enemy.

i wonder if the words we use alter our perceptions of circumstances and people? almost like a broken kaleidoscope. since there are already pieces everywhere, it just makes the situation even more fragmented and disjointed and even disconnected. i mean like when we label people and things. i wonder if the labels (which by initial intention might be placed positively) we choose to use actually distance us from the very thing we want to know? take for example, calling someone your enemy. now, obviously the label enemy is meant for distinct distance and disconnection. and then jesus walks on the scene and invites us to love the very thing we distance ourselves from. how weird is that? it’s as if he is saying, we were all meant to be together. we were meant to be a people who openly accept one another. i mean jesus’ words really hit home and quite sharply to some of his audience, because he is telling his jewish neighbour and friends to love their political enemy who would rather have them dead than alive. love your political enemy. love those who want you dead. bridge the distance between you animosity, frustration and confusion through love. this is not an easy place for anyone to be. but it is a place, a new way we are invited into.

vase glue: what is the nature of things — part one

what if through the cross, our nature has been fully redeemed?

what if we have been truly forgiven once and for all?

what if we no longer need to focus on our sin?

but rather ask and wrestle with the question: what does it mean to be christ in my context? what if…

some broken vases are fixable. they have the ability to be put back together. with some really strong glue from some magical place that sales vase glue. but to be sure, for the most part, if we can agree (generally speaking) “all vases can be fixed somehow someway”.

we have this language of sin and depravity (all men are weak and fallen) that has been floating around through the halls of churches for thousands of years now, about how we all have messed up, we all have taken the wrong path and have made completely destructive decisions that have hurt ourselves and those around us. i do agree with this. well, to an extent.

a Harvard rabbi named Jesus ben joseph (sidenote: there is historical proof that the Bet Sefer school jesus would have attended, would have been more like that of our modern-day Harvard university — yep, we have a posh Jesus — lol) came on the scene, into Jerusalem during a politically confusing time. Even his birth was a political statement. Astrologers woud have picked up on the star in the sky as that being a symbol of a King being born, but wouldn’t have realized who until arriving in Bethelehem. We do know this, it was a politically-charged moved from heaven. jesus popped on the scene and started talking about a different “way” of living life. then he told some of his friends that he came to save the world. not 500 times over, but once and for all. christ substituted himself for the world. everyone. he came to not only save us from sin, but to draw us into God and his kingdom. Jesus did that for us. He doesn’t have to keep doing that. I want to take the general method of scholastic philosophy and apply that here to study Christianity. i think for the most part, we have lost the art to see the big picture. i think this focus on sn has gotten in the way of the cross. when in truth, the cross already overshadowed sin. so, why do we focus on sin? Well, sin is recognizable. we know what it means to kill (maybe not in the heart, but physically we do), we know what it means to steal, lie, commit adultery and give praise to other kinds of gods’…we all know all too well. recognizing sin gives us some sense of definable control over others, but, we fail to realize that it also gives that same control to others over us. sin makes us feel safe. well, at least pointing out the sin in others. And Jesus told us all that he came to annihilate it, obliterate it. and we still focus on it. it is like someone who loses a limb and still tries to scratch at the ghost limb that is no longer there, but for some odd reason feels like it is. sin is just like that. the devil is our enemy. he wants us destroyed. and if it means we focus on his distorted dream (called “sin”) then we will be distracted when it comes to our development in jesus. if we focus on something that the cross of christ already has taken away once and for all (so, either it means everything (sin) is already gone or it doesn’t? your choice.) then it’s as if we are saying the cross wasn’t good enough. it’s as we if we say “thanks, but no thanks!” it’s hard to accept an unmerited gift, for most, we a need a reason why or we become highly critical of the gift. we feel guilty before we even receive it. we believe the gift-giver has ulterior motives.to us, the giver has to expect something in return. but this gift-giver is different, this one, he’s a lover. you see us realizing and accepting the reality and power of the cross enables us to be truly free in christ. free to be who christ intended us to be. this is not what the evil one wants. his greatest fear is us realizing who we are in christ. who are you?

vase glue: what is the nature of things — part one

what if through the cross, our nature has been fully redeemed?

what if we have been truly forgiven once and for all?

what if we no longer need to focus on our sin?

but rather ask and wrestle with the question: what does it mean to be christ in my context? what if…

some broken vases are fixable. they have the ability to be put back together. with some really strong glue from some magical place that sales vase glue. but to be sure, for the most part, if we can agree (generally speaking) “all vases can be fixed somehow someway”.

we have this language of sin and depravity (all men are weak and fallen) that has been floating around through the halls of churches for thousands of years now, about how we all have messed up, we all have taken the wrong path and have made completely destructive decisions that have hurt ourselves and those around us. i do agree with this. well, to an extent.

