The Moral Priorities of Jesus – They Were Not Exactly What We Might Think

Here are 9 very short “chapters” on how Jesus lived and taught. I titled it “The Moral Priorities of Jesus.” What do you think? CHAPTERS Introduction: Jesus was Respected but also Suspected. Why? God: Jesus’ Love for God and Religion Were the Roots of His Morality Inversions: Jesus Sometimes Inverted Common Morals Religion: Jesus and Religion had a Difficult Relationship Friends: Jesus Sometimes Kept Bad Company Economics: To Jesus, Economics and Exploitation were Issues of Morality. The Invisible: For Jesus, the Invisible Always Trumps Self Image: Did Jesus Have An Ego Problem? Conclusion: An Impressive Person! … Continue reading

Bad Times – Bad Religion – Bad Relationships

We live in bad times – or at least the potential is there and growing. Bad religion and bad relationships do NOT prepare us for bad times, nor do they help us get through them. The ancient prophets Isaiah and Micah, among others, have much to say about these issues. These are things the Bible deals with over and over. If we want to be Bible-honoring Christians, these are among the most important things for us to pay attention to. Micah says, briefly and strongly, He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. (Micah 6:8) One way Jesus summarizes it is this: … Continue reading

Freedom – From Fear

No government can ever guarantee that you or I will have nothing to be afraid of. And as the American Founding Fathers well knew, no government, not even ours, can be trusted with freedom to do just as it wants. The Founders built “checks and balances” into the US Constitution for very good reasons. Political parties, political movements – your neighbors – even your friends and family – can harm you in a variety of ways. It might be accidental; sometimes it is deliberate. Most of us have experienced it at some level or other. There is no law we can pass, no person we can elect, no agreement we can make that will guarantee that any particular person or group will never turn against us or persecute us or hurt us. So what is a Christian to do in this unpredictable and sometimes very dangerous world? It is precisely this problem that prompted Jesus’ disciple Peter … Continue reading

Good Comment on Christians as Republicans

Here’s a very helpful reaction to the article “Why Many Christians Do Not Vote Republican.” Thanks CT for putting things so well. I have added underlines and bolding. This is a great article. Although I am not American, if I had to vote I would also struggle with voting Republican. While I don’t agree with all of the policies of the Democrats, I believe they are by far the better option. We cannot tar all Republicans with the same brush but from what I can see their policies are not consistent with the teachings of Christ nor will they bring people to Christ which is what we as disciples are called to do. Regarding the obsession with abortion and homosexuality: While I agree abortion is wrong, I don’t see how criminalising it will stop women from aborting babies. People need to have a personal conviction that abortion is wrong and that will not come from aggressive anti-abortion tactics or rhetoric. Instead, would it not be better to provide better sexual education so that less young women fall pregnant and provide better facilities for young mothers who may feel that they are unable to support a child alone? Would it not … Continue reading

When the Government – or Society – Is Against You: What Should Christians Do?

Some American Christians worry that we are being “persecuted” and that our “freedom of religion” is being infringed. That’s always true to some extent – and the idea is scary. How did Jesus deal with it? Jesus practiced non-violent non-cooperation toward evil persons. The results of his courage were both short-term and long-term, mostly good, some brutally bad. Jesus’ immediate followers – the Christians of the first century, also faced lots of suffering. They suffered government harassment, even arrest and execution. They suffered from neighbors and fellow-citizens – the insulting or aggressive behavior of others around them in society. They suffered all the normal pains and sorrows of human life, of which there are many. … Continue reading

America’s Problem & Blessing: People Who Take the Bible Seriously (with 2 Rules of Interpretation)

Frankie Schaeffer grew up in a modern, politically radical, Americanized “Christianity”. He is not pleased with what it teaches or how it operates. In a recent article he gives a fairly thorough explanation of his concerns and how they relate to current political personalities – e.g. Michelle Bachmann. I have to agree with much of what Schaeffer says. Here’s an example: America has a problem: It’s filled with people who take the Bible seriously. America has a blessing: It’s filled with people who take the Bible seriously. … Continue reading

1)  INTRODUCTION:  Jesus was Respected but Also Suspected. Why?  (from “The Moral Priorities of Jesus”)

Early in his career Jesus was often invited to speak in synagogue (comparable to church today). But it was not long before a person could be expelled from synagogue for being loyal to that same Jesus. What happened? He obviously offended or frightened powerful people in both politics and religion. They, after all, are the ones who teamed up to get him first excluded, then executed. The Bible indicates that his positions on good versus evil (what is moral and what is immoral) were a large part of the problem. It makes you wonder. What did he teach that was so threatening to the powers that be? Why did he persist in such a dangerous direction? Would he get in trouble today with our political and religious leaders if he came with the same sort of teaching? After all, now as then, religion, politics, and economics are very big parts of life. Seven themes in the morals of Jesus are discussed in these short chapters. What were the moral priorities of Jesus? What does Christian morality look like? Perhaps these short chapters can help answer these questions. CHAPTERS Introduction: Jesus was Respected but also Suspected. Why? God: Jesus’ Love for … Continue reading