Jesonian … October 21st, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Even though I am an admirer, believer and follower of Jesus, there are things that bother me.

Yes, some attributes of Jesus give me the creeps.

Let’s start with the fact that he claimed to be “one with God.” Normally when folks make such an assertion, we give them a free trip to a mental hospital instead of building churches in their name. “I am God”–the classic statement made by megalomaniacs throughout history.

Secondly, he seemed to have a strong death wish. About halfway through his work, he became obsessed with his own execution. Needless to say, this is repeated throughout history by leaders who ended up being nefarious.

Can I give you a third one? How about this–he invited his disciples to drink his blood. That’s creepy. Although you can point out that it was a symbolic act, I don’t like to think about even symbolically taking in hemoglobin.

And there is the fact that he is traditionally reported to have stayed away from sex. Although surrounded by women and a plethora of men, it is alleged that he was as pure as the driven snow. We can certainly attest to the fact that those who pursue that lifestyle often end up being perverted, using their abstinence to injure the lives of others.

I’m sorry, these are some creepy things.

If I walked into your house and said, “Hey, did you hear about that guy down in Texas who thinks he’s God, hangs around with a bunch of women but says he abstains from sex, prophesies that the government is going to come and kill him, and it is reported that he makes his followers drink his blood…”

Come on. This is going to freak you out.

So why, since I know all these creepy things, do I still follow Jesus? It’s because of what he taught and how he followed up with it in his own life.

His teachings were non-violent. Most people who claim to be God want to kill you to prove the point.

Jesus didn’t care if you didn’t believe. He just went to another village.

His teachings were forgiving. Even though his disciples were a bunch of hotheads who wanted to kill their enemies, he rebuked them, told them to put their swords away and taught them that no one is better than anyone else.

His teachings were inclusive. Even though the average Jew of his day had a hit list of cultures which needed to be destroyed, Jesus walked freely with the Romans, the Greeks, the Samaritans, the Jews and the Afrikaans. He gave the same respect to everyone, whether a Pharisee or a man possessed with a thousand demons.

He also loved human beings. Even those who hated him.

He refused to take his claims of supremacy and force other people to submit to them. His philosophy was, “Whosoever will may come.”

So here’s an amazing fact: Jesus’ claims become viable because of his actions. It’s not that his actions are worth studying because of his claims.

I can accept some oddities in his choices, phrasing and mannerisms because his life was drenched in love.

Love is not creepy.

 

 

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Ask Jonathots… September 29th, 2016

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I am always suspicious of superstition–blaming resistance on outside forces and nefarious entities. But at the same time I believe the blessings in life are always wrapped in hassle and difficulty. How can you tell the difference between the resistance that comes from a bad idea and the resistance that come from the brink of greatness?

In the moment of conflict, our personal reaction cannot be controlled.

Even though people insist they can “count to ten, take a deep breath” or “breathe a prayer” to muster a mature response to difficulty, we have already locked in our profile.

This is the essence of “turn the other cheek.”

Jesus is saying that we must literally choreograph our reactions. Otherwise we will spill out the abundance of our emotional turmoil.

Therefore, it really doesn’t matter if something comes from a nefarious source or if it’s just an inconvenience.

Our reaction determines if it will be elongated or eliminated.

So we should be working on an emotional sense of security. We are heart creatures. We don’t answer tribulation from our spirit. All communication comes from the abundance of our heart.

So where should we start?

We should work on the dance–the ability to know how to move when life tries to stop us. To do this we must learn to recognize the triggers that cause us to fall back into genetic or pre-programmed training instead of making our own pure choice.

1. If I’m angry and I do not reveal it, it will turn into frustration, which will make me incapable of handling any unwanted surprise.

2. If I feel cheated and don’t voice my concerns, I will accidentally look for ways to diminish the ego of others to match my depleted profile.

3. If I’m tired of trying, I will stop doing the necessary steps that make my effort productive and start acting entitled.

4. If I believe that I’m supposed to find my enemies in order to isolate and avoid them instead of love them and overcome them with wisdom, then I will become paranoid and find myself making new adversaries.

Even those evangelicals who fear Satan and his wiles need to realize that the punishment of the Serpent in the Garden of Eden was to be cast down to Earth. In other words, evil has to work with Earth-bound fussiness to get at the believer.

So any way you look at it, the more you prepare for life by choreographing an emotional outlook that is not shocked by the arrival of setbacks, the better the chance that you can conquer problems–whether you believe they are natural or supernatural.

