Caught In Sin But Already Forgiven

I’m starting to see that the story of the woman caught in adultery is one of the most influential stories in the bible…at least to me. It has been a story that has always caused people to reflect on themselves, putting themselves in the place of the stone throwers. This is always good. We need to critique ourselves. We need to be honest with ourselvesjesus-woman-in-adultery to the point that we become better at being kind to others….wanting what’s best for others. It’s the whole body that thrives as we share each others burdens that makes this all work. When we make it all about how righteous we are, how well I obey God, or that we are going to heaven when we die, then we make it very exclusive and we shun those who are on the outside. We see crazy examples like Westboro Baptist that show how our doctrines can actually destroy others through righteous exclusivity. If you go to a church out of obedience to God, that’s where it can start. That “I’m righteous because I’m obedient” attitude grows in us when it’s fed by the pastors that enable it from the pulpit. This is what we must critique in ourselves…the ability to exclude which tears us from the body. Our ability to want to pick up the stone and throw it is real…our obedience to our doctrines justifies the cutting off of another from the body. We feel vindicated to cut the branch off the vine in the name of God….as if God is demanding it. But God is not!

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Love Transcends Space, Time, and Law

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.images 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?
Cooper: None.
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…

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Jesus showed who his Father is…by not “Grasping”

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, god_is_love_by_riikardo-d70clskwhich 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””

The Non-Violent Love of Jesus

These are famous words from Jesus,

“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. 44 But fire-love-images-background-hd-wallpaperI say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! 45 In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. 46 If you love only those who love you, what reward is there for that? Even corrupt tax collectors do that much. 47 If you are kind only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even pagans do that. 48 But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.” – Matthew 5

Not only are these words famous, they are virtually non-existent in Christianity today. How you ask? Look at the religious world around you. Do you not see it? Churches supporting politicians thinking that passing laws will ensure righteousness, pastors campaigning for certain issues  to preserve their religious institutions out of fear that degrade and belittle people, congregations praying for God to destroy their enemy in wars as if their position is the right one, and….the big one….denominations fighting against other denominations over who has a better understanding of God, which is pride and arrogance. Do we see love coming from us as christians or do we see hatred and accusations? You know…”to prove I’m right and your wrong about God”.

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It’s Artificial….That’s Why!

We have seen so many people talking about how the youth of America are leaving the church, they don’t want to be there, or they don’t want to be called christian. Yet they still want to know God. We have an issue at hand that many in the religious institutions are willing to talk about but always point the finger and never look in the mirror. Unfortunately, the religious institutions very well could be creating this problem and the problem starts with the experience at these churches…and the experiences are just that…Experiences! imagesIt’s the realization that the experience leaves reality and enters into the artificial. Why? Because an artificial experience can be used to create, mold, and shape people and also bring about the desires of those in leadership at the religious institutions. At the forefront of the leadership is preservation. Preservation is the number one driver of the artificial experience at churches….it’s the desire to survive. The desire to be important. The desire to be famous. The desire to be relevant. The desire of the people to commit to what the leader’s vision and mission are. The desire to find wholeness that comes from people and not Christ. And this is what the youth today see right through.

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