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Through a close friend, I’ve recently been allowed a glimpse into world of the Anonymous Recovery Groups, and while it is one of these groups’ principles not to rely on advertisement to flourish, I would like to share some thoughts and lessons I’ve gleaned from my acquaintance with them, and from my many discussions with my friend about them.

As Christians, it has been drilled into us that it is expedient to do whatever we do in the name of Christ, and it is my belief that salvation from our sins and death is found in no other, as the Bible states.
Yet here is a program that seems to be accomplishing a world of good, yet without calling it “Christian” or associating it with Jesus, even accomplishing the salvation of tens of thousands from physical addictions, but also what one might call spiritual problems, even if this may be a slightly different matter than the spiritual Salvation the Bible refers to.

The honesty, openness and depth of conversation within these groups is something I don’t think I’ve ever experienced in a church or even during Home gatherings, meetings or in Bible groups. After all, Christians are usually people who have their act somewhat together, at least more, on a general scale, than those that attend Anonymous groups. Having a common problem that provides a common basis for Anonymous group members to come together presents – from my point of view – an advantage that many churches and Christian movements don’t: the humility, the readiness to open themselves concerning a weakness, thus ready to attack sin head on in a way one will hardly ever find in a church where people often play a masquerade for years, one hardly ever gets to know their brethren on a truly personal level, and all that connects one another is the fact that they just listened to the same sermon, sang a few of the same songs, etc.

The question I’ve had to ask myself as a Christian was, is it possible that God instigates movements on earth that may not be able to be defined clearly as Christian? Apparently, yes. Is it possible that these non-Christian movements can sometimes bring forth more and somewhat even perhaps better fruit than some obvious Christian movement or church? Apparently, yes.
It reminded me of the passage in which Jesus talks about those who prophesied in His name, cast out devils in His name, etc., (and mind you, one has to be a Spirit-filled and born again Christian, in order to cast out devils!), and yet telling them, “I never knew you.” Yet in another passage welcoming those who all they ever did was visit the prisoners, care for the sick, feed the hungry, no matter in whose name.
Apparently Jesus does not mind whether what we do we do in His name as much as whether what we do is the right thing to do.
Obviously, a lot of wrongs have already been committed in His name, as it is. Apparently God is more concerned about genuinely helping people than He is about the advertisement, and whether it was done on His behalf or not.

Imagine you were God and had to watch how people slaughtered each other by the millions for millennia on His behalf… Wouldn’t you be glad if someone eventually came around who gave you a break and just did something good, no matter in whose name, or in no one’s name in particular?

Yes, the name of Jesus is important and powerful, and it is our duty to spread the good news that He indeed saves. But apparently there is something even more important in God’s eyes than what we say and preach, and that is what we do.
God seems to avail Himself of any program that works, and the 12-Steps programs have proven to work in millions of changed lives around the world, and God doesn’t seem to care much whether this has been accomplished under the flag of Christianity.
If a program works, you’ll use it. You install it, run it and enjoy the benefits. Totally regardless of whatever it says on the package, or what brand name it is.

One would have to ask themselves to what extent Christ Himself would consider Himself a Christian, if He were to walk among us today. Maybe in the light of all that’s being said and done in His name, He might even prefer to remain anonymous.

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Being a politically correct Christian with a politically correct God and Christ these days means to refrain from separatist tirades indicating that there should be any sort of division between true believers – Christ’s genuine disciples, and the rest of the world.
“The world,” that mass of people Jesus told His disciples they were not a part of, if existent at all, are always the Hottentots in far-off countries who wouldn’t be able to afford our bestsellers on Pop-Spirituality in the 21st century anyways.

So, let me be politically incorrect here once again and heat up the old forgotten and despised doctrine of John 15:19 and harp a little bit on that: Is there such a thing as “the world” in the sense of something we should not be part of, if we call ourselves followers of the Maker of that statement, or is it just a myth, and we’re all so super goodie-good and moving toward the point of enlightenment in our evolution which will usher in universal peace without the Almighty having to resort to any of the drastic measures He announced in the portions of His Book that are carefully being avoided by popular Christian authors?

