08/01/2020

01

Jesus needed redemption as much as any of us.
The theology that contradicts this
was invented by the Church of the Holy Roman Empire
to pave its way through the ages
(With the Council of Nicaea in 325), 
and the way of all the spin-off churches
who saw what a deal the Roman Catholic Church
had going for it
and decided to get in on the action themselves
(With the Reformation in 1715).

The Church of the Holy Roman Empire
wrote/compiled the New Testament
to shore up its case
for holding the keys to the kingdom. 
That is like unto having lobbyists write the Constitution.
And here we are.
With them saying "God said!"
And me saying, "You say 'God said'!"

My side of it is to say Jesus is one of us. 
And needed redemption just like all of us.
Redemption is getting back on track,
on the beam,
on The Way,
with our life.
It has nothing to do with believing,
or having faith, in Jesus.
It strictly has to do with being who Jesus was, though,
in the sense of living out of his own feel
for what needed to be done
in each situation as it arose. 

Jesus didn't do anything like it was supposed to be done.
He did everything the way it needed to be done.
He listened to the situation as it unfolded before him,
tuning into what was being called for,
situation-by-situation,
and he responded to that,
never-minding what anybody thought or said.

That's the kind of living that redeems us
by getting us back on course with our life
in listening to our life and the circumstances of our living,
and doing what is called for moment-by-moment,
with no contriving,
positioning,
scheming,
conniving,
arranging what we think is our best possible future
serving our best possible advantage forever.

Jesus didn't care about his future.
He cared about each moment and what that moment needed.
He lived to do what needed to be done
in the time and place it needed doing.

This is redemptive.
This will put us back in our life together
with That Which Has Always Been Called God.
Nothing else will.

When Jesus said,
"I am the way,
the truth
and the life,
and no one comes to the Father 
but by me,"
The Church tells us we have to believe in Jesus,
have faith in Jesus.
 
Jesus meant we have to believe in us,
have faith in ourselves,
and live our life in response to what is being called for
in each situation that comes along.

He was saying, "You have to do it the way I am doing it!"

Jesus also said,
"Why don't you judge for yourselves what is right?"
He decided for himself
what was being called for,
and he called us to decide for ourselves
what is being called for.
Time will tell if we are right about it,
and we will get better at telling what time it is,
or what it is time for,
in situations as they come along.
It only takes practice in reading the moment
to know what it is time for,
to know what is being asked for.
When we do it,
it is redemptive.

But, you see what the problem is.
Where does the Church fit into this scenario? 
Who needs the Church to tell us what to do?
Jesus was a radical kind of fellow
with his anti-church talk,
and the church of his day--
the Temple and the priesthood--
had him crucified.

But there is a place for the church 
in any age.
A different kind of church,
teaching people to think about God
in a different kind of way--
in ways that have nothing to do with theology,
but with living aligned with the life
that needs us to live it,
here and now.

This kind of church would tell us
that we live our way into knowing God, 
we don't believe our way there.
And it would teach us how to listen to our lives
and recognize the path that is opening before us
moment-to-moment.

We are living our way toward that kind of church
right now,
and The Church of What's Happening Now
is an example of what it looks like.

There were churches like this on every corner
in the world before the Council of Nicaea in 325.
It has taken all these years to get back 
to where things were then,
but the time has come around again.
And here we are!

Published by jimwdollar

I'm retired, and still finding my way--but now, I don't have to pretend that I know what I'm doing. I retired after 40.5 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, serving churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. I graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. My wife, Judy, and I have three daughters, three sons-in-law, and five granddaughters, and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

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