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

Sunday, December 13, 2015


What would Jesus Do?

It's a question every Christian ask themselves at one point or another in their lives. I think that Canada just showed us what He would do.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Jesus and Ben Carson

Take a look at the photo that is up in Ben Carson's house.

No, that's not a photo of Carson and the late Duane Allman. That's Republican Jesus!!

Do we really want this guy as president? Wow...

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Cast The First Stone!

Hey kids, check this out!

It's a Jesus slingshot that's perfect for your evangelical buddy. Help him or her to cast the first stone with this supercool slingshot! 

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Greater Than These

Across the United States today, many Americans will be celebrating the risen Jesus Christ and that His message is eternal. The core of that message is that we love one another while doing His works and greater than these. In so many ways, we are doing that. Take a look...

Greater than these...

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Occupying the Homeless

I remember, quite fondly, actually, the derision towards the Occupy movement. "Occupy a job" was a common dig along with predictions that the movement would never amount to anything.

Yet this story from the front page of newspaper illustrates several things. First, the Occupy movement has amounted to something: helping the homeless have a place to live. And they are doing it through a nonprofit umbrella which means donations, not government help.

Second, they are continuing their mission to reduce inequality by building these homes. That's something Jesus would be proud of, right? That whole helping the poor thing...mentioned more times than anything else in the Bible.

Third, they are doing it in Wisconsin, right in the back yard of Scott Walker. He has stated repeatedly that his policies will help middle class and poor families by freeing up the private sector. Where are their 98 foot houses for the homeless? Where is the Tea Party version of this?

If this is the future of the Occupy movement, I say, "Well done, folks!"

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Cartoon Beatitudes!

Friday, July 18, 2014

We Are A Christian Nation

I'm most happy this morning to link this piece from Politico in which we see a return to compassionate conservatism. I've always held out quiet hope that people like Glenn Beck and Hugh Hewitt would come around and it looks like they have.

In an op-ed for POLITICO Magazine on Thursday, Hewitt argued that now isn’t the time to discuss the border fence he has long advocated. 

“Right now the country ought to act to end the humanitarian crisis of tens of thousands of what are, in effect, orphans and strangers in our land. The very young among them should find ‘forever families’ right here, right now. They should become Americans,” Hewitt wrote. 

Exactly what Jesus would do!

On his Tuesday evening broadcast on his cable channel TheBlaze, Beck directly addressed the parents of child immigrants, tears in his eyes as a scrolling marquee translated his monologue into Spanish, begging them to keep their children at home for their own safety. 

“Please would you consider doing the hard thing as well would you resist the temptation to flee or break up your family, please don’t hand your child off to a smuggler in the middle of the night,” Beck said. “I can’t sleep at night thinking about your son or daughter and so I and about 150 volunteers and multiple semi-trucks are going down to our border and we will see your child … and we will care for them.” 

Care for them...that's right. That's what we do in this country.

Because we are a Christian nation:)

Friday, July 04, 2014

Give Us Your Tired, Poor, and Hungry (unless they are brown women and children in which case...FUCK OFF!)

Happy Birthday, America. Sorry you still have to deal with people like this...

When the three busloads of immigrant mothers and children rolled into town for processing at a Border Patrol station this week, they were met by protesters carrying American flags and signs proclaiming “return to sender” as they screamed “go home” and chanted “U.S.A.” Fearing for the safety of the migrants and federal officers, immigration officials decided to reroute the buses to San Diego, an hour south.

After a Border Patrol official explained that more buses would probably arrive in Murrieta in the coming weeks as part of an attempt to relieve processing centers near the Texas border, one man took to the microphone and demanded to know: “Why do we have to put them on a bus to Murrieta? Why can’t we just transport them on a bus to Tijuana?” 

The crowd responded with thunderous applause.

I'm feeling pretty ashamed of some of my fellow Americans today. These are children who fleeing violence in Honduras and other Central American nations and this is what they get? Anger and hate?  What would Jesus Christ think of this? Christian nation my ass.

The one thing that gives me hope, though, is Steve Schmidt's prediction contained in the video below. It starts at the 4 minute mark.

Take note, Republicans. Keep up the hate and intolerance and you will end up like the California Republican party.

A regional party with zero fucking power.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Would Jesus Discriminate?