Of course, it’s natural to want to erase any existing lines of division between yourself and your target audience when that audience is supposed to eke out 30 bucks for your latest compilation of divine wisdom. But are those potential readers really being helped and enlightened by the illusion that all is at peace, the Devil’s on vacation and there is no actual spiritual warfare going on?

Progress, in the eyes of the liberal, widely accepted brand of the Christian faith, seems to be equivalent with the eradication of any and all lines of separation between them and the world, and thus it’s being drilled into our minds for the umpteenth time that “We are,” indeed, “the world…”

But ignoring innumerable wrongs still won’t make a single right, and remaining silent about some of the qualities of the world may easily put us on the side of the enemy camp, as far as God is concerned, no matter how vocally we may be rooting for “Christianity.”

Personally, I think I’d rather watch “Matrix” one more time, for some inside scoop of what’s really going on.

One of the reasons why I do believe in the existence of such a thing Jesus called “the world” (that I don’t feel I belong to), is that I have found out that there is, in fact, also a distinction between lies and truth.
Now, for many folks in our success-oriented world, that distinction is nearly non-existent. They’re so used to lying, they can’t tell the difference anymore.
It wouldn’t occur to them to call anything their political leader or anyone says on TV or anywhere, for that matter, an untruth or a lie, because it would mean that they would have to be more careful about their own truthfulness (or lack thereof), and who wants to pay that sort of a price?

So if mass murderers like Charles Manson or warmongering Nobel peace prize winning presidents (see why you can’t be serious about being part of this world?) want to go on and on about how much they love Jesus, we’re all cool with it, because that sort of hypocrisy is what we call “freedom” here, in the liberated West, and watch out, we’re soon coming to a town near you to liberate you, too!

When Christians talk about “the world,” it’s usually in the context of John 3:16 to let everybody know how much God loved the world, no matter how haywire it had gone.
But we ignore the admonition of that same John a little later in the Bible for us not to love the world, nor the things in it.

That’s a lot harder message to preach, brother, and if you do, just wait and see how many books you’ll be selling then!

I like the way Bethany Dillon put it in one of her songs, “Aimless,” (and I strongly hope that she still knows what she was singing about):

“They’ve always known this wasn’t home.”

I’ve always known this wasn’t home.

How about you?

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Painful reminders that not all that glitters is gold...

Painful reminders that not all that glitters is gold...

Probably one of the greatest deceptions taking place in our times is the illusion of change, and I’m not just talking about the Obama administration, although it’s definitely a perfect example of it.

In order to create the illusion of change, some actual change has to take place, but only on the surface.

And it’s true, on the surface, things have changed a lot over the past 100 years: our ways of getting from point A to B, our methods of communicating, or keeping ourselves fed, clothed and entertained.

However, no substantial change has taken place in the deep motivations of mankind for our actions, no significant change of heart.

We’re still ruled by the same fears and lusts as our ancestors of all times. We just think we are superior because we have changed on the surface.

You put a remote control into a man’s hand instead of a plow or shovel, and he’ll think he’s “evolved.”
– Or a machine gun instead of a sword, and he may think he’s come a long way. But the end result is the same.
You put a black face on the President, and at first everyone is awed: We’ve certainly never seen THAT before, nor did we ever think we were going to live to see it, but when it’s just the same stupid white men pressing the buttons on his remote control who controlled the last puppet, it’s “Meet the new boss – same as the old boss…

That’s what stinks about organized Christianity, also increasingly referred to as “Churchianity:” It totally misses the drift of its supposed Founder. Christianity as it is has become a force for conservatism in this world, when its original Founder was and is the total and absolute opposite.
What Jesus was and is and will always represent in this world of phony changes, is total Revolution, and total break with the decaying, sinful ways and attitudes of man, which haven’t changed a bit since Adam and Eve, except that they’ve gotten worse, similar to the condition of a carcass over time.

If He is the Life, we are the dead. If He is the Way, we’ve been certainly going in the opposite direction. If He’s the Truth, then most of what you will hear from us, the pride and glory of civilization, is the opposite. Just turn on the TV and count the lies you will hear within 30 minutes. Providing you are still able to discern between truth and lies. You’ll get the drift.

