Tag Archives: Jesus

Dogmatism vs. pragmatism

A post from a thread at Messiah Truth where we were discussing “Embracing what is.”

This morning as I waited outside for library to open, that remark about what they give us in chapel was still on my mind.

This is a tangent, and a stretch of the forum rules, so if this post isn’t released, I’ll understand.

“The Five Old Guys” present to us two, sometimes three times a month: the third Monday, fourth Wednesday, and fifth Wednesday, if there is one.  Some months ago, for the Scripture lesson, Bro. Wayne gave us a highly redacted version of Matthew 25:31ff.  I don’t believe this text comes from J., but it’s still one of the focal passages of the GT.

Continue reading Dogmatism vs. pragmatism

Leadership, Patton and Jesus

From a 03/31/08 e-mail to my supervisor at the dollar store. This was a young man who had never had a paying job before, and thus certainly no experience in supervision; and I had a mind to give him some pointers on the nature of leadership. Previous conversations had already established that he regarded himself as a devout Christian.

If you’ve never seen it before, I’d urge you to see the movie Patton (link to Wikipedia).  Actually, I’d urge you to buy a copy (link to Amazon).

Luke 7:

2A centurion there had a slave whom he valued highly, and who was ill and close to death.  Continue reading Leadership, Patton and Jesus

The emperor’s new clothes: False prophecy in the news

Here is my first audition file.  The sound quality and performance aren’t the best, but I’ve chosen to post it anyway given the weight of the subject matter.

I need to show that I can speak off the cuff about current events, and an opportunity to do so came in the controversy over recent tweets by Maria Chappelle-Nadal.

A transcript appears below.

Continue reading The emperor’s new clothes: False prophecy in the news

A place to begin

John 9:1-3:

1As he walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him.”

The disciples want to place blame. Their posture can be referred to as fault-finding, judgment and condemnation. Jesus calls attention to the opportunity to heal, to do good, to make a beginning.

Continue reading A place to begin

Cosmology

I originally wrote this as an introductory passage for “What the New Testament means to me.”   I wound up leaving it out as I didn’t think Ezekah would care for a whole lot of abstraction.

As I view the world right now, I see three elements:  (1) What Is, including the material (seen) world, the spiritual (unseen) world, and all possibilities of events that can possibly occur.  I may as well call this “God.”  (2)  A single set of principles that govern existence and all events that can occur.  What we call the laws of physics are an example of these principles.  I may as well call this “God’s will.”

(3) Human activity.  It may be that there are no commandments, and no such thing as sin.  Rather, God’s will is inviolable; and it is how we interact with What Is, inevitably in accordance with those principles, that brings weal or woe.  If we act this way, we can have a world of harmony, beauty and joy.  If we act that way, we’ll have a world of poverty, violence and bloodshed.

So far, there is neither need nor room for teachings of John and Paul that deviate from Jesus’ teachings in the Synoptics: no need nor room for a Son of God, perfect sacrifice, “belief in” Jesus, or heaven or hell — aside from the heaven or hell we create for ourselves in this life, here and now.

“What the New Testament means to me” points to ways to create, in effect, heaven on earth.  The opposite path is described in “A living hell.”

Originally posted 2014-12-17.

The poop on the stoop

The shelter boots us out at 5:45 a.m. daily.  You must take all your belongings with you and cannot come back until 2:30.

Until February 2013, my custom on non-work days was to go to Dunkin’ Donuts to pray, drink coffee and use the bathroom, until the library would open at 10:00 and I could go online.  Then the temp agency closed down, and I could no longer afford Dunkin’ Donuts coffee, and so began going to McDonald’s instead.

Some days I would arrive at Dunkin’ Donuts before opening.  One such morning, I arrived to find a large, neat pile of human feces on the doorstep.  It was clearly no accident.  Who had left it there, and why, had no bearing on the fact that it was there now.

When staff arrived we opened the door and stepped inside very carefully to avoid any contact between the door and the stool, or our feet and the stool.  However, I knew that if nothing were done about it, eventually, inevitably, customers who could not take the time to be as observant and careful would step in it and begin tracking it through the store.
Continue reading The poop on the stoop