.”

No one knows that to be true.

No one is certain of any factor that occurs after human life has ceased. Our information is not even anecdotal.

It is based solely on faith–or a deep, abiding worry that we will be considered unbelievers if we don’t say something hopeful.

Actually, we all doubt.

So the correct way of addressing the issue should be, “I do think it would be Nancy’s hope to finally be back together with Ronald.”

That’s factual.

That comes from a place of uncertainty that keeps us searching, and also humble.

Jesus, himself, had doubts.

There were moments when he spoke to the crowds with great faith, saying, “I am the way, the truth and the life.”

But time would pass, rejection would come his way, and in unbelief, he would turn to the multitudes who were leaving him because of his teachings, sigh, and ask his disciples if they were going to go away also.

Yet he would then land in the middle of doubt, where the balance of his hope and the tentative nature of his mortality could mingle, and he spoke in great mercy: they’re human. “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.”

Even as he was hanging on the cross, he shared with great faith, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” But only moments later, he cried out in an agony of unbelief, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

But realizing that only his death would reveal ultimate truth, with his doubts intact, he cast his eyes to the heavens and said, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.”

Doubt is a powerful emotion:

  • It lets people know that we have hopes that we cannot prove.
  • It informs those around us that we still keep pursuing even though the present moment offers no reinforcement to our contention.

Without honoring doubt, we give up too soon, we divorce too early, we despair too often, and we abandon frequently.

Doubt is where our miracle begins.

It is when we continue to believe without being sure.

It is Jesus who shouted in faith, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son,” only to be cast aside by his brethren and to bitterly tell them “not to weep for him, but for their own children and themselves.”

Not positive, not negative, but with a certain amount of doubt, he finally landed on the balance:

“Whosoever will may come.”

Doubt is where faith continues its work–to avoid the emptiness of unbelief.

 

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