So, change has happened, alright: the lies have become more and bigger. The condition of the carcass humanity has worsened. However we’re more delusional than ever in our perception of ourselves as the greatest thing to ever have happened on God’s earth. Until perhaps we catch an accidental glimpse of the 40.000 people we allow to starve each and every day right in front of our noses, just to make sure there’ll be enough left for us tomorrow…

So, you may buy into all the hype and rah-rah of progress, advance and the glories of mankind, I don’t buy it. As Dylan once put it:

“So, sing your praise of progress
and of the doom machine
the naked truth is still taboo
whenever it can be seen.”

What’s worst about the illusion of change is that it makes us think we don’t need any real change.
What’s worst about the illusion of health is that it makes us think we don’t need the Doctor.
What’s worst about our oh so great perception of ourselves, is that we’ll never realize just how badly we need Somebody to drag us out of our mess.

What’s worst about Satan’s puppets acting like all the saviors we ever needed is that we’ll never realize how badly we need Jesus.

What’s worst about our blindness is that we actually think we see.

Thus is the deadly venom of the illusion of change.

Saint John’s visions of the coming leader of the New World Order, commonly referred to as the Antichrist (with reference to his intentions and philosophical inclinations, thus leading to the conclusion that he could not be the Pope), strongly indicate that he will be the culmination of all previous world empires rolled into one, from ancient Egypt to Rome. In other words, even though he may be availing himself of every hi-tech facility thinkable in order to control, enslave and terrorize his global subjects, underneath, it’s going to be the same barbaric and tyrannical spirit as always.

The only One actually ever effecting REAL change in the course of history will be Jesus.

He may have subtly done so during His first coming.

It will be significantly less subtly during the next.

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I’ve been thinking a bit more about James Cameron and his apparently opposing stance toward Christianity, as conveyed through his last two motion pictures, and – although I don’t know much about his ideological background – thought I’d have to say a few more things in his defense and perhaps of others like him:

The keyword is Bush. What makes the whole matter of trying to save the face of Christianity a Sisyphus task is the fact that George Bush claimed to be a Christian (whether he still does is irrelevant, since his decisions do no longer determine the lives and deaths of millions), and posed as one of Christianity’s most stout defenders and protagonists.

I’m just wondering whether we, as Christians, should just willingly accept any type of famous personality and figure of power to speak for all of us, when a little bit of healthy discernment might have easily alarmed us that something about his actions did not jibe with his words (much as is the case with the current President, but without all the embarrassing pseudo-religious ado about it).

Now, Christianity already had bad cards in the eyes of a largely brainwashed public who’s been hearing and reading the same old stuff about the crusades, the inquisition, Catholic child abuse, weird Christian cults, etc., etc. for decades, but George Bush was just about the straw that broke the camel’s back. (The camel being Christianity’s image in the world).

Anybody with half a brain and enough wits to put two and two together could figure out that if Christianity was the religion that someone like George Bush professed to be a champion of, then it had to be the epitome of evil.

I mean, who wants to go to Heaven with the prospect of folks like that up there, right?

The other problem being that the vast majority of Christians worldwide swallowed the bait and believed all the books that came out about how George Bush was the man who brought faith into the White House, etc.

But as I have stated before, Christians often make the grave mistake of underestimating their Enemy. It would never occur to them to what lengths the Devil goes in order to fool them, not until it’s way too late.

The camouflage is so perfect, that some now even see him as the good guy, and Obama as the bad guy who wrecked the country since he’s in office, when there is really no difference at all between Bush and Obama, except that Obama can do without all the Pseudo-Christian ado…

God is not the author of confusion, but the other guy, who is the author of confusion, is doing a magnificent job here. Though it doesn’t really take brains as much as sticking to what Jesus said and a little bit of the Holy Ghost to be able to look through the facade. That again, is a price too high to pay for most believers. And as long as that’s the case, there will always be folks like James Cameron who will come across a lot more like the good guys than all those gun-totin’ “Christians.”

