This past election cycle has been crazy. You could put it all under a circus tent because it literally is like a circus on reality TV. Maybe past elections have been like this and I just didn’t realize it….But it’s been crazy. The idea of “fake news” and “alternative facts” have been thrown out there in the last few month or so. This has all been very alarming to me. Why? Because people are taking sides in this big mess when I think it’s safe to say that we have no clue what’s actually going on. Yet we are dogmatic on our politicians and their confusing stances on policy. Just recently , Donald Trump said that “healthcare will be accessible to everyone” when on the campaign trail he said it would be provided for everyone. That’s a big difference and a big deal. They are not the same things…Yet those who champion Trump will not be shaken even though the facts have been alluded. Continue reading “Fake News? What About Fake Religion?”
Easter just passed us by and it is the time of year that we reflect on Life….that the life of Jesus was resurrected from the dead. Along with that, we also recognize that Jesus died first, or course, to make a resurrection possible. So, it’s this time of year that people ask questions surrounding the Atonement of Christ. I have questioned the Atonement for years…never coming to any exact answer, but always asking the hard questions. One big questions I have had for many years is, “why does anyone have to die?” See, we have verses like Jeremiah 3:27 that says, “Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?” Or Luke 18:27 saying, “What is impossible with men is possible with God“. I mention these verses because we give all the power to God, yet the first problem with all the theories of Atonement is that God is in a box and has to do something….that he is beyond the ability to work outside of a perceived view of justice. I say “perceived” because I see that all the theories of Atonement seemed to be built on a man made foundation of our idea of what justice should be. Yet, the entire religion of Christianity is built on the premise that Jesus died to deal with the justice that God deserves….or demands….or wants. A sacrifice needed to be made to reconcile our sin with God’s righteousness. What if God’s idea of justice is different?
Continue reading “Atonement Theory”
The movie Interstellar is well thought out and is spectacular to watch. One conversation just floored me when I saw this movie…it made me think about Love from a new point of view for the first time. Start asking your own questions about Love and what it really means.
I loved the movie Interstellar. I thought the movie was well thought out and the filmography was spectacular to watch. I was completely engulfed in the movie from the start and I was thrown out the end of the movie thinking how small we are in such a vast universe. One conversation just floored me when I saw this movie…it made me think about Love from a new point of view for the first time. In this scene, the conversation is between Cooper and Dr. Brand on the Endurance space craft as they are deciding which move to make next. What Dr Brand says is what was so eye opening to me. Dr. Brand is in love with a college that is on a potential planet for them to visit to see if it will sustain life. Cooper is letting all those involved in the decision to know that Dr. Brand may be driven by love, instead of science alone, for the college on one of the potential planets. The conversation goes like this…
Cooper: She’s in love with Wolf Edmunds.
Romilly: Is that true?
Brand: Yes. And that makes me want to follow my heart. But maybe we’ve spent too long trying to figure all this out with theory.
Cooper: You’re a scientist, Brand.
Brand: So listen to me, when I say that love isn’t something we invented, it’s observable, powerful. It has to mean something.
Cooper: Love has meaning, yes, social utility, social bonding, child rearing…
Brand: We love people who have died, where’s the social utility in that?
Brand: But maybe it means something more, something we can’t yet understand. Maybe it’s some evidence, some artifact of a higher dimension that we can’t consciously perceive. I’m drawn across the universe to someone I haven’t seen in a decade. Who, I know, is probably dead. Love is the one thing we’re capable of perceiving that transcends dimensions of time and space. Maybe we should trust that, even if we can’t understand it yet.
This quick conversation has hit the nail on the head when it comes to why we, as humans, even see, or desire, the stories of Jesus to be true. Even though it is hard to understand…we want the stories to be true because we truly desire for something out there, greater than ourselves, to know we exist…to know we have feelings….to know that we matter and have value…..we want to know that we can be saved. We want to know where we came from and we want to be loved. I have faith there is something out there….and it is has to be Love…and it transcends all space and time, yet we can perceive it and experience it. In addition, and more importantly, Love transcends Law….the very Law we use to condemn others to the judgement of God. Did Jesus show this Love in his life? Is Love a powerful force….the most powerful force in the universe? Is God that eternally powerful force that transcends space, time, Law, and everything else that could possibly be knowable? Let’s explore this a little more…
If Jesus is the exact representation of God, then God is not only nonviolent, but God does not grasp to be more than he should be. Read this article to see that God loves you more than himself and start asking your own questions.
If Jesus is the exact representation of God (Heb 1:3), then God is not only nonviolent, but God does not grasp to be more than he should be. Some would ask, “why would God grasp at anything when he is almighty, all powerful, and everywhere at the same time?” This is an excellent question, but what I would like to propose is that God thinks more about you than he does about himself. Or better yet, God thinks you are more important than himself. That’s a big statement….and I truly think it is possible when we see Jesus representing “God’s very nature”. The verses I will focus on are again in Phil 2, which say,
“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”
I mentioned in the two previous articles that grasping and Love are antonyms. They cannot be more different than each other in terms of how Paul is describing Jesus in Philippians 2. What follows is that, if Jesus is God, then God also does not grasp…for selfish gain over any aspect of creation. If Jesus has emptied himself, so has God. If Jesus is a bond-servant, then so is the Father. If Jesus is obedient to the Father to the point of death, then the Father is obedient to Love to the point of being completely emptied of all conceit and selfish desire to be with Jesus on the cross (2 Cor 5:17-19). Continue reading “Jesus showed who his Father is…by not “Grasping””
In my last article, I gave my thoughts on how Jesus did not “grasp” for relevance but knew that Love is the only true revelation of the Father. The idea is presented by Paul in Philippians 2: 1-11, but specifically verse 5 saying,
“Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.”
Most people, in my past experience in churches, would say that Jesus shed his divine nature to become human. I do not believe that this is the best interpretation of what Paul is saying here. In an amazing book called Inhabiting the Cruciform God: Kenosis, Justification, and Theosis in Paul’s Narrative Soteriology, The author, Michael J. Gorman, makes an excellent point that Paul is saying that Jesus, who empties himself of all conceit and selfish ambition, is showing that this is who God is….The very divine nature of God is “self-emptying”, or Kenotic. This makes so much more sense to me, when reading the Bible, than a lot of traditional interpretations of Protestant Theology. God gives of himself…he shows us the exact definition of Love. The kicker is, a lot of our definitions of love are the exact opposite of the kenosis of Jesus in his life and on the cross. Maybe our thoughts on love and who God is are rooted more in our ideas of who we want God to be? Just think about it….
Ok…. This is a big deal. Read it and think about it. All followers of Christ need to see the setting and culture they find themselves in.
When sin entered the world through lust man became separated from God, and because of that separation we have inherited a false value system. Thankfully, Jesus came to restore us to a true value system. Now when we are in union with God through Christ we can share His desires and we can identify what is truly valuable.
In the beginning Eve was deceived into desiring something that she didn’t need. There was no true value in the forbidden fruit. It wasn’t filling an empty part of her soul. She was already complete and had everything through her relationship with her Creator. Yet she was deceived into believing that the Lord had been holding something good back from her and keeping her from reaching her full potential. She saw VALUE in that fruit, and so she took of it and ate.
“And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being…
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Great thoughts on the Kingdom of God and how the poor become rich.