Sunday, June 15, 2014

I Guess You Can Find Jesus Anywhere

Sunday, June 08, 2014

A Sunday Reflection

Jesus recognized the need for blending opposites. He knew that his disciples would face a difficult and hostile world, where they would confront the recalcitrance of political officials and the intransigence of the protectors of the old order. He knew that they would meet cold and arrogant men whose hearts had been hardened by the long winter of traditionalism. ... And he gave them a formula for action, "Be ye therefore as wise as serpents, and harmless as doves." ... We must combine the toughness of the serpent with the softness of the dove, a tough mind and a tender heart.

--Dr. Martin Luther King, Strength to Love (1963) (Ch. 1 : A tough mind and a tender heart)

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Jesus and Hyperbole

I got an email recently with this link in it.

Jesus’ message is clear—it is impossible for anyone to be saved on his own merits. Since wealth was seen as proof of God’s approval, it was commonly taught by the rabbis that rich people were blessed by God and were, therefore, the most likely candidates for heaven. Jesus destroyed that notion, and along with it, the idea that anyone can earn eternal life. The disciples had the appropriate response to this startling statement. They were utterly amazed and asked, “Who then can be saved?” in the next verse. If the wealthy among them, which included the super-spiritual Pharisees and scribes, were unworthy of heaven, what hope was there for a poor man? 

Jesus’ answer is the basis of the gospel: "With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God" (Matthew 19:26). Men are saved through God’s gifts of grace, mercy, and faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). Nothing we do earns salvation for us. It is the poor in spirit who inherit the kingdom of God (Matthew 5:3), those who recognize their spiritual poverty and their utter inability to do anything to justify themselves to a holy God. The rich man so often is blind to his spiritual poverty because he is proud of his accomplishments and has contented himself with his wealth. He is as likely to humble himself before God as a camel is to crawl through the eye of a needle. 

Very well written.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Jesus Appears To Mary

A Curious Find

I had this link in my religion "to post" file and have no idea why. Perhaps it had something to do with people thinking that Paul is near to the same level as Jesus. A curious read nonetheless, especially the last line...

Considering how the quote in all its variants has been used primarily to ridicule the backwardness of unnamed Christians (a farmer, a pious deacon, and so forth) wary of new approaches to the Bible, I highly doubt Ma Ferguson ever said it — or if she did, she probably would have said it in self-effacing jest. My guess is that this was a free-floating bit of preacher humor that unfairly got attached to Ma Ferguson, much as Winston Churchill attracts various apocryphal witticisms.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

There God Dwells Among Men

Take a look at the photo below.

Compelling, isn't it?

This actually a sculpture at St. Alban's Episcopal, in Davidson, N.C titled "Jesus the Homeless." It's caused quite a bit of controversy, particularly due to the fact that St. Alban's is in such an affluent area and people either think it's a real person scumming up their town or they believe in Republican Jesus who worshiped money.

I think it sums up this verse perfectly..

Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.

John 13:34

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Jesus Was Married

A fragment of an ancient Egyptian papyrus known as the "Gospel of Jesus's Wife," unveiled in 2012, shows no evidence of being a modern forgery, as some critics had charged, according to an article published in the Harvard Theological ReviewCertainly, this will cause millions of bowels to be blown around our nation and indeed the world but I don't see how this changes anything.

Does it make Him less of the Son of God if He was married? No. He was a rabbi and there were no priests during that time that took vows of celibacy. He and His wife would stand as shining examples of a loving, committed relationship that should be emulated. After all, He spoke frequently of the evil of adultery and how couples should stay committed to one another. It seems now that He not only talked the talk but walked the walk and that illustrates just how perfect and deep his integrity ran.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Whither the Old Testament

Are we, as Christians, bound by Old Testament law? Conservative Christians sure like to think we are. This is largely because they enjoy the whole "sinners in the hands of an angry god" meme as it frightens them into abstaining from doing "naughty" things. But most Christians say that we aren't completely bound by them anymore and I am one of them. Of course, the Bible says two different things so it's up to each one of us to take the time to study the material and context of what is being said. This article breaks it down quite nicely.

Many traditional Christians have the view that only parts are applicable, many Protestants have the view that none is applicable, dual-covenant theologians have the view that only Noahide Laws apply to Gentiles, and a minority have the view that all are still applicable to believers in Jesus and the New Covenant.

The entire link identifies and describes the various views and has sublinks with well sourced material on the study of the meaning of the passages listed above. Take some time to read through all of it. It becomes clear rather quickly that the people who believe that all of the OT is still applicable are very much in the minority.