The problem is they haven’t recognized their real enemy, and while they’re staring into the high noon sun, struttin’ out into the street to lay down their supposed opponent with one swift blow from the hip, their real enemy is shooting them in the back from the roof… Having learned nothing from a century of Hollywood tutoring…

Instead of spending trillions on blasting third world countries back to Kingdom come, they should have invested a little more in the sort of weaponry that really makes a difference: the white-hot sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, and some of those gifts of the Spirit like discernment, and some live communication with their true Commander-In Chief, Who could have told them that the phony they’re sacrificing their sons for is a fake…

By their fruits ye shall know them. And the sad testimony in all this is, that those who don’t share our faith sometimes have greater discernment and a better sense to distinguish between good fruit and a rotter than we do.

Here’s a link to an article from 2008 that paints a different picture than the icon of “St. George W.” we’re all supposed to fall for:

http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/books/book_extracts/article3255937.ece

Anybody can say they’re “saved.” – So did Charles Manson. What greater damage could a Satanist inflict on the body of Christianity than to pretend that He loves Jesus?

Let’s face it: More than once in history has the Devil availed himself of “Christians”…

There are some friends you wouldn’t want to have. Even if they were the President of the United States of America!

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Furry Ancestors More Likable than Grumpy Christians?

Furry Ancestors More Likable than Grumpy Christians?

The problem with much of the church is, that it causes much of the rest of mankind to prefer to seek not only the company, but even relation with the animal world over stiff, self-righteous and dogmatic human behavior, as is portrayed vividly by the statement of the evolutionist Joseph Hooker (one of Darwin’s associates) during a scientific debate at Oxford University in 1860, regarding his opponent, Bishop Samuel Wilberforce: “I would rather have a monkey for a grandfather than such a man as this!”

As long as Christians make the rest of the world run to the jungle for solace and the smallest trace of kindness to be found, we will always have bad cards. The greatest tragedy about all this is the fact that Jesus was actually leading the way into that jungle of the basic needs of humanity, but that over the centuries, His followers largely preferred to walk in the footsteps of His enemies, the self-righteous religious Scribes and Pharisees, who were ultimately responsible for His death (since the worldly Governor Pilate would have gladly preferred to let Him go).

I’m not writing this in order to repeatedly wave my finger at the churches, but because I still catch myself occasionally displaying Pharisaical behavior toward others with different views and opinions than my own, and if it happens to me, as unorthodox, non-traditional, anti-ritual and marginalized a believer as I am, then I can only figure that woe is us, if we all have such difficulties to really live the essence of what our God stands for (namely love), and keep falling into the traps of the old school of self-righteous religiosity.

Much of the point I’m trying to make throughout this blog is that we, Christians, have to radically adapt our act and behavior toward the rest of the world, if we want to stand a chance to survive what’s coming at us.

We need to learn to love our enemies, as Jesus said, instead of killing them.

Otherwise, history will expose the whole lot of us as hypocrites, which has already happened to a lot of our “brethren” from all sorts of denominations throughout time…

We’ve got to become real and the Real Thing, and start developing a taste for the truth, instead of joining the rest of the Corporate World climbing up its ladder in which each step is a lie that promises us another advantage over our competitors.

We need to learn that Jesus wasn’t here to start a business. At least none in which we were supposed to try to outsmart and out-finance each other. We are in a competition, alright, but for souls, not for money, and the guy we’re supposedly competing against, is unfortunately sitting right in our living rooms most of the time, instead of hiding out in the desert sand where we suspect him.

We’re not going to lick the Devil with his own weapons. A lie was never an efficient cure for another lie.

Lies are the weapons of our opponent that enable him to keep us all hanging in cages above a pitch black bottomless abyss while dwelling in the illusion that we’re soaring into a blue sky of freedom with puffy white clouds, birds a-chirping and Britney Spears singing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” in a school uniform with an extra short skirt.

The only remedy we’ve got against the global pandemic addiction to Satan’s lies is the truth.

And unless we’re willing to change our diet from blue pills to red, we’re not seriously going to free anyone else, either, but just offer them another cage, another little matrix based on lies with a little bit of truth mixed in for sugar-coating.

