Jesonian … April 28th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog


“Accept Christ.”

A vast majority of the evangelical churches in America hold this decision sacred. They contend that people must discover their sinful nature, repent, be baptized, and receive Christ as salvation.

So strong is the inclination to evangelize that the fundamentalist church is successful only at birthing children into the Kingdom–and then abandoning them to cultural, lifestyle and family traditions.

Most churches do not talk about Jesus. He is relegated to prayers, salvation and communion–as “the Christ.”

There is the Christ who offers eternal salvation, and then there is Jesus, who grants us a lifestyle which enables us to see God’s will “done on Earth as it is in heaven.”

The religious system must be addressed and corrected over major errors–three doctrines of Jesus that he fostered while on Earth, which the religious hierarchy has set aside in favor of following “the Christ:”

1. There must be racial equality through racial interaction.

Jesus broke all the boundaries of prejudice and bigotry by including Samaritans with Jews and Gentiles with Hebrews. This is not optional. As long as we have a “black church” and a “white church,” we are propagating the principles of Dixie, which launched us into the Civil War.

Purposeful efforts must be made to integrate the church.

The black church and white church need to mingle, no matter how much they think they are culturally different. They must become spiritually one.

2. Gender bias is unacceptable.

Jesus included women in his ministry as evangelists, financiers and confidantes. The church refuses to accept women as equals and continues to propagate a religious misogyny which is completely contrary to the teachings of Jesus.

Women should preach, women should teach, women should do everything that men do without restriction.

3. Free will must be established.

The church is becoming more and more Calvinistic–believing in pre-destination. In so doing, we lose the gospel of Jesus. After all, there’s no need for me to love my neighbor as myself if everything is pre-determined. There’s no purpose in being concerned about what I sow if what I reap has already been factored in. The removal of free will in deference to God being in charge of everything–in control of all decisions–has rendered the church an insipid bunch of Bible-readers who are more afraid of the devil than they are their own inconsistent behavior.

Nothing will be accomplished in the Christ-centered church until the Jesus-focused people get rid of racial barriers, gender bias and a belief in destiny, which precludes us from making our own choices.

It’s wonderful to believe in Christ if you follow Jesus.

It’s not wonderful to believe in Christ if most of the time you use your life on Earth to ignore Jesus and follow the tenets of your community.


Like the mind of Jesus–without religion? Buy the book!

                $7.99 plus S&H


The producers of jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this inspirational opportunity

Donate Button

Ask Jonathots … December 31st, 2015

 Jonathots Daily Blog


ask jonathots bigger

I’m 15 years old. Last night my mom and dad started talking about the storms going on this winter and got into a ferocious argument over climate change. My dad says the climate is God’s business and that He’s in control of it, and that people always think the weather is odd. My mom totally thinks we have just about ruined the planet. What are your thoughts on the subject?

One of the most misinterpreted concepts is “God has a plan.”

When that is followed through to a conclusion, you enter a realm of predestination, where our efforts, directions and motivations don’t matter because they are subject to being changed by a Universal Creator.

If by “plan” you mean that Nature takes its course, then you might be onto something.

Faith has no battle with science as long as faith understands that God has set in motion a natural order which works by principles, and not chance.

This is why Jesus told us to study nature–to discern the signs of the sky and apply that same philosophy when we evaluate how we handle our lives.

Therefore, since Nature has a course and is functioning under scientific principles, it is our responsibility as inhabitants of Earth, to study these axioms, be sensitive to them, and adjust to what we can do to be better caretakers.

So the debate over climate change is ridiculous–because it’s not an issue of whether the world is going to end by floods or fire, but whether we can become students of the Natural Order which God has put in place and address the situations of our time.

In other words, if the increase in carbon dioxide is proving, to some degree, to be detrimental, what could possibly be wrong with adjusting our output, to be more aware of Nature’s course?

The problem comes when we feel the need to be dark and dreary, pronouncing doomsday instead of insightful, helpful and hopeful.

Here’s what I would tell your mother and father:

There is an Earth. It is the Lord’s and the fullness of it.

We have been placed here to be an intelligent presence and to take care of the planet and each other. Anything we can do to improve the situation based upon our discoveries makes us good stewards of our home.

It’s as simple as that.

It is useless to talk about climate change and insist it’s going to destroy the world. Equally as meaningless is to treat the Earth like toilet paper and fail to recognize that every action has a reaction, equal in force and opposite in direction.

So my approach is simple:

  • I will listen; I will learn.
  • I will do what I can to help Mother Earth do her job, which is to run her course.
  • I will never be afraid … nor proclaim that our surroundings are without hope.


