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

 Jonathots Daily Blog

(3425)

jesonian-cover-amazon

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: Reasonable (Part 16) Purify … March 20th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Jesonian hands

Jesus was not Jewish.

This doesn’t mean he hated Jews. He was like you and me. That’s what the Bible says.

Being like you and me, he was one-half jungle and one-half Garden. So he was Jewish on his mother’s side and Holy Spirit on his Father’s side.

It’s an important point.

Jesus did not come to Earth to confirm Judaism, nor was he a forerunner for Mohammed.

Yes, we must understand that Jesus did not establish his message in order to create a third generation for Abraham. He said quite clearly that “before Abraham was, he existed.”

He pre-dated the Patriarch of Judaism and the Muslim faith.

Why is that important?

Because Christianity is here to bring peace to the Earth, not pick a side in the fight.

Until we purify the Christian message, we will miss the essence of the struggle in the early church, when Paul told the leadership that they needed to stop acting so damned Jewish. The message needed to survive Jerusalem so that it would be well-understood in Hoboken and Siberia.

So if we’re going to be like Jesus, we must purify the mission in the following seven ways:

1. I am not political.

Whoever is the next President will be my President and I will honor him or her with my prayers.

2. I am not religious.

The simple truth is, God loves me and there’s no act of contrition or worship that will make that any better.

3. I am not a skin color.

God has vision for only one thing: He sees my passion because He looks on my heart.

4. I am not a culture.

The whole Earth is the Lord’s–therefore I am part of His greater vision, not His local flavor.

5. I am not confined to my nuclear family.

Even though I love my offspring, my real family is anyone who is interested in pursuing the Kingdom of God.

6. I am not afraid.

Fear weakens my love, so I choose good cheer as my refuge.

7. I am not better than anyone else.

There are no chosen people, just people who choose well.

Until the message of Jesus is purified as the “repairer of the breach” for mankind’s misunderstanding, we will be tempted to pick sides and will wage a political conflict…instead of welcoming a human unity.

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Jesonian: Expressing the Light … December 14, 2014

  Jonathots Daily Blog

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flashlight

“This little light of mine

I’m gonna let it shine…”

I do have a little light.

And surprisingly, it’s not as tiny as I think. But how do I let it shine?

A fellow named Paul said that the three greatest forces on earth were faith, hope and love.

My faith is in God, the Father. Not just God, who is like a boss who might fire me at the end of a particularly unfruitful work week. No, He is my Daddy and is joyfully stuck with me.

My hope is with the Kingdom of God within me. If I spend all my time evaluating my efforts, I will become depressed. If I spend too much energy trusting that God’s grace will cover everything, I become lazy. Because of an experience called being “born again,” I have been restored with the benefits and blessings of the original Garden of Eden, if I choose to put my hope in that direction. I don’t look for God to be my crutch. My hope is with the Kingdom of God within me.

And love is for everybody else who have the image of God deeply impressed within their beings. When you give your love just to family, there’s nothing unique or unusual about you. We’re all brothers and sisters. Until we realize this, we will look at our fellow humans as competing enemies.

Possessing a light is a wonderful gift as long as you know where to point it.

I do not put my faith in religion or people. It is in God the Father.

I don’t hope for the best unless I allow myself to be involved in the process, to use the gifts that have been given to me to create fresh opportunities.

And I’m learning to let my love be given freely to all of those, who just like me, were created in the image of God.

This is how I shine.

 

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Click here for information on "567"--the Sermon on the Mount retold in story, song and music

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G-44: Blogging… October 3, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Paul writing

Paul was a blogger.

Although it’s commonly accepted that he authored books, what he really penned were entries which he posted to various individuals and congregations, expressing his mood in the moment.

So sometimes we have:

  • happy Paul
  • sad Paul
  • angry Paul
  • theological Paul
  • philosophical Paul
  • bruised Paul
  • attacking Paul
  • judgmental Paul
  • merciful Paul
  • Pharisee Paul
  • and Gentile Paul

Nothing much is achieved in reading the New Testament without understanding this concept. For if you isolate off one of Paul’s posts and attempt to characterize his entire message by its content, you will soon be frustrated by another entry, which seems to be contradictory.