Yes, that red pill is going to be bitter. It may even cause you to throw up in the process and shock the hell out of you.

But it’s also the only real alternative to the abyss, the emptiness, and the label that is going to stick with us to some extent possibly for the rest of eternity, if we don’t choose truth: “Hypocrite!”

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We just watched “Avatar,” and against my expectations, based on Christian reviews and articles I had read about it over the past weeks, I really liked it.

Basically, we just watched it for our daughter’s sake, with the usual, “for whatever it’s worth attitude,” but I guess I’m too much of a nature freak myself to have disliked this movie, and I would like to express some thoughts here about where I’m afraid Corporate Christendom is mistaken in most of its mainstream interpretations of the film.

I’m not too naive to not see the obvious “Gaya” message here. But if wanting to save the Earth is “New Age”, then I have shocking news for you: God is New Age, too:

“And the nations were angry, and Thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that Thou shouldest give reward unto Thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear Thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth” (Revelation 11:18).

God happens to love this blue ball, and He apparently does not like the kind of folks who destroy it, regardless of whether they do it in the name of red-white-and-blue flag waving Churchianity or not.

Oh, so there was talk of spirits in the movie. Real scary. They’re alive! What a shocker!

The problem with Corporate Christianity is, they like to deep freeze everything: they like to deep freeze the white-hot Spirit of God, if they can, to keep everyone cool and calm in the churches, lest anyone start any revolutionary fires out there, that the Big Holy Corporation couldn’t control… They like to believe that the minute you’re dead, you’re first going into a state of spiritual deep-freeze so you can’t spook around and haunt anybody, but that’s not what we can glean from the Bible: We have accounts of the spirit of the prophet Samuel, of Elias, Moses, and a cloud of witnesses alive and kicking from beyond the grave, and God turning the hearts of the sons to their fathers. We have a Savior claiming to be the Resurrection and the Life and that whoever believes in Him, would never die, and yet we’ve got all of His supposed “followers” scared stiff of the mere utterance of the word “spirit.”

Sure, the “worship” scenes were a bit weird. But not any weirder than some Pentecostal worship scenes you can watch on Youtube…

Then there are the painfully embarrassing parallels in the story of “Avatar” between the Na’vi (“Natives”?) and not only the American Natives who suffered a similar fate (except for the happy ending), but every native tribe on the face of God’s earth who simply had to be pressed into the same civilized molds they reared us in, otherwise they were not allowed to continue to live: “Become like us, or die” seems to be the interpretation of the Gospel since the birth of the Corporate and officially recognized and state-supported version of Christianity roughly 1700 years ago.

And of course, the even more painful parallels between the victims in the movie and the real live victims of 21st century Christendom: “Whoever is sitting on something you want must become your enemy…” Ouch! Better keep praying for our boys to help our generals haul all that Iraqi Oil on Home to Daddy, where it belongs…

There was an article out a few weeks ago about young people being depressed after watching “Avatar” because they would prefer to live in a world like “Pandora”…

Well, can you blame’em? Maybe they just got sick of gray! Maybe they prefer green to the color of concrete. Maybe they’re sick and tired of the plastic world you’re handing them!

And apparently you haven’t managed to convince them yet that the Place the Christian God has in store for His believers is actually real, or really where it’s happening. Perhaps, if they figure you’re going to be there, walking around in your suit and singing those humdrum holier than thou songs, they couldn’t possibly imagine they’re going to be happy there.

Personally, my own idea of my favorite spot in Heaven is a lot more like the Home of the Na’vi than a church building. Chalk it up to my early “Tarzan” influences (since I devoured a bunch of antiquated Edgar Rice Burroughs tomes in my childhood), but I always thought it would be cool to have a home in a gigantic tree…

Maybe yours is all streets of gold lined with one church building next to another, just like in Tennessee…

But who says that Heaven has to look exactly the same everywhere? Last I heard, it’s a mighty big Place.

I also have no problem with the teaching that God is everywhere and in all living things. I think of Him as being a lot more inclusive than that warmongering, genocidal, separatist version of Christianity that has always preferred its own philosophy of “kill whatever is different” over its supposed Founder’s order, “Love your enemies!”

