Tag Archives: When religion gets it wrong…

Perspective Part 2

Is it possible that for all these years Greek scholars have been translating this passage incorrectly: “If you love me keep my commandments”? Is it possible that religion got it wrong?

As a former high school English teacher, I say yes! On two counts: the context and the collective consciousness.

First, the context: Jesus has just said some of his strongest words to Peter, one of his closest friends, “Get behind me Satan!”

Peter and all the disciples are shocked. Peter was simply saying what they all felt and believed. “God won’t let this happen to you!” But Jesus needed them to hear him and understand. He wanted and needed their support. He wants to get them ready for the pain that is coming.

He leaves the topic of his crucifixion and tells them that soon he will be leaving them. They are so sad. They are still hanging onto the idea that he will be crowned king. They don’t understand. They ask lots of questions which he is answering, trying to comfort them and reassure them that everything is unfolding according to plan. So it is highly unlikely that he would throw in a challenge and say, If you love me, keep my commandments.

Especially since his very next words are. “And I will ask my Father and He will send you another comforter.” (emphasis mine) He is still comforting, and if the true translation is, “If you love me, my commands will keep you,” his commands or commandments would be the first comforter.

How do his commands comfort? In much the same way that a child or a dog are comforted by knowing who is in charge. Then they can relax and calm down. They are safe. It’s one of the functions of boundaries. We know what is truth. We know what to believe. We know true north. No more running down blind alleys.

There is security, peace and comfort in knowing the truth about God.

Secondly, the collective consciousness couldn’t have wrapped around “…My commands will keep you.” It made no sense to them. God was a God to serve, as in slaves obey your masters. They had no concept of God’s ways keeping us. Don’t ask me why—the whole Old Testament is full of,  “If you will keep my laws and walk in my ways, none of these curses will fall on you…but you will be my special (favored) people–blessed beyond belief.”*

I can only think it was because they feared God rather than loved Him. They thought He brought the curses. Fear filtered their perspective. It kept them from seeing Him as Love. They had a dualistic picture of God: He was both good and evil.

Many people suffer from that perception of God now: God is scary, demanding, and vengeful. Others see him as ok with anything–He just hopelessly loves.

But the whole of Scripture shows a balanced picture of Almighty God. He isn’t scary but he is all-powerful. He isn’t vengeful, but he does have good boundaries. He isn’t weak, but he loves freedom. He has no evil; he is love, a love strong and wise enough to end evil when every question is answered and everyone has clearly chosen one side or the other. In the end everyone gets what they really want–based on their choices.

*Deuteronomy 7:12-15

For the best picture of  God, go to http://Godhelps.net/God-in-a-Box



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Guest Post–Church Unaware Homeless Man Is Their Pastor in Disguise

Wow! Church membership might as well be club membership!


Seeded on Wed Sep 18, 2013 11:21 PM

DISCUSS: 297 131 !

Article Photo

Pastor Jeremiah Steepek transformed himself into a homeless person and went to the 10,000 member church that he was to be introduced as the head pastor at that morning.

He walked around his soon to be church for 30 minutes while it was filling with people for service, only 3 people out of the 7-10,000 people said hello to him.

He asked people for change to buy food – no one in the church gave him change.

He went into the sanctuary to sit down in the front of the church and was asked by the ushers if he would please sit in the back.

He greeted people to be greeted back with stares and dirty looks, with people looking down on him and judging him.

As he sat in the back of the church, he listened to the church announcements and such.

When all that was done, the elders went up and were excited to introduce the new pastor of the church to the congregation.

“We would like to introduce to you Pastor Jeremiah Steepek.” The congregation looked around clapping with joy and anticipation.

The homeless man sitting in the back stood up and started walking down the aisle. The clapping stopped with all eyes on him.

He walked up the altar and took the microphone from the elders (who were in on this) and paused for a moment then he recited,

“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world.

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

‘The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

After he recited this, he looked towards the congregation and told them all what he had experienced that morning. Many began to cry and many heads were bowed in shame.

He then said, “Today I see a gathering of people, not a church of Jesus Christ. The world has enough people, but not enough disciples. When will YOU decide to become disciples?”

He then dismissed service until next week.

note: Wednesday is my birthday and I just realized that the post publishing on my other site on that day is about this (the one that walks through Jesus’ life in a year) http://Godhelps.net/God-in-a-Box–Your Inbox.

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I got a Youtube email that someone thought was powerful and it made me sick!  A father walks into an executioner stops the execution and then brought in his son (looked about 15, sad and skinny) put him in the chair and gave the go ahead.

Can Christians actually watch this and think it is wonderful?  It makes God look stupid and harsh and without reason.  Why are we content to stay on the surface with superficial understanding?  Jesus may have died our death but not as this scene portrays. And if you think that’s what happened, you need to dig a little deeper.

Even as a child and young adult, “Jesus died for us” made me uncomfortable. As an adult, I understand why: Jesus taking on our death is only a piece of the puzzle, not the whole picture.

If you insist on making it the whole picture, then at least change it so the son stops the execution and pleads with the father to allow him to go to his death, while the father stands sobbing and shaking his head — holding the boy, finally allowing his son to go to the chair.

But if you’d like to really understand what happened, ask some hard questions until you get answers that make sense.

Who would God need to pay for sin? or for us? He’s the top.

Why did Jesus have to die?

Does God keep law and order by killing someone?

You’ll notice the Father didn’t kill the son.  Jesus, on the cross, said “My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me?” That’s one clue.

Scripture defines God’s wrath (His worst anger) as letting go of you– letting you have your way–removing His protection.

God doesn’t need to kill anyone–separation from Him causes death.  Separation is the definition of sin.  But He will let you separate.  He will let you do what you want.  He’ll even let you die.  But He doesn’t kill you. Separation kills you.

And that isn’t what He wants.  He’d like you to become His friend and allow Him to clear away all the debilitating lies you believe about Him, yourself, and others.  Jesus died so you had a choice about that. He says, “Why will you die?”  Why do you want to?

With that Youtube understanding and representation of God, it is no wonder we have atheists!

If God is anything, He is wise, kind, good, and He makes sense! It takes time to understand how it all fits together, but He will come out looking good, because He is good–count on it.

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