Good News and Better News… April 3rd, 2017

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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Perhaps a good definition for foolishness is to pursue an answer which you already have acquired, hoping that this time you will get a different response.

It’s kind of like when religious people ask, “What would Jesus do?”

I guess the concept is that his desires and inclinations may be such a mystery that we need to go to fasting and prayer to attain them.

Actually, all the church would have to do is ask the question, “What did Jesus do?”

It’s not like his life is a secret. He didn’t withhold his preferences from us. And it’s not like he didn’t lay out a road map for both his personality and his heart–whether it was about politics, where Jesus made it clear that he had no preference–any Caesar was as good as any other Caesar. And in the realm of social matters, Jesus was clear about the existence of the natural order, but if that is altered by human free will, we are not to judge others who choose a different path.

Jesus certainly made it clear that women were equals, though his church today continues to forbid them place and purpose.

So I guess we continue to pose “what would Jesus do?” so that we can slam enough scriptures together, out of context, to make it look like Jesus would agree with us.

What Jesus liked was obvious: humility, endurance, personal responsibility, faith, compassion and honesty.

What Jesus did not like was equally as obvious: hypocrisy, pretense, superiority, laziness, prejudice and over-emphasis on family and culture.

We could make great strides in the church if we ceased pretending that we are bewildered about the mind of Christ. Shoot, the Apostle Paul told us that “we have the mind of Christ.”

So why not use it?

Here’s the good news: Jesus is an open book. (Four of them, in fact–Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.)

The better news is that when you study his character, you find out that he offers the only path which leads to peaceful coexistence among human beings.

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Good News and Better News… December 19th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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“Jesus was born to die.”

That’s what the preacher said.

He seemed pretty sure of it, too, because he kept repeating it over and over again during his “sermonic” pursuit.

I listened carefully. Here was the premise for the assertion–the best I understood it:

God, who created the universe, decided on His own, from the foundation of the world, that He would save the human race (which was not yet placed in the Garden of Eden) from their sinful nature, which they had not yet manifested.

It seems that since God made these creatures called humans, He placed within them a self-destruct switch, which is triggered and causes them to pull up lame, inept and basically evil.

So God put Himself in charge of them and each of their destinies, plotting their lives, and moved them about like fleshy chess pieces, understanding that in the long run, the end result of the game would be “checkmate.” In other words, they would need a Savior, and such an individual would have to come to the world as one of them, but be secretly enhanced with the dynamic advantage of knowing that his preaching, healing, conversations, or even established relationships were basically doomed, and that ultimately, his purpose for arriving on the planet was to slowly bleed out on a cross and die for the irreconcilable imperfections of humankind.

Although there are many scriptures from this God which inform us that He completely disapproved of animal sacrifice and found it gross, we are led to believe that He ignored those sentiments and killed a human being to prove that His initial idea of “original sin” was correct.

We are to ignore the birth of this son named Jesus in deference to his death.

We are to consider his teachings, but understand that basically, because of our faulted and feeble frame, we are incapable of living out his ideas.

Motivation to aspire, dream and grow is removed from us because basically without this “saving plasma,” we are completely lost and without remedy.

We are never to look on the cross as something that happened to Jesus, but rather, for some mysterious reason, something that Jesus caused to happen.

Even though we tout that human beings have free will, we quietly negate such a notion in favor of destiny, God’s will and a pre-formed path for each and every human unit.

Then we stand back and wonder why these human beings that were created seem vacant of expressing passion or goodness, but are constantly weeping over their failures in an attempt to be worthy of their salvation, and therefore feel a need, to some degree, to constantly re-start their appreciation for the blood atonement.

We just can’t wait to get the baby to the cross.

We have a lapse in our theology because we do not understand that God, being God, is completely able to give us choice while simultaneously having insight on where things might be going.

We do it with our own children. We have fears and apprehensions that they will struggle in certain areas, but we never take away the opportunity for them to surprise us. In other words, a disobedient five-year-old who breaks a lamp and giggles about it is not immediately sent to jail.

No, we give him another chance.

So during this blessed season, I wanted to offer a counter-view to this preacher who was so positive that Baby Jesus is just a prop on the way to Calvary.

For here’s the good news. It’s found in John 3:16:

“God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son.”

But the better news is in the next verse, where it’s made clear why Jesus came. It states:

“God did not send His son into the world to condemn the world.”

 

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Ask Jonathots… June 30th, 2016

 Jonathots Daily Blog

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When should children be told about sex? What do you think is the right age for a woman or a man to first have sex? Do you think couples should wait until they’re married? In other words, what constitutes a healthy attitude about sex?

Normally it would be difficult to answer three questions.

But let’s be candid–sex is about choice. The more choice you can involve in your sexual experience, the better off you are. Unfortunately, the present system, which is overly promiscuous in its entertainment and puritan in its educational approach, actually fails to teach the joy of choice.

For example, because children are not monitored well or instructed about their bodies, they often have their first sexual encounter by “playing doctor” or being abused by a relative.

Likewise, high school, which is really just a glorified bar scene, with people looking for ways to hook up and have an affair, leaves most students pressured to do things they have not selected.

So by the time people enter the adult world, they are either so confused or over-sexed that they don’t feel the compulsion for romantic encounters with their mate.

So in one way we revere sexuality, focusing on childish concepts by giggling and pointing, and on the other side we fail to realize the deep emotional and even physical pleasures of the experience because we were not taught how to make intelligent decisions.

I believe that children should be told about sexuality just as soon as their friends start tattling about it. I think the discussion should fall into three categories:

A. This is how your body works.

B. This is what you want to get off of the experience.

C. Therefore, these are the choices available.

As to your second question, it is rather doubtful that people will wait until they get married to have sex. That would be the ultimate choice made by a very mature individual who had selected a profile of virginity for his or her own advantage.