Donate Button

The producers of Jonathots would humbly request a yearly subscription donation of $10 for this wonderful, inspirational opportunity


Making a Path–November 4, 2011


Back in 2000, when I had the honor and privilege of purchasing a house by the lake in Hendersonville, Tennessee, I arrived to do a walk-through and discovered that it was truly beautiful–but had one malady. The entrance was basically inaccessible. It was built on a hill and to get to the front door you had to park in the driveway, climb up a bunch of steps and skirt around a walkway to arrive at the entrance. Your other option was to drive into the garage and enter the house from below, climbing a large flight of stairs to finally land in your living room.

I know there are people who would insist it was a hidden blessing, granting me opportunities for exercise upon every arrival to my abode. I may be a bit overwrought, but I think such people should be killed.  i didn’t feel I should have to exercise every time I wanted to enter my living room. So I went ahead and purchased the home, already knowing that I was going to build a circular driveway to take me right up to my front door, where I could park my car, get out like a normal person and step in, sans aerobic.

I made a path.  I found a way to get to the front door of my own home which offered more ease and comfort, taking away the trepidation of coming home.

I thought about this same thing last night as I sat in my green room in Summerville, South Carolina, before the show. I realized that in a few moments there would be a bunch of people coming to an auditorium to listen to my music and hear my insights on this thing called life.  Believe me, I do not think I am special or worthy of such consideration–so I take what I do very seriously.

Too many people in the United States are making the door to truth inaccessible to the public, requiring them to climb over many obstacles, struggling to get to the prize.  Matter of fact, there seems to be a bit of pride about making the human journey arduous, as if we achieve virtue or perhaps even heavenly reward by climbing and trekking. I just find it difficult to believe that a God who made human beings would come up with a salvation plan that is both difficult to comprehend and nearly impossible to obtain. Some theologians would insist that He did this so that we would become frustrated at our attempts for excellence, and would therefore depend solely upon His grace. I hope that’s not true. I hope God is not a manipulative tyrant who wants to taunt His children instead of helping them to grow into ingenious forces of nature.

So as I sat in that room, thinking of those who were about to gather, I decided to prepare a path for them that was easier to climb to get to the door of their possibilities. I decided to talk about good cheer–because without it, we become grumpy and repel others, ourselves and ultimately, God. I selected to talk about God Two–yes, a God who actually cares about His children instead of hitting us over the head with ten commandments etched in stone.

I determined to share with them that the entire message of the universe really boils down to, “No one is better than anyone else.”

And finally, I told them that when they don’t have enough faith, if they will bring their five loaves and two fishes, Jesus will be faithful to take their problems and make them smaller so they can begin to walk toward their own solution.

Here is what I would like to tell all the politicians and ministers in this country: if you want to help people, you need to do three things: 

(1) You need to develop a message that people can understand. We wouldn’t ask monkeys to do algebra or even give up bananas.  So we certainly should not ask humans to reject their egos in totality or deny their human appetites. We just need to love people the way we love ourselves and temper those appetites that are trying to kill us off too soon.

2.  Every message needs to be “people friendly.” You can share a story about Moses from the Old Testament as long as you leave out the big words, the facts that don’t make any difference to anyone alive today–and as long as you share something that is on point to the reality of our twenty-first century existence.

3. And finally, any path you build to a door of discovery needs to be people-challenging. I will make a bold statement here: conventional wisdom, if it’s more than twenty-four hours old, is generally speaking, wrong. Why? Because the Bible says the Lord’s blessings are fresh daily. And if you’re not ready to receive daily blessing because you are living off of yesterday’s ideas, you will probably accidentally reject a great potential. Tell people to question what they believe and ask their belief to give them two options–heaven AND earth.  After all, anything that truly is of God works in both realms. It’s why Jesus prayed, “Father, Your will be done here on earth as it is in heaven.” Why would he pray it if it’s not possible?

So by the time I took the stage last night, I was giddy. I knew I had shed all conventional wisdom, all religiosity, all of my frustration and I was ready to make a path to the door. By the end of the evening, some people saw the path and raced with me to the prize. Some people walked out and said, “It’s just not hard enough, not enough exercise and I don’t believe it’s going to get me to heaven.”

Maybe they’re right. Maybe God is just a fussy little accountant, registering all of our sins in a booklet to prove to us how unworthy we are.

But can I tell you this? If that’s what He is … please tell Him I’m closing my account.


Here comes Christmas! For your listening pleasure, below is Manger Medley, Jonathan’s arrangement of Away in the Manger, which closes with him singing his gorgeous song, Messiah.  Looking forward to the holidays with you!