– The argument, of course, being, “Well, who knows what would have happened, if we would have loved our enemies, instead of killing them?”

I guess God knows. Maybe some day He’ll show all of us what might have happened if the American Natives would have been allowed to continue their existence prior to their extermination, and what Christians might have learned from some of them. Or what if one and a half million Iraqis wouldn’t have been ransacked on grounds of some very shady excuses…

I know it’s tough, learning to love those who are different. We even resist our own children and their weird inklings to want to watch weird movies like that… (Not to mention our wives’ sudden inspirations like wanting to get a dog and open up a tattoo shop…)

We must preserve our own values.

Funny thing is that Jesus’ message was never about preservation, but much more about “Give it up!”

But that’s not something we’re willing to do. Not for Him, and certainly not for “mother earth.”

We insist on keeping driving our “the-fatter-the-better” cars, and we insist on being the champions of the world.

We can’t grant “the others” the slightest chance of ever becoming a threat to us. We’ve got to make sure we remain no.1 “for the sake of the gospel…”

Well, you know my opinion about that type of Gospel.

I suppose a lot of Christians would consider me a traitor the way Jake Sully, the character who tells the Avatar story, was perceived as having betrayed “his own…”

Who would you rather fight for? – A bunch of corporate warmongers, or any peaceful, though perhaps somewhat strange and foreign culture in touch with nature?

I know, you don’t think you could ever make it without all your high-tech toys and your fancy Western life-style, but why not be honest about it and admit that you’re having a problem, and it’s not “the others”? Maybe they only have a weird religion because in their eyes, yours is even weirder!

Maybe Mohammed wouldn’t have even had to cook up Islam, if Christians wouldn’t have been such a pitiful bunch of idolaters at the time he came around…

Why not be honest and confess that it’s we who are sick, totally addicted and hooked on some shiny temptation that looks almost exactly like the real thing, but on the inside is a far cry from it?

Maybe the enemies of Christianity wouldn’t have had to cook up their own New Age religion if Christians wouldn’t always fall so badly for every shiny temptations their real Enemy comes up with… If we wouldn’t fall for him time and time and time and time again…

(Coincidentally, maybe Adam Weishaupt never would have founded the Illuminati if the church had allowed him to marry his deceased wife’s sister…)

Our credo remains, “We have declared terror on terror.” – Hmmm.

Who are the real terrorists, though?

I guess we’ll all know, someday. And a lot of people are going to be in for a shock, when the Dude in whose name they did all that killing is going to pretend as if He never even knew them…

Maybe they never even knew Him. Maybe all they ever worshiped was an idea of Him that couldn’t have been further from the truth.

Maybe the truth is somewhere a lot closer to the middle between those “tree-huggers” and the “conquistadores” who want to fell every last tree in the name of progress and enlightenment than most of our conservative brethren would ever have the guts or imagination to consider…

If you ask me, I’d rather be on the side of the victims than on that of the butchers. At least they know how to fight for real, know how to die, and what they’re dying for.

Maybe our God is going to turn out being quite the totally “Other” than ourselves: A God Who not only loves the “good,” the rich and the beautiful, but also the weird, the bad & the ugly, and that He would have wanted us to walk a little more in His shoes, if we were already calling ourselves by His Son’s name, and loved “the least of our brethren” a little more, instead of butchering them by the millions…

One really neat thing that was said in the movie was, “You can’t fill a vessel that’s already full.” — There’s more wisdom in that, and more truth about the reality of Christendom than you’ll ever hear in a thousand sermons. It’s basically the same thing Jesus said to the Pharisees: “If you knew you were blind, you wouldn’t be to blame, but because you think you see….”

When we stop learning and all we want to do is convert everybody to our way of seeing things, something terrible has begun to happen.

You start missing the very purpose for which you were born on this earth. You start seeing everybody who’s different and doesn’t think and act exactly the same as you do as an enemy, instead of saying, “I see you.”