I fall into the category of only parts of the Old Covenant are applicable although it's interesting to note that there are many who believe none are. So, the Abrahamic Covenant, the Land Covenant, and the Davidic Covenant are out. An eye for an eye is now gone, as Christ directs in Matthew 5. All of the ceremonial laws are no longer applicable either.

But what about sin? The Old Testament clearly states that God punishes sinners. But with the New Covenant of Jesus, that is longer true. Take note of the verses used in this link. Look familiar?:)

Indeed, the father of Protestantism understood this very well. Martin Luther explained this as Justification by Faith. He wrote “Faith alone is the saving and efficacious use of the word of God.” He then looked to Romans Chapter 10, verse 9 as being absolutely fundamental for believers in Christianity. The passage states, “If you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” This was his justification of faith. One did not need to pay a penance for sins, whether through confession or indulgences, to get into heaven (recall that indulgences, or the paying of money or service to the church, was one of his major gripes with Catholicism). One simply needed to believe that Christ was God and that he was resurrected and then they would be saved. Luther explained justification this way in his Smalcald Articles:

The first and chief article is this: Jesus Christ, our God and Lord, died for our sins and was raised again for our justification (Romans 3:24-25). He alone is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29), and God has laid on Him the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:6). All have sinned and are justified freely, without their own works and merits, by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, in His blood (Romans 3:23-25). This is necessary to believe. This cannot be otherwise acquired or grasped by any work, law, or merit. Therefore, it is clear and certain that this faith alone justifies us...Nothing of this article can be yielded or surrendered, even though heaven and earth and everything else falls (Mark 13:31).

I bolded the parts that Christian conservatives seem to have trouble understanding in terms of sin, faith and confession. In framing the argument regarding indulgences in this way, Luther was able to remove the people that had inserted themselves between the common man and the Lord: the papacy. Interestingly, Christian conservatives have assumed the role of Pope these days, saying that they and only they are interpreting the Bible correctly. Luther had something to say about them as well.

…Every baptized Christian is a priest already, not by appointment or ordination from the Pope or any other man, but because Christ Himself has begotten him as a priest…in baptism.

What this means is that every man who is baptized and accepts Christ is no less a valid interpreter of the Bible than anyone else. All that is needed are the Five Solas. This launched a larger critique on the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church. In On Papal Power, Luther wrote “when the attempt is made to reprove them with the Scriptures, they raise the objection that only the pope may interpret the scriptures”  In the early 16th century, the pope had the final say on exactly what was meant by the scriptures, not Luther and certainly not the common man. Luther saw this, along with the authority to issue decrees and convening councils as theft, writing, “they have cunningly stolen our three rods from us, that they may go unpunished”

Further, Luther abhorred the decadence of the church, stating that they were hiding behind self created authority “so that they can practice all the knavery and wickedness which we see today” Luther’s teachings were a direct threat to Rome. If people simply looked to the Bible and got their faith “free” from God, with no intermediaries, how long would it take for the power of the papacy to erode? The flow of financial rewards to the church would ebb as well. Luther also challenged church authorities by asserting that there was no hierarchy leading up to God. All men were priests and equal in the eyes of God.

Thus, members of the clergy should not have special accommodations or privileges. Luther again...

Every baptized Christian is a priest already, not by appointment or ordination from the Pope or any other man, but because Christ Himself has begotten him as a priest…in baptism. (But) the preaching office is no more than a public service which happens to be conferred on someone by the entire congregation all the members of which are priests. 

The office of the priest is one that is democratically elected by all of the people, not by papal order. He is no more closer to God than anyone else. This is how Luther’s argument became a much broader threat to church leaders and led to deep erosion with them as well as the clergy. He laid the foundation for Protestantism which, at its core, rejects intermediaries or interpreters of what the Bible "really means."

If, at this point, Luther sounds very New Testament heavy, it's because he is. Recall the New Covenant

The Christian view of the New Covenant is a new relationship between God and humans mediated by Jesus which necessarily includes all people,both Jews and Gentiles, upon sincere declaration that one believes in Jesus Christ as Lord and God. The New Covenant also breaks the generational curse of the original sin on all children of Adam if they believe in Jesus Christ, after people are judged for their own sins, which is expected to happen with the second arrival of Jesus Christ. Thus as the Apostle Paul advises that the Mosaic Covenant of Sinai does not in itself prevent Jews from sinning and dying and is not given to Gentiles at all (only the Noahic covenant is unique in applying to all humanity), Christians believe the New Covenant ends the original sin and death for everyone who becomes a Christian and cannot simply be a renewal of the Mosaic Covenant since it seemingly accomplishes new things. 

