Sit Down Comedy … October 11th, 2019

Jonathots Daily Blog

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Sit Down Comedy

I sat and listened quietly, almost mouse-like, as two fellows in their early thirties launched into a great debate, right before my ears, about whether the Joker, as presented in the latest film, would actually be as murderous as predicted.

The discussion became vehement, nearly volatile. Each one of the fine fellows was certain that he had a pinpoint understanding on the true character, if not mental profile, of the villain.

Internally I was smiling.

The truth is, they both could be right since the Joker is a fictitious character.

Yes—you can conjure almost any scenario about him you want in the pursuit of advertising your theory or feathering your nest with ticket sales.

Likewise, of late I have sat in the presence of my Republican and Democrat brothers and sisters as they have mused over whether Jesus would agree with some portion of their political piety. But you see, here’s the problem–in this second discussion between the politicians, they fail to remember that unlike the Joker, Jesus was not a mythical figure.

There is some actual historical confirmation of his life, quite a few renditions of his thinking, and even a record of his untimely demise, recorded for all time by the fastidious Roman Empire.

It is much more difficult to turn Jesus of Nazareth into a mascot rooting for your team.

The Republicans may want to make him conservative as the Democrats profile him as liberal, but the fact of the matter is:

Jesus was Jesonian.

He had a way of thinking, doing, being, believing, loving, caring and moving.

If you choose to study these motions and imitate them, then you might be able to call yourself a Christian. But if you’re going to ignore the biographical information available and the obvious choices he made as a human being, you may pretend he is a mythical being, but it will be very easy to prove his timeline.

Let’s be clear:

Jesus never claimed that he was “Almighty” or “a stable genius.”

He also did not profile himself to be the preacher for the poor—out to get the top one percent of rich folks.

He didn’t rail against abortion and demand that people sacrifice their free will.

But of course, he did favor children, and said they were “like the kingdom of heaven.”

Yet rather than going through a litany of issues that have been placed upon his shoulders as burdens to carry, let’s look at two things we do know about him, based upon his own words and actions:

1. On a fine afternoon, when approached by a rich, young ruler, who addressed him as “Good Master,” Jesus replied, “Why do you call me good? There’s none good but God.”

Now, Jesus had done enough kindly deeds, and dare we say, even merciful acts of miraculous proportions, to have absorbed up the word “good” without seeming to be puffed up.

But you see, he didn’t.

He portrayed that one of the great frailties of human thinking is to believe, promote and toot your horn as you trumpet your goodness to the populace.

Once again, he refused to call himself good.

2. Talking to his disciples one morning, he said, “When you’ve done that which is expected of you, call yourself an unprofitable servant.”

This was certainly an unpopular position with folks around the world who wanted to feel persecuted, let down, set aside or ignored.

Jesus made it clear that if you’re not excelling, you’re bitching.

So when it comes to those Republicans who love to talk about how great our nation is or what mighty deeds are being achieved, how they’re “the deciders,” or even how exceptional we are as a country…

Don’t get ready for Jesus to show up at the rally.

He kept his perspective.

Human beings don’t gain any power by insisting they have it.

There’s none good but God.

And for all my Democrat buddies out there, who think the bad rich people who have made money are the reason that the poor folks are unmotivated, broken, selfish and begging, they should take another gander at what Jesus really promotes before they dress him up in his blue robe and roll him out at the Convention. For Jesus said, “Stop feeling sorry for yourself. If you do what you’re supposed to do, that doesn’t even get you in the door.”

Set your GPS for the second mile.

Now, if you like this statement of Jesus, I would invite you to join me and a chosen few in living it out joyfully. If you don’t, then hang around.

There’ll be an elephant or a donkey along real soon to carry you to the voting booth.

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Populie: It Doesn’t Matter What You Believe… August 13, 2014

 

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Canyon edge

“It doesn’t matter what you believe, just as long as you believe.”

I grew up with that statement. What I mean is, that sentiment was the poster child for tolerance. Of course, the idea has become less popular as unbelief has taken its position of power in the great struggle of human philosophy.

Religion, politics and entertainment thrive in this environment of “give that takes” and “taking that rarely gives” because it offers conflict which gets people to the voting booth, plot lines which are often dreary and glum and religious conflicts which make both warring parties puff up with their own supremacy.

The trouble with the whole concept of toleration is that it means to tolerate–and candidly, my dear friends, there are some things that cannot be tolerated. Sooner or later, we have to conclude that you are entitled to believe what you want only as long as it does not hurt other people or as long as it’s sensitive to the principles which cause Planet Earth to prosper.

