Good News and Better News… May 22nd, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog


There’s a question hanging in the air, waiting for a brain to slurp it up and a tongue to dribble it off. If it isn’t expressed, we will continue to live in a world of assumptions.

I am not speaking of answers. I’m talking about beliefs people hold because of the dark side of their experiences and the edge of prejudice maintained from their upbringing.

Ask the question. If possible, ask it without being disgusted. Inquire with a thirst for knowledge instead of attempting to trick someone into saying something you can leap upon in anger.

The church has lost its questioning. Out of fear of making waves, we have decided to just never get in the boat. We stand on the shore and curse the ocean because it seems unchangeable. Yet there is an energy in the air. While people are despairing, sparring and spitting, the Holy Spirit is quietly seeking out those who will question and wait for the answers.

It sounds simple enough.

It even seems to have a spirituality unto itself. After all, Jesus said, “Ask and it shall be given.” He never said, “Assume and you will be proven.” Jesus believed you could seek and find, and even, with a bit of perseverance, knock and have the door opened.

What Jesus never intended for his church was a gathering of smug converts who assume that getting their butts in the door was the last thing necessary to fulfill the quorum for the pearly gates.

Here’s the truth: you can join the church if you are a questioner. Even if it aggravates the worship committee, you can continue to pose questions in pursuit of finding a better way of doing things.

Likewise, you are certainly welcome in the church if you have answers as long as they are well-salted with humility and lit up with evidence.

But nowhere at any time did Jesus welcome the complainer. The complaint will be the death of the American church if we don’t call it out and exorcise that demon from the sanctuary.

How can you tell when someone’s complaining?

1. There’s an absence of a question.

They may speak to you for ten minutes about the problem, but never formulate an inquiry.

2. There is a complete denial of an answer.

They begin to enjoy hearing the sound of their own voice lamenting the difficulty–and if anyone suggests a solution, they will bury the notion as “impossible” so as to maintain their frustration.

3. They’ve rejected good cheer in favor of a bad sneer.

They think it’s ridiculous to maintain joy in the midst of difficulty and transition.

Beware complainers who pretend they have answers or insist they are just questioning.

The good news is that questions are always welcome in the Kingdom of God.

The better news is that answers will come if we don’t grump our way to fatalism.

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Good News and Better News… February 13th, 2017


 Jonathots Daily Blog



Pictured are Ms. Clazzy and myself, getting ready to share at the Renaissance Christian Fellowship in Sunrise, Florida.

This particular congregation is pastored by my son, Jerrod. He graciously invited us to come and present our heart, mission and passion to his fledgling, but burgeoning, congregation.

Of course, I didn’t want to fall on my face, like an old man racing too quickly for the pot of tapioca. Simultaneously, I wanted to stay faithful to a spiritual itch in my soul which I’ve been scratching now for forty-five years.

First–and deliciously righteous–is the fact that I enjoy and love those folks. But I can tell you that they are victims of a ping-pong match being conducted in our society, which is leaving our citizens bouncing around, searching for a point.

We are harangued to leap from blind ambition to blind faith and back again. We sit in the churches and hear a message which tells us to trust God, pray more and believe in grace–and when we’re nearly to the point of insane rage over the dissatisfaction of nothing happening, we find ourselves escaping into the arms of the world, which demands we chase dreams, cheat others, stay tough and believe that we, ourselves, are the beginning and end-all of everything.

So after being abused by the world for a week, people come to church looking for substance and get a “whipped-cream Jesus,” who does nothing but die on the cross and promise to love us until the pearly gates.

We then escape that sticky concoction, running to the world for entertainment, news and education–only to be thrown into a common pot of tribulation, with lies and misinformation.

I love my son dearly. Therefore I will tell him that his mission is to free those he loves from that turmoil of meaningless back-and-forth activity.

The world has nothing to offer but blind ambition.

The religious system panders to us with ooey-gooey statements concerning blind faith.

Here’s the good news: Renaissance Christian Fellowship and all believers everywhere can take heart that Jesus did not come merely to save us for heaven, but to teach us how his will can be done here on Earth.

And the better news is, if you abandon blind ambition and blind faith, you can get a pure heart–which gives you the privilege of seeing God.

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