New things indeed. This would be where the grace part comes into play. There was no grace in the OT but now there is with the sacrifice of Jesus.

So, we aren't really bound by parts of the Old Testament any longer. There are no sinners in the hands of an angry god. Since this is the case, it puts into question many OT ideas (see: homosexuality, noun, not mentioned in the Ten Commandments or by Jesus at all) and, thus, it follows logically that some of it is just wrong. As a people, we evolved culturally over the time period between the OT and the NT and grew spiritually.

Recall that Jesus said, "If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." This last one is His New Commandment, detailed in John 13: 33-35.

Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you. A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Seems pretty straight forward to me.

The Atheist and The Conservative Christian

In the space of about a week, I had an atheist and a conservative Christian tell me that in order to be a "true" Christian, I had to either believe all of the Bible or none of it. At first, this struck me as hilarious considering what polar opposites both of these individuals are. But then it made perfect sense because both of them are conservative which means the world is BLACK or WHITE and NEVER ANYTHING IN BETWEEN! Essentially, this means that they buy in to the myth that you have to believe in Republican Jesus to be a Christian.

The atheist is a buddy of mine with whom I have had many fantastic and sometimes contentious discussions about politics and religion. He is a dyed in the wool libertarian who wants the federal government out of every aspect of people's lives, save for the small, necessary things. He is very anti tax but pro choice, pro legalization of all drugs, doesn't give a shit about gay marriage or people's sex lives and wants the US military (of which he was a member for a few years) out of foreign countries.

The conservative Christian is Reverend Jim's wife, the first great love of my life. I've known her for nearly 30 years and, as she has gotten older, she has become more angry, afraid, and hateful of far too many things that go on in the world. In the course of commenting on my FB wall about the Phil Robertson flap, she said that believes every single thing in the Bible and told me that I have to believe all of it or none of it. When I posited that she does not believe every single thing in the Bible by asking her if she was subservient to her husband, she told me that the Bible told her to be submissive, not subservient, and then she went on to explain (to the horror of many of female friends) how she was just that. I politely informed her that being submissive and being subservient was the same thing and then went on to ask her she thought it was OK to sell her children into slavery. Or stone sinners. She stomped off the thread of the thread after that saying I was being silly so I guess she doesn't believe everything in the Bible.

A few days later, my atheist buddy said the same thing to me as did Reverend Jim's wife. "You aren't a Christian unless you believe all of the Bible," he declared.

"But there are parts that completely contradict each other so that's impossible," I replied.

"Exactly!" he declared. "So why bother believing in any of it?"

My buddy is clearly a baby and bathwater sort of fellow! So, I spend a few days lamenting both of their attitudes. All or nothing...what a crappy way to live your life.

But then I thought about the thirty verses of the Bible which state that women should be submissive to their husbands. These are great examples of how our society has moved past this male dominated view of sexual roles. It simply does not apply to today. Reverend Jim's wife represents a very small part of the Christian community in terms of this belief. Even the most hard core conservative Christians don't treat women the way the Bible allows. Are these millions of women "fake" Christians? Obviously not. Even by her own standards, she is as well.

Homosexuality, mentioned far less than wives being submissive to their husbands, is another example of how our culture has changed. The people of that time viewed it as taboo and learned behavior. Today, we can see that people are born that way and the question we need to ask ourselves is this: if God is so against homosexuals, why does S/He keep making them?

Getting back to my atheist buddy, it's ironic that he is an atheist because he generally lives by Christian principles. He does unto others, is generally peaceful, follows many of Christ's teachings, and actually looks like the westernized image of Jesus, complete with long flowing locks of hair! On a whim, he got ordained as a minister after answering an ad in the back of Rolling Stone. So, there is some spiritual hope for him. Whether he wants to admit it or not, Christianity has had a profound effect on his life. The basis for it is still the bedrock of our society with the New Commandment being something we all try still try to achieve. Why would you want to throw out the notion of loving one another just because of the logical contradictions that occur when cultures evolve?

Now I see the true irony of each of their statements. Neither one of them live up to their self imposed rigidity. She is less of a Christian then she believes and he is more of one. Perhaps they are pissed at themselves for compromising their ideals. After all, the Bible says we shouldn't believe everything.

Proverbs 14:15 The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.

Proverbs 26:25 When he speaketh fair, believe him not: for there are seven abominations in his heart. 

1 Thessalonians 5:21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. 

1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.