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Populie: The Battle Between Good and Evil … October 22, 2014

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Jesus and the devil

Sometimes I believe that the promotion of “good” is merely permission to be pious and the elevation of “evil” is just a bunch of geeks from high school, who think it’s neat to scare people with their darker side.

It ends up promoting this popular lie–populie–of “the battle between good and evil.”

Religion is enthralled with the concept because it allows for an all-powerful God to flex His muscle against a strong Luciferian army which is doomed to failure, but in the meantime frightens the world with all sorts of dastardly deeds.

Amazingly, entertainment is obsessed with the notion because it welcomes witches, demons, flying dragons and all sorts of apocalyptic paraphernalia, to keep the audience on the edge of its seat, wondering if any glimmer of goodness can survive.

Politics learned a long time ago that it’s a lot easier to motivate people by getting them to hate something than to love something.

So if we hate evil and those who perform the nefarious deeds, we can don the cloak of righteousness and represent purity to the world around us.

So the original Soviet Union was not deemed to be a dumb government complexity, but rather, must be referred to as “the evil empire” in order to create a devilish enemy.

I am weary of it all.

I am especially weary of those who tell me that I can’t believe in God unless I believe in Satan. They insist that because the Bible proclaims that this fallen angel exists as a real creature of festering fussiness, that I must embrace the ideology that surrounds him or else deny the validity of the Holy Book.

Yet when the storyline plays out in the Good Book, the saner writers tell me frankly that every temptation comes from my own lust.

I am told that God doesn’t tempt me, nor does He desire for me to be tempted.

Matter of fact, Jesus said, “Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.”

So what is evil?

Evil occurs when the good that humans could have accomplished is delayed or tabled in committee.

Good transpires when evil is stopped by humans who are thinking ahead.

To me it’s just that simple.

Every evil that has happened on the planet earth since the beginning of time has human fingerprints. There are no claw marks left behind, nor cloven hoofprints. It always has something to do with someone who just failed, in some way or another, to love his or her neighbor as themselves.

We are drawn away by our own lusts.

Love is available to us but it does not allow us to dominate or destroy, so instead, we pursue lust.

  • It is the source of all iniquity.
  • It is the source of all evil.

As long as we believe that we are the pawns in a gigantic chess game between God and Beelzebub, we will fail to take responsibility for our own deeds and instead, act helpless when we’ve been given the power of a sound mind instead of a spirit of fear.

I know there will be many people who disagree with me, and since I do not hold the golden key to universal truth in my hand, these detractors may be right.

But I don’t think we become better people by blaming an outside force for our own damned laziness.

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Untotaled: Stepping 35 (May 8th, 1967) The Sanbobs … October 11, 2014

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(Transcript)

They were called the Sanbobs.

They were one of three rock and roll bands in our school, although I use the term “band” loosely, to cover a multitude of whims.

They were headed by a guy named Chip Sanford. He worked with a fellow named Bob Wigglesworth. Thus, the Sanbobs.

Now, Chip did not like me, which caused Bob to follow suit in loyalty. I think the reason Chip didn’t like me very well was that he was chubby, wore glasses, and people were constantly saying that we “could be brothers,” which is a certain way to make sure that people won’t have an affinity for each other. I think another reason was that Chip played piano and so did I. I used my gifts in the gospel field, while he was drawn to the Troggs, the Beatles and the Kinks.

The Sanbobs had four members. As I already told you–Chip was on piano, Bob Wigglesworth on guitar (knowing an amazing five chords), Mark Jackson on drums, who was highly recommended for his loud playing, and Larry Mankins on bass–even though he couldn’t afford an electric one, so instead thumped on a stand-up, which left him appearing to be very vigorous, but unheard.

The biggest happening in the spring of 1967 in our school was that Chip got a new electric organ. It was so cool. So it was decided that the Sanbobs would be scheduled to play for the spring dance, and the diligent members of the quartet went out and learned six songs.

The only problem was that one of the songs they selected was Louie, Louie–which had already been banned by the state of Indiana for having obscene lyrics. Now, we lived in Ohio, but certainly did not want to seem immoral by advocating such a “loose tune.” When word got out to the principal’s office that the Sanbobs were planning to play the piece, a meeting was held and it was forbidden.

The FBI had investigated the lyrics, and had come to the conclusion that they were basically unintelligible. (The Kingsmen had made sure of that.) But just to play it safe, the song was still considered to be nefarious.