Before you become critical of this grab-bag styling, you might want to consider the audience Paul was trying to reach. First, he worked around the erroneous premise of trying to be “all things to all men so that he might save some.” Here’s the problem with the idea: the Jews seek for a sign, the Greeks want wisdom, the Romans crave power and the Barbarians yearn for an identity. It’s difficult to believe that any singular paragraph, clump of verses or accumulation of chapters could appease all of these sensitivities.

So by the time the first century came to an end, and all of the original folks who ate and lived with Jesus were dying off, the message was suffering from a “clarification crisis.”

Some people favored Paul, some Peter, some Apollos, and others, some no-name who didn’t make the Biblical cut.

Simultaneously, the Romans were gradually getting tired of killing Christians and because of the failings of their Empire, were looking for a fresh motivation. So as time marched on, the Romans embraced this “Mesopotamia Message” as their own, and of course, in the process, swallowed it up with their bureaucracy.

The Romans, being authoritarians, felt that the weakness of the Pauline preaching was that it allowed too much freedom for the individual, without the structure of a governing body filled with superiors.

So this new Roman church was structured exactly the same as Rome itself–with an Emperor, a Senate, tribunals and even, to a certain degree, legions of soldiers.

The ironic result was that a God who came to study man was ignored in favor of men who decided to study God.

Meanwhile, the Barbarians discovered a potent identity. They could defeat Rome and rule the world, such as it was.

So a message which was intended to place the Kingdom of God within the heart of each believer was now placed within the whim of a potentate.

Alas, my friends … leave it to human beings to make things worse when they organize. 

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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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G-43: The P Plan… September 26, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Damascus

 

As God, I don’t really have a wonderful plan for your life.

I am a Father and have no inclination to infringe on your liberty or desire.

What I do offer is a natural order in the Universe, which can be discovered and learned so that when you come to an impasse, you possess the tools and vision to perceive and take advantage of the ways of escape.

I rain on the just and the unjust–but if you pursue justice, you can use my rain to water the seed that you already have intelligently planted.

My sun offers equality in shining.

But there are occasions that I provide supernal grace to cover a multitude of mishaps. (But keep this in mind–you can’t really call it grace if it’s your idea.)

So as I departed Earth to ascend to the heavens, I realized that the friends I left behind had a daunting task:

  • Go
  • The world
  • Preach
  • Gospel
  • Teaching
  • Commandments

Huge undertakings. They would need help.They would soon be distracted by everyday life, trials and their own Jewish prejudice against the purported heathen.

Without discouraging their efforts or limiting their potential, and certainly not interfering in their free will, I have invited an additional advocate. Because I am no longer funding a “chosen race,” I need a messenger who understands Jews but will intellectually thrive and find footing with the Gentiles. (I feel a little awkward using these arcane terms, but for the sake of understanding, I shall persist.)

This new friend will also be a lightning bolt of stimulus for these ever-learning, ever-growing and sometimes ever-confounded Galileans.

  • He will be a Roman citizen, able to move freely in the Empire.
  • He will be fearless, which other mortals will assert is careless.
  • In placing my hand on his shoulder, I will also deter him from his present mission of murdering off all my followers.

I call this additional reinforcement Plan P:

P for Paul, who at this point thinks that he is Saul.

He will take my message from Mt. Sinai to every river basin, valley, plain, desert and forest across the circle of the earth. 

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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

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

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

Click here to listen to Spirited music

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Quatrain of Beatle-name-ia…. May 20, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

(2239)

Beatles

John Harrison

Paul Starr

Ringo Lennon

George McCartney 

 

 

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Arizona morning

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!

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

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

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

Click here to listen to Spirited music

Click here to listen to Spirited music

 

 

Published in: on May 20, 2014 at 12:54 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Silly Little Rhymes, Searching for a Reason … August 20, 2012

  • (1,613)

Love is never easy

But the hate steals all you got

Faith may take some time

But doubt demands your lot

Don’t ignore the small

Or peer up at the tall

From grace you surely may fall

Follow Jesus, read Brother Paul

Don’t decide tomorrow

On what has happened today

Wait for the third one to come

For God to reveal a way

People are the only God

That we may ever see

Treat them quite divine

The results will make you free

I never have to lie

If I remove all the shame

I never have to die

If God forgives my blame

Hardly poetry. Yet … possessing motion.

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