All a man needs out of life is a place to sit ‘n’ spit in the fire.

Category: Chat with Jesus (Page 2 of 2)

What would Jesus talk about if he was interviewed on television? This is my take on it.

Interview with Jesus Part II

…And no philosophy, sadly, has all the answers. No matter how assured
we may be about certain aspects of our belief, there are always painful
inconsistencies, exceptions, and contradictions. This is true in religion as
it is in politics, and is self-evident to all except fanatics and the naive.
As for the fanatics, whose number is legion in our own time, we might be
advised to leave them to heaven. They will not, unfortunately, do us the
same courtesy. They attack us and each other, and whatever their
protestations to peaceful intent, the bloody record of history makes clear
that they are easily disposed to restore to the sword. My own belief in
God, then, is just that — a matter of belief, not knowledge. My respect
for Jesus Christ arises from the fact that He seems to have been the
most virtuous inhabitant of Planet Earth. But even well-educated Christians
are frustated in their thirst for certainty about the beloved figure
of Jesus because of the undeniable ambiguity of the scriptural record.
Such ambiguity is not apparent to children or fanatics, but every
recognized Bible scholar is perfectly aware of it. Some Christians, alas,
resort to formal lying to obscure such reality.
– Steve Allen, comedian, from an essay in the book “The Courage of
Conviction”, edited by Philip Berman

We got such a great response from the last informal chat with Jesus, we decided to follow it up with a second more formal part – well formal in that there will be questions, and we hope answers.  Jesus was very forthcoming last time, so we’re hoping to get a window in on ultimate Truth today.  Keep your fingers crossed folks.

I: Jesus, it’s nice to see you today, err I mean, ‘Jesus, the Savior, it’s nice to see you today.’

J: “Haha, that’s a good one.  (Jesus wipes a tear from his eye.) Whoo, *chuckle*.

I: So, Mr. Christ.

J: Call me Friend.

I: So, Friend, we on this planet have some burning questions for you.

J: Shoot.

I: We’re hoping you can clear up some things for us.  Maybe give us an update on your last best seller, “The Good News.”  I know you’re working on a sequel, but we’re hoping maybe you can give us a peak.

J: Be glad too.  In fact, it’s not so much a sequel as a 2nd edition.  It’s different of course, but all the basic information is there.  It’s just that it’s been nearly two thousand years, and a lot’s changed since then.  I thought an update was in order.  To some of your readers it will all seem new.  I’m trying to really get the message across to this modern age of good people who are looking for a purpose.  It might be considered a self help book, but I think if you look closely, it’s really an “other-help” book.

I: That’s interesting, care to give us an example.

J: Sure, yeah it’s super interesting and once you get it, very enlightening.  The other day, one of my children was walking into a gasoline station.  As he stepped toward the entrance, he realized he’d not looked at the pump number… you know, so he could have the cashier activate it once he stepped inside.  He strained his neck trying to figure out what pump it was, but couldn’t quite see it.  Suddenly, another of my beautiful children, a homeless man, offered that it was pump number two.  The homeless man was looking for a few cents of course, and I noted that the first man didn’t have any cash on him… which was okay.  So the first man offered him a thanks, paid for his gas, and left thinking of the homeless fellow who’d watched him intently and offered up the very thing he needed when he most needed it.  The gasoline buyer took with himself a beautiful lesson about what it means to be human, for what we are predestined, and why we exist.

I: for each other?

J: Yup, you got it.  That’s it.  Nothing more complicated or simple than that. Find a way to help.  Promote.  Don’t demote.

I: That’s a nice story.  So that’s a glimpse of what we’re going to see in the 2nd edition?

J: I think so.  I have to get with my editor.  I’m either too wordy or not wordy enough.  I never know the right balance.  I love you all, but sometimes you’re a confusing audience, and I love that by the way.  Many pore over every word looking for meaning, losing the forest for the trees.  Others just skim over parts that they think aren’t important.  As a result, I’m going to go with an old standby – the parable – it worked two thousand years ago, I think it will be successful in this age.  People seem to respond to stories very well.  I guess I just need to update them to make them more relevant.  Not a lot of people are farmers and fishers today, so that’s one area we have to update.  It is coming along nicely, though.  I think people will really enjoy it.  And for God’s sake (*chuckle*), don’t fight over it.

I: Thanks for talking with us today.  Stay tuned to this channel for more of our chat with our Friend, Jesus that cat from Nazareth.

J: Thanks, appreciate the opportunity.  Peace out.

Don’t be Afraid, Dude

The most costly of all follies is to believe passionately in the palpably not true. It is the chief occupation of mankind.
— H.L. Mencken

Jesus said, "Dude, relax.  It’s not about all this, even though
it is.  Look, it’s hard to explain, but you gotta lose yourself to
find yourself.  You’ve gotta give up your salvation to get
it.  But you know that it shouldn’t be your aim, and believe me I
can tell.  I’ve got this omniscience thing going on.  Do you
run up and help the homeless guy because he’s ‘Jesus’?  I get that
a lot, and I’m all like, ‘Dude, you’ve got eyes, right?  He’s not
me.’  No, I’m right here.  He is a child of mine, though, and
I’d appreciate it if you’d help him out but not for me, though. 
No no.  It’d be great if you could help him out for him. 
Know what I’m sayin’?  It’s kinda like that for most things. 
I’m not all into this mysticism thing.  Dad put the universe
together to be internally consistent.  It doesn’t violate any
rules.  Stuff doesn’t just magically happen.  There’s a
process. Dad’s big on process.  In fact, he got a little carried
away with process, and that’s why he sent me.  Had to get back in
touch with humanity. 

