Jesonian … February 24th, 2018

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Throughout the ten thousand years of chronicled human history, three repetitive actions have continually pushed their way to the forefront:

  1. Human beings resolve conflict through war
  2. Women are considered inferior to men
  3. Children are property and can be treated any way deemed necessary for maintaining order and discipline

Only in the past seventy-five years has the concept of equal rights for women and the possibility of child abuse even been considered.

Although we consider our species to be continually learning and growing, at the core of our actions–our relationships with each other–we are still neanderthal.

This is why the character, personality and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth are so radical, even to this day. In a world where children were considered “chattel,” Jesus demanded, bring them to me because they are the symbol of heaven.

He warned that anybody who offended one of these “little ones” should have a millstone hung around his neck, drowned in the deepest sea.

And when trying to describe the temperament and energy of believers, he suggested that we find the heart of a child.

Even though in his day this teaching in itself would be enough to have him ridiculed and perhaps murdered, our society has not progressed much beyond believing that our offspring are community property which can be split down the middle into “visitation sessions.”

We leave our children confused over the term family because they often find themselves having to call a half-dozen or more people grandma or grandpa. And we make them privy to our “love struggle” instead of granting them the security of growing up in peace and finding themselves.

We are a wicked generation, mocking the foolishness of the past while keeping souvenirs.

This is also true with women. Jesus doubly astounds his disciples by going to Samaria–a forbidden area for any good Jew to even enter–but while there, talking to a woman in broad daylight, and using her as a conduit for revival. It left them speechless.

Also, forgiving a woman caught in adultery in the midst of an all-male audience was certainly not a popular choice, and having his ministry underwritten financially by three women of means raised a few eyebrows over the water being drawn from the community well.

I have always felt that Jesus made a mistake in not having a female disciple. But he quickly corrects this after the resurrection by appearing to Mary Magdalene first, making her the messenger to tell his disciples that he was raised from the dead.

Please do not come into Christianity thinking you can use Jesus to undergird your misogyny or disdain for children. Matter of fact, you can judge a nation by how much equality is given to the women, and how much true respect is offered to children.

We don’t need to “harden” our schools. We don’t need to tell our sons and daughters that they must be surrounded by guns or they won’t be safe.

It is our concern, love, mercy, tenderness and watchful eye that is the source of their protection.

If you’re going to be Jesonian, you need to stop living with a caveman consciousness toward children and women, while holding an I-phone in your hand.

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Jesonian: Reverend Meningsbee (Part 11) Bible-less Study… July 10th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Reverend Meningsbee

The answering machine was full.

Meningsbee had taken the precaution of turning off his phone for the Sunday afternoon drive which landed him in South Dakota, and now checking it for the first time, he realized that his “professional preacher profile,” which he had selected the previous Sunday, had not fooled any of his congregation.

He had at least thirty messages, all basically intoning a recurring theme: “Are you all right?”

He was in the middle of the eighteenth inquiry when there was a knock at the door. He opened it to discover Sammy Collins, a deacon who had been part of the great exodus from the Garsonville Church. Meningsbee invited him in but Sammy explained that he was in a hurry.

He said, “I have a Bible study at my house on Monday nights, and I would like you to come and see if we can’t make this thing right.”

On any other day, Meningsbee would have been reluctant, but he remembered Kitty’s words at the Four Heads Motel. Maybe he did need to listen.

So he agreed to come–with the stipulation that it would be a secret. Sammy agreed and departed. The following Sunday, Meningsbee was shocked to discover that everyone knew about the upcoming Monday night Bible study. They were thrilled, apprehensive, overjoyed–but mostly wanted to pray for him. Some wanted to come and give moral support, but he declined.

So all through Monday, Meningsbee fidgeted and wondered what his approach should be with the former congregation members.

He knew he didn’t want to be defensive. He knew he didn’t want to take too much time–and mostly, he knew he didn’t want to get there early.

Since it was a pot-luck dinner, which was served after the Bible study, he made his famous hot dog and beans for the occasion.