In other words, you will not hold back the burst dam of hormones simply by quoting scriptures or signing a pledge card. In that case people stumble into having “accidental” sex, which can be interpreted to mean more than it actually should.

Concerning a right age for having sex, we are all over the spectrum on this issue.

For instance, we have decided that a person is old enough to drive at sixteen, to vote at eighteen, and to drink at twenty-one. But the likelihood that they will involve themselves in sex before sixteen is very high.

So which one is actually more involved? Driving at fourteen, voting at fourteen, drinking at fourteen or having sex at fourteen?

When I raised my sons, I assumed that they were going to be pushed into sexual awareness by about fourteen or fifteen years of age. That does not mean this is the ideal age to have sex–but it does mean that every parent should be aware when the pressure mounts.

To have a healthy sexual attitude at any age, three things need to be in place:

  1. Wisdom about your own body
  2. Wisdom about your own choices
  3. Wisdom about all consequences

If those are in order, the door is opened for people to choose their romantic encounters, instead of being coerced into them by peer pressure, church regulation or just too much chance.

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Jonathan’s Latest Book Release!

PoHymn: A Rustling in the Stagnant

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Three Ways to be Spirited Without Becoming Religious … August 28, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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I shall refrain from beating the dead horse of religion (even if it’s one of those horses of the Apocalypse).

Religion has historically, and even currently, displayed the by-products of its foolishness and bloody miscalculations. The reason religion has been so unsuccessful is because it works under the faulty premise that we are trying to please a God who has already told us that He’s pleased. Upon finishing His creation, God said, “It is good.”

There you go.

Yet at the same time, to try to run away from the “spirited” side of life in an attempt to avoid the superstition of religion, one can end up creating a vacancy while simultaneously failing to fill one.

So let me tell you the three ways I believe you can be spirited without ever falling under the flea-infested dogma of organized religion:

1. Let people know you’re human.

It was eloquently phrased in the Good Book: “By your fruits you shall be known.” Being human is not an insult nor an excuse for weakness. It is the honor of possessing the greatest soul and intellect on our planet.

But we are also vulnerable–and we become valuable to each other when our honesty allows for revelation.

2. Let people know you have hope.

Once again, well phrased with the passage, “Let your light shine before men, that they’ll see your good works and glorify the Father in heaven.”

There’s no power in being human if you’ve given up on your race. Yes, I’m human, but I’m hoping for so much more. I’m reaching for vistas beyond my carnal senses. I’m believing for better.

3. Let people know you’re learning.

For after all, the kingdom of God is within you. Every new revelation, discovery and spiritual explosion is going to come from the hearts of men and women.

Certainly we can garner comfort and joy from reading the testimonies of the forefathers in the scriptures, but unless we’re writing a living testament through our own learning process, we become worshippers of a book instead of lively stones of faith.

These three things appeal to everybody.

They are completely accessible simply by having a pure heart.

And these three things produce fruit, which lights up the world with the knowledge that God is not dead … but has established a kingdom within your heart.

 

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The Sermon on the Mount in music and story. Click the mountain!

The Sermon on the Mount in music and story. Click the mountain!

 

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

Populie: Mars and Venus…. May 21, 2014

Jonathots Daily Blog

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mars“Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus.”

I never read the book so I shall not comment on its content, but this concept has been a deterrent to finding commonality in the human race.

It generates a POPULIE: men and women just naturally don’t get along very well.

Politics loves this because it gives them an additional demographic and contingency to try to either attack or appease.

Entertainment favors this particular assertion because it gives them fodder for plotlines which are only resolved with a closing decision that “men and women just don’t get along.”

Religion lines up to join in the segregation between the sexes, affirming antiquated scriptures that have done very little to promote harmony in the human family.

Here’s the problem: the process by which we try to distinguish our uniqueness is also the declining mentality that always spirals down to destruction. It begins with:

  1. We’re all different.
  2. Since we’re different, we need our clump.
  3. Our clump is better than their clump. Their clump sucks.
  4. Let’s hurt them.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re talking about Nazi Germany, slavery or men and women. It’s the same problem.

Once Adolph Hitler was able to convince the German people that the average family in Berlin was different from the Jews, it was an easy step to suggest that the Jews should clump together and the German people should have their own area.

Of course, once we’re clumped, we need to promote our brand. To do so, we have to detract from anything that isn’t us. So you can see, after a while, all Adolph had to do to support his decision to annihilate the Jews was to prove that the Jewish clump was completely unnecessary, if not dangerous.

The same thing was true with slavery. The white plantation owners needed workers but they couldn’t afford them. So some people with big boats convinced the Southerners that the folks in Africa were different–primitive. Perhaps even unintelligent. So it made sense to clump all the white people together and all the black people together since there was a cultural barricade. Once the clumping was permitted, it became necessary to punish those who were not in our clump by creating the “big house” and the slave quarters. And of course, once you have that clump living in squalor, like pigs, it’s all right to hurt them.

There is only one criterion for spirituality. It is not baptism, communion, faith, scriptures or tithing. It is simply this: how do I treat people?

Do I insist there are differences–to make me look multicultural? Or am I in pursuit of similarities, to make us all become human?

As long as we insist that men and women are in an exhausting struggle of misunderstanding which only occasionally is penetrated by sexual relations, we will be ignorant cave people, scratching our asses and grunting in the darkness.

Truth doesn’t always make immediate sense. It’s because the sense of the day is rarely the truth.

Escape the Populie. Don’t criticize Islam, Africa, China and other cultures for how they treat women, when our country has turned equality into a joke.

This is the cutting edge issue of our day. Until we treat men and women as equals who are intended to work together, racial harmony, cultural acceptance and spiritual toleration will merely be a myth.

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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

 

 

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