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Showing posts with label Jesus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Jesus. Show all posts

Monday, August 24, 2015

Right, Jesus?


Sunday, January 26, 2014

Signs

My family recently watched the M. Night Shyamalan film, Signs. The film tells the story of an alien invasion and how one rural family copes with the incursion. Really, though, it's about one man's journey back to his faith after his wife is killed in a horrific car accident. It's about the signs that God gives us to show us that He exists and loves us.

I have seen the film many times and love it more with each viewing. I'm not a knee jerk M. Night hater like the Internet has decided must be the case if you are to be "cool" (whatever the fuck that means). This recent viewing made me think about my nearly 35 year friendship with John Waxey, the all too infrequent poster here at Markadelphia. I met John the first day of school in 7th grade and we have been best friends every since. We talk at least once a week and hang out at his cottage in Wisconsin with our families in the summer. We try to see at least two bands a year live either here or in Madison where he lives.

In addition to being the owner of a private manufacturing firm in Wisconsin, John is also an archaeologist so his views on God are somewhere between atheism and agnosticism. He does not believe in the Christian God nor does he believe that Jesus was the Son of God. He wonders if Jesus ever existed. Yet, he is morally more Christian than most Christians I know. He lives by Jesus' commandment to love one another, treating everyone with more kindness than I certainly have ever done. He is faithfully devoted to his wife of 20 years and their three children. He has never killed anyone, stolen anything or lied in his entire life.

Despite his secular approach to life, I believe God sent him to me for a reason. It was a sign of His love for the people of this earth. Our friendship of over three decades is proof positive that not only His existence but of Christ's core command that we love one another. He usually rolls his eyes when I relate this to him (and I do frequently) and replies by saying that he does try to follow the moral teachings of Jesus but just can't quite believe the spiritual side of it. I remind him that it's all connected and then we invariably have one of our long and most cherished conversations about the meaning of it all.

Isn't it ironic that a sign for me of God's love is an atheist? He does indeed work in mysterious ways!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Good Words

But this word of the Lord came to me: 'You have shed much blood and have fought many wars. You are not to build a house for my Name, because you have shed much blood on the earth in my sight. (1 Chronicles 22:8)

They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore. (Isaiah 2:4)

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The infant will play near the hole of the cobra, and the young child put his hand into the viper's nest. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. (Isaiah 11:6-9)

You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.' But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. (Matt. 5:38-39)

Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. (Matt. 5:43-48, Luke 6:27-28)

Put your sword back in its place...for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. (Matt. 26:52) 

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. (Matt. 5:9)

For God is not a God of disorder but of peace, as in all the other churches. (1 Corinthians 14:33)

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. (1 John 4:7-8)

So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. (1 John 4:16)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Not White

I was cleaning out the game shelf and saw this card game that my kids play with from time to time. It's basically a deck of cards with all the famous Bible characters on it. Since I haven't done a religion post in a while and it is Sunday today, I thought we'd take a look at one particular card.

Check out the one of Jesus Christ.

First of all, what up with the sandy blond beard and brown hair? Weird. And I love the idyllic setting..quite child like...and that's just why I put it up here. For many ADULT Americans, this is how they view Jesus...through the eyes of an eight year old.

Let's start with one basic and simple fact. Prepare yourself for this one, folks. I know it will come as quite a shock for all of you.

(Mark lowers his voice to soft whisper)

Jesus was not white.

And he did not look like Duane Allman.

In fact, Jesus probably looked at lot more like this.

Minus the gray hairs because he died when he was in his early 30s. And the extra chub.

I can't help but wonder how this simple fact would completely fuck up so many people if Christ ever does return. He lived in the Middle East so he basically "looked like a terrorist." So, does that mean if he were praying on a plane people would get nervous? More importantly, how much prejudice and discrimination would he encounter? Oh, that's right. None. There are no racists in this country except for Sonia Sotomayor.

The real problem here as well as an eternal frustration for me is how many people believe silly fairy tales like the Duane Allman Jesus. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, though, because many of these same people believe that they wealthy of this country are going to magically save the country through self regulation and tax cuts that pay for themselves.

I suppose it makes it simpler for them to see have this sanitary and simple image of Christ but wouldn't God, as we do with our own children, want us to become as intelligent, mature, and successful as possible? Maybe he might want us to take the time and research what kind of man Christ really was and why did and said the things he did...y'know, deal with the complexities of historical and geographical context and all.

The word complexity, though, seems to be sneered at in our country today. We cheer idiocy and intelligence is viewed as being sacrilegious or (gasp!) elitist. Why do we have the perpetual need to pursue the uninformed child inside of all of us when what we should really be doing is pursuing the self actualized adult? I guess I'm holding out hope that some day we can give up fairy tales like this one and move on to a higher level of spirituality. I can start small.

Let's take up a notch over Dora The Explorer, hmm?