He arrived promptly at seven o’ clock, to discover that nobody was there. No one but Sammy Collins, his wife and Patrick Swanson, who was formerly the worship committee leader at the Garsonville Church.

Sammy was humiliated, frustrated, and just could not figure out what had happened.

In the midst of Sammy’s attempts at an explanation, Patrick interrupted and said, “Sammy, would you mind giving the Reverend and me an opportunity to chat privately?”

Sammy agreed, took Meningsbee’s casserole dish and headed off to the kitchen. Meanwhile, Patrick motioned for Meningsbee to come and sit down in the living room. Once seated, Mr. Swanson began his discourse.

“I need to be candid with you, Meningsbee. I told the congregation not to come this evening.” Swanson paused to see Meningsbee’s reaction. He offered none, so Swanson continued.

“You may wonder why. It’s because we aren’t coming back. There isn’t going to be a reconciliation, because we need our church out at the Holiday Inn. I know you think that you broke up the Garsonville Church through your policies. I’ll have to admit–they were pretty heavy-handed, and you didn’t really seek anyone else’s confidence, but I had decided months ago to abandon the property. I hadn’t said anything to anyone else, but two years ago I thought the new bypass was going to come through, and we’d be able to sell at a huge profit. But when they picked another path, I realized that the church basically had no financial worth. Simultaneously, the building’s getting old. The roof’s rotten, carpet is threadbare–I even had a guy come in who told us we have termites. Plus, after all my years of being at the church, I was tired of the flow of pastors. Most of them gave hapless attempts at being administrators, with no real business sense of their own. And then you arrived, on some sort of Mt. Sinai mission, to make us into something else. Well, it was enough. I made my move. My prayer was that all the old people would stay with you and all the young couples would come over to the new church, where we could talk about current events, politics, and plan excursions. You know–trips where we could fellowship and have fun. The church was dead, but I didn’t have the heart to kill it–and then you showed up. You became my gun.”

Swanson paused. Perhaps he was expecting an explosion of anger, a retaliation or a threat or two, but Meningsbee remained silent.

Swanson concluded. “Any questions, Reverend? What I’m saying to you is, you can try to keep that church together, but I will fight you.”

Meningsbee stood to his feet and stated, “Will you tell Sammy I’m going to pass on dinner?”

He headed to the door, leaving Patrick in the living room by himself. His hand was shaking as he reached for the knob.

Walking down the stoop to the sidewalk to his car, he felt like someone had taken a knife and hollowed out his insides.

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G-48: 1619… October 31, 2014

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Excitement.

  • A season of reason.
  • An hour of power.
  • A college of knowledge.
  • A start for art.
  • A relief for belief.
  • A release of peace.
  • A righting of the course of fellowship.

And then … 1619.

A Dutch trader, selling his goods along the African coast, runs across a tribesman who has no money, but is willing to give a cargo of human beings, his neighbors, as exchange for his merchandise.

The wayfaring seaman pauses, thinking. He knows he doesn’t dare return without some sort of remuneration, or face losing his job–maybe worse. He looks at the half-clothed, nervous, twitching beings in front of him. They don’t look like him.

His brain sets in motion a nasty logic:

  1. These people are vulnerable.
  2. Therefore, these folks are less.
  3. These souls are our servants.
  4. These creatures are our property.
  5. These possessions are our slaves.

Much to his surprise, when he returns from his journey, expecting a rebuke for his choice, he is praised for such an inventive idea and commissioned to return and do it again.

As often is the case, there is a market. Therefore we pursue it–without wondering about its ramifications.

A painful portion of poison is perpetuated upon peoplehood. They digress.

And then one day, in a crowded, heated hall, nervous men, trying to cover their apprehension with verbal boldness, agree to a document which states clearly, directly and without apology:

“All men are created equal.”

1776.

Perhaps it is the remedy for 1619.

We shall see what price they’re willing to pay…for their own convictions.

 

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