  • For instance, I do not know why we continue to tolerate anyone who contends that “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth” is a viable precept.
  • I do not know why we insist on promoting the idea of culture, which is often just a disguise for prejudice.
  • I am baffled why we allow political candidates to plunder the character of their opponent all within the framework of “good politics.”

It does matter what we believe. It is life and death.

It determines whether we have ruling classes and serfs, rejected races and preferential ones and bigotry based upon race, color, creed or sex.

I will tell you bluntly, what you believe must:

1. Bolster your creativity.

Any philosophy, idea, religion or government that stifles the human ability to use their gifts freely has to be identified for its short-sighted, insane propagation of stupidity.

2. Help you avoid cynicism.

If what you believe causes you to become more cynical about human beings, life on earth, science, nature or God, then it is a road block to progress.

3. Endure to the end.

I, for one, am tired of belief systems that vaporize whenever difficulty comes on the scene, escaping to the corners of the room like cockroaches to avoid the truth of the moment.

Without a sense of endurance, we are at the mercy of circumstance, which is meant to change based upon our ongoing input.

4. Create a judgment-free zone.

If your belief makes you so proud of your own personal excellence that you begin to look down on fellow travelers with a nagging spirit of disapproval, then quite candidly, your belief has lost its privilege.

And finally, what you believe must:

5. Be of good cheer.

Good cheer is not always being happy, but it is the acknowledgment that happiness is still the goal, even though we may have hit a rough patch.

When we become agnostic to the idea of finding peace of mind and joy in our lives, we also become belligerent to those around us who are content.

I will say it boldly: I am not tolerant of any belief system that does not foster these five holy principles. And what makes them holy is that they make whole people, who continue to pursue promise instead of spitting on the grave of faith to express their intellectual superiority.

It does matter.

And until we have enough spunk to realize that tolerating intolerable ideas is the certain way to destroy our planet, we will be walking on the edge of the Grand Canyon thinking we’re safe … because no breeze will ever blow.

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Populie: Is There a God? … May 7, 2014

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worldIt is very popular to question the existence of God.

It is usually accompanied with the lie that in doing so, we, as humans, become more powerful and intelligent. Thus the POPULIE, delivered with a quizzical, doubtful tone: Is there really a God?

Politics favors this quandary because it promotes the notion of “us against them.” We can talk about culture wars. One party can be on the side of faith and the other on the side of knowledge. We can even present it in a dramatic form as “the saved against the damned.” What a great way to get people to the voting booth.

Entertainment pushes the concept by showing us through movies and television shows, that truly intuitive and mature people are always at least perplexed by the question of the presence of God, and usually in choosing disbelief, are proven to be more intellectual.

Ironically, even religion desires this discussion be thrust to the forefront because it provides the sense of being “persecuted for righteousness sake,” proving our devotion by defending the Almighty against His foes.

Yet the foolishness of the process leaves us stymied as human beings, without the ability to make quality decisions in our lives based on the truth that surrounds us instead of chasing dreams–whether they be in Bible learning or college classrooms.

Let me tell you what I feel. I do not have enough faith to accept the idea of a spontaneously spawned universe. When I watch a show like Cosmos, to follow through on the precepts presented by scientists about how all this began is much more of a fairy tale to me than accepting the potential of a creative force.

Yes, I doubt too much to be ignited by the Big Bang Theory.

There are three factors that scream at me that there is a divine reasoning in the universe:

1. An order in the chaos.

Even though the world is filled with tribulation, upheaval and ongoing evolution, there is always an order, sensibility and common agreement that steps forward to greet the next possibility.

If everything was chaos we would have to believe that luck was in charge, which is no different from believing that God is.

2. A respect for nature.

Since I believe God to be the Creator, He has put a team in charge of the maintenance of His creation. It’s called the natural order. And when you respect the rules of the system which flourishes around you, you set in motion the possibility of prospering. When you deny them, you are at the mercy of an evolutionary chopping block, which is not afraid to bring the hammer down.

3. A faith in progress.

The whole panorama of the law of physics points in the direction and favor of those who step out, try new things and acquire the instinct to go forward.

  • After all, the single cell had faith to become two cells.
  • The first fish emerged from the water to dry land, becoming the grandfather of the amphibians.
  • And dinosaurs, who learned to accept their surroundings, eventually became crocodiles.

There is a faith involved in what we do.

I guess I could be sympathetic to the agnostic or atheist if it weren’t for the fact that there are laws in nature which are immutable. We call it science.

It is just impossible for me to believe that laws can be instituted without a legislator. And to me, that legislator is God.

So even though it may be the populie of our day and age, to try to be cool by questioning the reality of a Creator, I cannot muster enough trust to believe that all of this around me … spontaneously came from the dust of nothing.

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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

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