On the night of the dance, after they had played each of their five songs three times over, the Sanbobs decided to rebel against authority, and began to play Louie, Louie. The girls screamed in delight and the young men clapped their hands, peering at each other lasciviously.

It took a few minutes for the adults to figure out what was going on, but when they did, they proceeded to the stage to stop the performance. To my surprise, about twenty-five of the kids rushed the platform, locked their arms, and forbade the teachers from getting near the band, as the Sanbobs continued to croon the bewildering poetry.

(I was one of the participants who scattered to a corner of the gym in horror, like a mouse being chased by the handmaiden’s broom.)

When the teachers were unable to get through the “Red Rover, Red Rover” line-up, they decided to kill the electricity, which left the gymnasium encompassed in darkness.

At first there were some “oohs” and “aahs” and screams, which gradually became whispers and culminated in silence. The teachers, not sure what was going on in the dark, restored the juice and discovered that the students were making out with each other.

So it became a choice–which vice did you want to promote? Louie, Louie, with its garbled goodies, or a make-out session in the high school gym?

So the Sanbobs were allowed to finish their song, but an early termination of the dance was proclaimed.

Of course, as the years have gone by, it is obvious that nobody was really defiled by a single rock and roll song. It was prejudice, fear, apprehension and narrow-mindedness which did that to us.

 

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The Sermon on the Mount in music and story. Click the mountain!

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Click here to get info on the "Gospel According to Common Sense" Tour

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He Said It Right Out Loud… November 27, 2013

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children listeningChildren’s Sermon.

Honestly, I think the two words contradict each other. No child actually wants to hear a sermon, and no sermon is normally conducive to those under three feet tall. But there are gallant souls who make a valiant effort to communicate very important principles to little ones.

I was sitting in a church listening to one of these brave attempts by a delightful lady as she shared what Thanksgiving meant to her, proffering her ten points of gratitude. She started out by mentioning her home, followed by a house full of food and a warm furnace to keep things toasty. She shared with the kids that there are people in the world–mainly the homeless–who don’t have such blessings. She was about ready to go on to her next point when a young man piped up in a voice as clear as a bell, and obviously, a mind to match.

“Why don’t we let those people who don’t have homes come to our homes and eat our food and stay warm?”

It must have been that all the angels of God silenced the birds, because the room was still–almost afraid to move.

To her credit, she responded, “That’s what we should do.”

She then continued on with her list. Honestly, I don’t remember a single other installment on her array of goodies. My mind was frozen, transfixed on the question from the little boy.

Why don’t we?

I had to ask myself, what would I have answered this young man in the same circumstances. Please understand, I am not being critical of the woman or the job she was doing with these little folk. It’s just that sometimes a truly eternal question enters the room, demanding our attention and requiring that we drop previous plans and veer in the direction of the Spirit instead of clinging to tradition.

Why don’t we invite the homeless into our warm houses with lots of food in the refrigerator?

1. We don’t do that because it’s scary.

We’ve watched episodes of Law and Order in which homeless people are portrayed as possessing deviant behavior and all sorts of mental illnesses, not to mention infectious diseases. It’s that old American philosophy that “the danger outweighs the benefit.” I guess as long as we’re scared of people who are cold and hungry, they should keep their reservation for the park bench.

2. We don’t do that because no one said we could or should.

Most of us don’t have memories of our parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles protecting the less fortunate or providing them a night of greater comfort. We never asked; they never told us. It was just understood that some people work, make money and get the fruits of the endeavor … and others don’t.

3. We don’t do that because cool people haven’t made it cool yet.

Our cool people are too busy promoting their own causes, nefarious attitudes and latest projects to take the time to consider something more universal, like brotherly love. Our cool people argue with each other about what’s cool. Our cool folks are overloaded in their schedules, making fashion statements. Our cool people must bring government to a standstill to prove how really cool they are. Like it or not, as humans we have a tendency to mimic the style of those who have more, know more and do more. Our cool people just don’t think it’s cool to bring others in out of the cold.

I suppose no one else ever gave the little boy’s question another thought, but it haunts me to this day. Can I overcome the scary parts of life to do more than I was told to do and make myself cool enough that I could start a new trend?

I don’t know.

But it sure gives me a lot to think about.

 

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Click for details on the SpirTed 2014 presentation

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Please contact Jonathan’s agent, Jackie Barnett, at (615) 481-1474, for information about scheduling SpiriTed in 2014.

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