Anyway, where was I?  Oh, yeah,
Fear.  Fear is probably the toughest thing I’ve ever had to deal
with, both what I experienced, and what I observed in all of you. 
Fear is just the worst.  It binds up your hearts in ways that you
couldn’t imagine.  You see, I don’t want you to live like
that.  Fear really just makes me sad.  It’s really hard for
me to see people wanting so bad to save themselves that they forget to
love, forget to put themselves out there for others.  All they
want to do is connect to me, worship me, all the while hitting each
other with that book.  I’ve got mixed feelings about that book,
btw.  It’s not like I don’t get into it, but I understand the
limitation that people have trying to describe life-changing events,
changes in direction that come with a profound, transforming,
life-altering, some say mystical revelation.  I understand that
it’s tough to put it down on paper, so I empathize.  But some of
it is just so wrong.  All that stuff about retribution and fire
and brimstone – water to wine (I mean, geez, it was there all along,
but they had to do the whole, Oh look Jesus turned water to wine. 
It was really embarrassing. Yikes).

Anyway, so you’ve got these
people who are fearful hitting each other with this book like that’s
going to solve something.  Then you’ve got these other people who
are afraid to speak my name for fear of being labeled ‘one of
them.’  I empathize with that too.  Humans like to bottle up
these magnificent soaring attributes of faith, love, devotion, and
service into valuable commodities that they can own and keep
away from others, thereby increasing their perceived value (I picked
that up in a business class I took a while back).  So you hoard
your little trinkets hoping upon hope that they will appreciate and
then you’ll have something of value that your neighbor might not
have.  Of course the root of all this is that you’re afraid that
your future isn’t secure, that your faith might not be the right one,
that you’re on the wrong path.  By increasing the quantity of
like-minded individuals in your little "group" you increase your
value.  I like to call it Amway Christianity. 

Sigh, Dad and I got a good laugh out of that one, but I digress. 

we pre-package up all this magnificent stuff into these little
bundles.  Let’s call them words and symbols… or better yet,
let’s call them gangs.  Yeah, I like that.  So you’ve got
this quasi-believer, somebody who’d fallen away from the faith. 
Let’s call him an agnostic.  He just feels uncomfortable about all
these gang symbols.  He’s doesn’t want to get gunned down in enemy
territory, so he uses safe words like "mojo" or my personal fav "may
good thoughts be with you."  Jesus! (can I say that?) just say
I’ll pray for you, it’s not gonna kill you, and anyway that’s what good
thoughts are.  Sigh, no really it’s all good. 

don’t care what color you wear, or what you call prayer, good thoughts,
or mojo.  I know what you intend, and what’s more important, I
hear ya, dude.  Don’t matter what you call yourself, whether you
don’t like Jesus freaks (actually that’s our team name for a little
basketball league we put together up here… really does a number on
the opposition) ’cause you’re afraid or whether you don’t like gays and
hippies because you’re afraid, because they are subverting society and
the sanctity of marriage.  I know, and it’s okay.  But I’ve
got to say it just one more time in the hopes that it will sink
in.  I made you all (look, if it makes you feel better that you
just sprang into existence, that is perfectly okay with me as long as
you’re not afraid).  Better a courageous agnostic than a craven
Christian, I always say.  But you know I’m always rooting for that
craven soul, that lost, fearful, small little mustard seed.  I
keep saying, grow little seed, grow.  Encompass the world. 
Show me what you can do.  When you screw up – and you will – I
don’t go all retribution like.  I keep hoping upon hope that
you’ll put it together and make the shot.

And finally, I
don’t fear that you’ll fail.  You will.  I know that each
life lived is an opportunity.  It’s your chance to grow that
mustard seed of a spirit you have.  Whatever you do with it is
your choice, but I’d like to see you really come alive out there. 

Hey, this has gone on longer than I intended. Sorry about
that.   What do we do, you ask?   Okay, here it is,
but don’t tell anyone you got this from me.  We’re big on the
whole "figuring it out yourself thing" around here.  Chalk it up
to Dad’s whole "process is important" thing.  Whatever. 

light you have that you use on yourself is wasted.  Whatever gift
you have that you don’t share with others to help them out is
wasted.  There’s this cool little story that I heard a bit
back.  In hell (which doesn’t actually exist, but after hearing
this, we’re thinking about putting one in just to see if this would
actually happen), inhabitants stand with their hands tied to a six foot
spoon over a pit of food.  The inhabitants are in a perpetual
state of hunger because they can’t feed themselves.  In heaven
(and this is the part I love) it’s the same deal, except no one goes
hungry.  Everybody feeds each other with their spoons.  I
don’t know if it’s because they’re less dumb or less selfish.  I
suspect the latter.   That’s it.  That’s all there

Peace out."


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