Jesonian: It’s Just Church … May 10th, 2015

 

  Jonathots Daily Blog

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church without walls

Each of us has a social lifestyle, a business profile and a religious inclination.

The difficulty we face is when we fragment these into three different campaigns.

Unfortunately, there is a tendency to look on the church as the scratching of our religious itch.

We tend to get our social lifestyle and business profile from the world around us. So two-thirds of the makeup of the average Christian is forged in the world instead of the philosophy of Jesus.

To further complicate matters, the religious system seems completely incapable of sharing Jesus’ ideas on social lifestyle and business profile. Instead, the church focuses on salvation and heaven.

Therefore, the interest we have at any given moment in salvation and heaven becomes our intensity and intrigue about God.

Obviously, we are more intent on expressing our social and business profiles, so eventually our religious inclination yawns, climbs into bed and takes a nap.

So ministers scratch their heads, trying to figure out why people are leaving the church.

It’s because it’s difficult and almost psychologically impairing to constantly think about the crucifixion of Christ and streets of gold. What kind of person would you end up being? Some sort of fruitcake, heavy on the nuts.

So the more honest-minded humans, who don’t want to be hypocritical, abandon the church and try to find satisfaction for their religious yearnings in everything from Oprah Winfrey, to self-help books, to, ironically, even atheism. (At least atheism gives you something definitive to believe against.)

So what is the Jesonian?

It is the knowledge that Jesus gave us a social lifestyle, and even though there are many tenets to it, it is best summed up with the wonderful phrase: “To he whom much is given, much is expected.”

Jesus gave us a business profile: “Be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.”

Stop making excuses and keep evolving toward excellence.

And certainly Jesus gave us the spirited lifestyle goal of “loving our neighbor as ourself.”

While the Church of Christ may be concerned about baptism by immersion, and the Pentecostals may tout the significance of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the Jesonian is concerned about immersing ourselves in the lifestyle of Jesus.

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Jesonian: Mothering Women … May 11, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jesus with womenThe conservatives insist that they honor women by extoling the difficulty of being a housewife and a mother.

The liberals scoff at these limitations, claiming to offer choice and equality while promoting young artists who refer to their sisters as “chicks, hoes and bitches.”

We are in a perpetual cycle–which ends up being vicious, may I add–because it offers women sympathy and mothers them without ever pursuing parity.

Oprah Winfrey, who would certainly claim to be a twenty-first-century feminist, still giggles along with comedian Steve Harvey, as he segregates the sexes by their cultural predilections, maintaining that it is some sort of God-ordained division.

Meanwhile, we’re in search of humanity, since masculine and feminine restrictions are driving us off the road and into the ditch. We really don’t have to look far.

Jesus came along to set people free so they wouldn’t have to be victims. He did the same thing for the ladies.

1. Even though he lived in a male-dominated society which had created a system of divorce in which a man could abandon his partner over any whim that might cross his mind, Jesus insisted that women were not emotional ditzes, and that the only reason for breaking a marriage apart was adultery, committed by either party.

2. Jesus made it clear that there was no need to have two different gospels–one pink and one blue–but trudged through all the areas near his home with men, women and children listening to the same teachings and commandments.

3. Jesus also made it clear that women’s money was good. Matter of fact, Mary Magdalene, Susannah and Joanna, three of his more affluent followers, were listed as underwriters of his traveling outreach; no men were ever given credit for donating funds.

4. Jesus wouldn’t let women play the victim. Whether it was the woman of Samaria, who wanted to produce a little deceit about her marital status, or the woman caught in adultery, who was forgiven by Jesus but also told to “go and sin no more,” Jesus made it clear that the true path to equality is to shoulder responsibility.

5. Jesus believed that women could “carry the baggage.” It was Mary Magdalene who announced his resurrection. The Book of Acts is filled with women who befriended nomadic disciples and opened their hearths and homes to the message of the Nazarene. If you remove the women from the early church, you have a lot of sermons, but no follow-up for the converts.

Jesus never mothered women, making them feel less.

He would not permit a condescending tone in their direction.

He challenged them to achieve humanity.

As long as women are talking about glass ceilings, unfair pay, mistreatment in the workplace, and even sexual harassment, they will continue to place themselves in the back seat of the vehicle of commerce.

Jesus only made one mistake when it came to women: he ended up betrayed because he picked Judas instead of Judith.

It isn’t that women aren’t treacherous–it’s just that the Jewish Council didn’t allow females into their meetings … even if they were plotting murder.

 

 

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After an appearance earlier this year in Surprise, Arizona, Janet and I were blessed to receive a “surprise” ourselves. Click on the beautiful Arizona picture above to share it with us!

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Mistaken Identity … November 28, 2012

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It happens–just never twice in the same night.

But last evening I got a double dose of mistaken identity. It began with a lady coming to my table and asking that frightening question. “Do you remember me?”

I always dodge it by saying, “You look familiar,” hoping that the person will fill in the details. She did. She was quite convinced that I had been the DJ at her son’s wedding. As I contemplated how to contradict her assertion, she launched into details about the reception, the recent birth of children and what name these offspring referred to her as when lovingly addressing their grandma. We were in the full swing of a mistaken identity–one which I had no idea whatsoever how to escape. So please pray for me–I went along with it.

She came back two or three times, reminding me of certain aspects of the evening which she felt we had shared in common, and once even brought along the sponsor of the concert, to share the irony of our re-crossing paths. He looked a bit bewildered as she told her story and squinted at me for either confirmation or denial and I just sat there with a blank look on my face–similar to someone who just discovered he was one number away from winning the lottery.

On the heels of my proposed DJ performance, another man came to the table and said how glad he was to see me again, because he had enjoyed me so much last year when I was performing at the Lexington Civic Center. Once again, before I could jump in and point out that I had never been to the Lexington Civic Center, he recited the details of my performance, including a duet I had sung with a young black boy. Once again, I was unable to escape and found myself in the midst of a great nod-fest.

Mistaken identity. I know I probably should have corrected these folks, but you see, at the heart of this particular event is a blessing. People meet you for the first time and really want to establish a connection, so they go ahead and manufacture one based on a similar experience they once had with someone who might have resembled you. I think it’s just a way of saying “I love you” without having to mouth the words.

Matter of fact, maybe the world would be better if we had MORE mistaken identity. If all bigots believed that black people were Denzel Washington and Oprah Winfrey, maybe there would be less prejudice. Those who have problems with the gay community may wish to project that all gay men and women are Rock Hudson and Ellen DeGeneres. How about politics? That’s easy.  All Republicans are Abraham Lincoln and all Democrats are Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

It may be a bit embarrassing when we do discover that all people with long hair, playing guitar are not the Beatles, but in the meantime, it might increase our toleration for one another and project some love out into a world that is starving to death for some of that good stuff.

I occasionally get mistaken for someone else.  Last night it was a DJ and a performer at a civic center. That’s not bad.  It has been worse. One night long ago in Michigan, a guy was convinced that I was the janitor at the local Goodwill store.  By the way–that one I denied. Sometimes people project that I’m Orson Wells or Dom Delouise or any one of a number of fat, aging men. Interesting though–so far, no Brad Pitt.

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