a Harvard rabbi named Jesus ben joseph (sidenote: there is historical proof that the Bet Sefer school jesus would have attended, would have been more like that of our modern-day Harvard university — yep, we have a posh Jesus — lol) came on the scene, into Jerusalem during a politically confusing time. Even his birth was a political statement. Astrologers woud have picked up on the star in the sky as that being a symbol of a King being born, but wouldn’t have realized who until arriving in Bethelehem. We do know this, it was a politically-charged moved from heaven. jesus popped on the scene and started talking about a different “way” of living life. then he told some of his friends that he came to save the world. not 500 times over, but once and for all. christ substituted himself for the world. everyone. he came to not only save us from sin, but to draw us into God and his kingdom. Jesus did that for us. He doesn’t have to keep doing that. I want to take the general method of scholastic philosophy and apply that here to study Christianity. i think for the most part, we have lost the art to see the big picture. i think this focus on sn has gotten in the way of the cross. when in truth, the cross already overshadowed sin. so, why do we focus on sin? Well, sin is recognizable. we know what it means to kill (maybe not in the heart, but physically we do), we know what it means to steal, lie, commit adultery and give praise to other kinds of gods’…we all know all too well. recognizing sin gives us some sense of definable control over others, but, we fail to realize that it also gives that same control to others over us. sin makes us feel safe. well, at least pointing out the sin in others. And Jesus told us all that he came to annihilate it, obliterate it. and we still focus on it. it is like someone who loses a limb and still tries to scratch at the ghost limb that is no longer there, but for some odd reason feels like it is. sin is just like that. the devil is our enemy. he wants us destroyed. and if it means we focus on his distorted dream (called “sin”) then we will be distracted when it comes to our development in jesus. if we focus on something that the cross of christ already has taken away once and for all (so, either it means everything (sin) is already gone or it doesn’t? your choice.) then it’s as if we are saying the cross wasn’t good enough. it’s as we if we say “thanks, but no thanks!” it’s hard to accept an unmerited gift, for most, we a need a reason why or we become highly critical of the gift. we feel guilty before we even receive it. we believe the gift-giver has ulterior motives.to us, the giver has to expect something in return. but this gift-giver is different, this one, he’s a lover. you see us realizing and accepting the reality and power of the cross enables us to be truly free in christ. free to be who christ intended us to be. this is not what the evil one wants. his greatest fear is us realizing who we are in christ. who are you?

a television rerun


when someone goes away on trip, and i mean someone who means something to you–we tend to miss them. we feel like a part of ourselves is well, missing. we feel a bit distraught and maybe even for some — confused. and when they return, well, that’s the best part. it seems like the sun shines a bit brighter and the world is at peace. for some, your soul may be at rest. however you relate to people, one thing is for sure…losing them is painful. whether it be death or irreconcilable differences. loss hurts. it feels like a part of you is completely lost and will never return. it even seems for some that life is over. that life is now in black and white and has lost its color. life is monochromatic. the food you once ate, that tasted so life-giving now just gives you stomach cramps. the paths you used to walk together don’t seem so beautiful. life has become a television rerun. So, my question is this, do we need to lose something (and if it returns) so it can have significance. do we need to lose to gain? does the loss of something/someone actually make the act of having them that much more significant? i mean, in wider terms Jesus says we must lose to gain, last to be first, and other upside down turnovers as well…hmmm….

what is the nature of things?

there is this assumption we are brokens. but for philosopers, particularly those that are interested in ‘scholastic philosophy’ one has to study the whole of something to discover its nature. i am embarking on a study of answering the above question. so watch out for the discussion to be launched here, there will be sections to it. While you are waiting, check out these links on it:

http://gmldmin.ning.com/main/authorization/doSignIn?target=http%3A%2F%2Fgmldmin.ning.com%2Fforum

and

peterrollins.net/about.html

see you soon!

ecstatic and the tangible.

ecstatic

i’m studying about the Christian mystics of old and sometimes envy there experience. for most of them, it was so much more than some ecstatic dream or vision, it was completely life-altering. I mean, think about this biblically, you have stories of people meeting with God in very tangible ways. Moses sees God. Jacob wrestles with him. Abraham has lunch with him. Isaiah and Ezekiel both get “ruined” by their meetings with God. shouldn’t we want the same? I am in the place where I am cynical of magic show jesus, where we all hold hands and pray “in the name of Jesus” and hope for some kind of divine magic trick that we tend to call miracles. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in miracles, but what I have noticed is that miracles tend to be God led and when He wants to. Obviously, the bleeding woman who grabbed a hold Jesus’ tunic was an exception. And shouldn’t we want to be like her? Or any of others through history who meet God. I want to meet God, I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine who brought up a good point about how God has created us to be the miracle. And when we worship we should be looking around at one another rather than looking up. Something I am still wrestling with. Back to Teresa. Teresa of Avila was a Christian mystic who had an angel visit her and pierced her heart and left her on fire. She encountered heaven on earth. Something we should be living out — heaven on earth. I don’t yet have an answer, maybe there isn’t one. I am tempted to experiment in the ecstatic experience, but to be honest, we can’t usher God into our world and force him to show up in some “mystical” way….and who knows maybe he already has even today and we just haven’t noticed yet…have you?