Sure, it’s a terrible thing that a lot of our youth are seeing Gaya worship and New Age as a more attractive alternative to your religion. But maybe it’s because they never really needed a religion as much as they needed the truth, and we must all sincerely ask ourselves whether that’s really what we wanted and were looking for and have found – or did we settle for half-truths mixed with convenient lies?

We wouldn’t have been the only ones.

It has always happened, since the beginning of time, even to people way more perfect than we ever were, made straight in the image of God…

I agree that James Cameron is sincerely mistaken about a few of his views, such as stated in his “Lost Tomb of Jesus” documentary, or in the apparent assumption that Arnold Schwarzenegger is or has ever been anything close to a good actor (although his acting career definitely supersedes the political).

He’s probably going to get his surprises, too, at the end of life’s road…

But I can also see his point. If Jesus was anything like the majority of His followers portray Him, I’d have changed over to the “Gaya” camp long ago, too.

I love my enemy enough to be able to learn from him. Unfortunately, sometimes I have the impression that there’s more to learn from some of our enemies than we can from our supposed friends.

It wasn’t the Romans who were bent on crucifying Jesus, but His own religious leaders…

When will we ever learn?

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There are some passages in the Bible that don’t make much sense to the average, main stream believer, and only start making sense to you if you mean serious business about following God. As a result, as I’ve brought out before, most Christians choose to ignore them.
The average church goer does not know what it is to be persecuted, maligned or slandered for their faith, nor even of the division that Jesus has been known to bring to people, even among families. If, however, you happen to belong to a small religious minority with somewhat controversial views, things may look quite different.
If you’re used to newspapers, magazines, and TV hosts distributing lies and twisted half-truths about your own community since decades, you become more aware of the actual degree of accuracy (or rather, the lack thereof) in modern journalism, and one grows increasingly suspicious of “news” over alleged “terrorists.” You somehow know from reading the Bible that the day may not be very far off when they’re going to start calling you a terrorist, too.

Every now and then God is good to me and sends along some conformation of something I happen to believe (as outlandish as some of it may be), and I come across an article by some established journalist or writer stating exactly what I’ve been feeling all along.
In his article, “The Lynch Mob Mentality,” Glenn Greenwald voices exactly my sentiments on the “terrorists” issue. It’s always encouraging when there’s another lone voice piping up somewhere that gives you the kind of feeling of, “Right on, Bro!”

Just the sheer fact that someone out there who doesn’t swallow the propaganda that’s being spewed at us by the dragon of the mass media, gives us – possibly the “terrorists” of tomorrow – a glimpse of hope, even if only a glimpse…, as far as the level of awareness of our fellowmen is concerned (although we generally have stopped daring to hinge our hopes on frail flesh and blood long ago…)

Another neat little confirmation of some of my utterings I came across recently was this article, in which Pastor Jeff Vanderstelt is quoted as telling his fellow-clergy that “The job of pastors, teachers and apostles is to equip the saints for works of ministry, not to do the ministry for the saints,” which is one of the points I tried to make with my recent “NewLeaf” post on “Effective Evangelism.”

The key word here being “equip.”
If what we’re mainly interested in is equipping folks with the truth and the spiritual weaponry found therein to counter evil without worrying who will get the credit or even the money for it, we’re probably a lot closer to Jesus’ original idea of an apostle.
Unfortunately, being so outrageously different from the “established method” will inevitably put your group or church in the camp of the outcasts, black-labeled and maligned, since something has just got to be wrong with those who just want to give folks Jesus, His Word and Holy Spirit without insisting on stuffing them in the box of the good old established church system and “the way we’ve always done it…”

In other words, if any Christian should decide to actually practice the “equipping of saints for works of ministry” as preached above, he is very likely to discover one of those truths he may have thus far considered outdated: “And all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2Tim.3:12). The Devil doesn’t mind just one more preacher in a million, preaching to another congregation in a million that will limit their faith life to listening to a sermon per week, but he will certainly hate your guts and fight you tooth and nail once you really start doing the job God intended for us to do…

Let’s see how readily you will join the rest of the world in labeling others “terrorists,” “radicals,” “fanatics” or “extremists” then.

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