Jonathan sings “Let”

Jonathan Sings “Spent This Time”

Jonathan and his partner, Janet Clazzy, play “The Call”

I Did Not Plan–November 3, 2011


I did not plan to be born. Apparently my mother and father found one another particularly attractive one evening and enjoyed each other’s company and in the process, planted and ultimately hatched the notion of my existence. Some people would choose to be more philosophical about their births. I have found that such musings tend to end up in the mystical realm or in vanity.

I didn’t plan to be fat. I was certainly genetically pre-disposed in that direction and it didn’t help that my mother allowed me to eat too much food instead of putting me in the back yard, exercising. Of course, after a while I didn’t require her insufficiency on the matter–I took the “glutton” of the responsibility on myself.

I didn’t plan to play music. My mother had me take piano lessons from my first grade teacher and she was so attractive that I got all warm and tingly every time she told me to practice my hammer action. I quit playing for a while and then started up again when I realized that it was something I could do and still be … well, still be me.

I did not plan to quit football. I liked it. I was pretty good at it. But I hated the exercise and the wind sprints and found that I only enjoyed the game, which unfortunately only happened once a week, while practice happened on six occasions. The proportions baffled me and left me aghast, so I chose to depart the locker room. Or did I?

I did not plan to get married. I had what you might call a high school affair, where I was experimenting with a young woman’s virtues and she with mine. Unfortunately, when you place something in a petri dish, it will occasionally sprout growth. So two lab partners ended up being husband and wife and have continued to do so for forty-one years. But I did not plan it.

I certainly did not plan to have children. Biologically, I had four of them and none of them were planned. I mean, they were planned in that I understood the techniques of what happened prior to their conception, but neither the lady or myself were ever adept at birth control, so children would just suddenly appear and wonder where they should put down their knapsacks.

I did not plan to start my first musical group, Soul Purpose. It was just four friends who wanted to do something together and have an answer to the question, “So what are you going to do with your life?” I never imagined it would blossom into anything it became or that in the process I would acquire the craft necessary to become a decent song writer. I didn’t plan that.

I didn’t plan to talk to Dottie Rambo that night in Columbus, Ohio.  Matter of fact, when my friend, Luann, suggested we walk up and speak to her about one of the songs we had written, I was scared out of my trousers. But because I did it anyway, lots of other things I didn’t plan and opportunities I didn’t put together came my way, which created quite a stack of blessings for me in the 1970’s.

I didn’t plan to ever write a symphony. But when Janet Clazzy came into my life and was willing to work with me, she was an oboist and required music to perform if she was going to be my partner. So I ended up taking my little dab of talent and spreading it across the spectrum of classical music, like peanut butter on hot toast. The result was eleven symphonies. But I didn’t plan it.

I didn’t plan to pen my first screenplay. My oldest son suggested I do it because he likes to make movies and I saw no particular reason to be stubborn. To date I have written seventeen of them and have thirteen movies to show for it. But you do understand … I didn’t plan it.

And honestly, I did not plan to go to Grace United Methodist Church in Columbia, South Carolina, last night. A couple of months ago, I didn’t know there was a Grace United Methodist Church in Columbia, South Carolina, and I am sure they were equally oblivious to my existence. Matter of fact, if I had planned my life, I’m not so sure we ever would have met–but I would have missed out on the blessing of meeting some of the sweetest folks ever to grace the great state of South Carolina. Maybe that’s why they call it Grace United Methodist.

As I look back at it, my friends, I realize that most of the things I’ve done in my life I haven’t really planned. Matter of fact, most of them have been contrary to conventional wisdom. We all should have gotten an inkling of that and maybe even a depth of understanding about how life really works by the way it ends up. Because none of us plan our deaths, do we? Not unless it’s a suicide, and that’s generally frowned on by the populace, both earthly and heavenly.

Yes, we should have caught on early that since there is an appointment for our deaths that is not revealed to us, why would we think that all the valleys and mountain tops would be charted out clearly by God–like some sort of Rand McNally map? Matter of fact, as I look back on the whole procedure I realize that I did not plan much of anything–except for one very important personal choice.

I did plan to be born again. And that particular selection has made all the unplanned activities fall into some sort of reasonable sense.


Here comes Christmas! For your listening pleasure, below is Manger Medley, Jonathan’s arrangement of Away in the Manger, which closes with him singing his gorgeous song, Messiah.  Looking forward to the holidays with you!

Jonathan sings “Let”

Jonathan Sings “Spent This Time”

Jonathan and his partner, Janet Clazzy, play “The Call”

%d bloggers like this: