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WHY THE CHRISTMAS STORY IS ALSO A PARABLE

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      “Okay, here’s what the Lord’s going to do. He must go stealth. The enemies are always waiting at the doors and ready to pounce. He will bypass them. He will go in under the radar. They will never recognize Him.”

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      “But that’s going to make things very difficult for the people He chooses to work through.”

         “Yes, but they love Him. They know what they signed up for. They will answer His call.”

       “It would seem some would never answer that call. They may even think it was the enemy. Anything that would cause so much discomfort, rejection, and pain may be seen as coming from the wrong source.”

         “Yes, but that is only true for those who don’t really know Him. The ones who hear His voice, well, they will certainly act. They will obey. They will know it is not because He doesn’t love them or is purposefully causing them to sacrifice so greatly without a higher purpose somehow being involved.”

         “How does He manage to do this?”

     “He speaks to their hearts. He shows them things in their spirit. It is a form of communication that escapes detection from outside sources, and those who receive cannot even readily relay what it is they hear because they sense no one will understand.”

          “So they act.”

         “Yes. They act. He knew Mary would act. He knew she would obey. It was completely her decision, of course. But that’s what a calling is. It is not only the Lord telling people they have been chosen or called into a particular service, it is also that He already knows they will say yes. They say yes because they hear His voice and love Him, but also because they know deep within that the calling He gives them answers a very deep need and desire in their hearts. They want to serve, but they want it to be right. Many serve incorrectly, thinking they are serving Him, but never get the satisfaction they desire, or that deep feeling in their hearts. They feel like they are working very hard but not getting anywhere. This never happens with Him. Those who hear His voice and obey know something substantial happens when they do. They know they are entering an area in which their soul is satisfied, filled, and blessed. Mary knew this.”

        Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the descendants of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.

         And coming in, he said to her, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was very perplexed at this statement, and kept pondering what kind of salutation this was. The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David; and He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and His kingdom will have no end.”

         Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God. And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month. For nothing will be impossible with God.” And Mary said, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her. [Luke 1:26-38] [1] 

         © 2017 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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The Glory Has Departed

         “…For false Christs and false prophets will arise, and will show signs and wonders, in order to lead astray, if possible, the elect. But take heed; behold, I have told you everything in advance.” [Mark 13:22-23]

         It must be noted that even though the Lord Jesus told everyone in advance exactly what was going to happen as a result of their rejection of Him, it did no good for the rebellious majority—The nation of Israel was destroyed. Jerusalem was destroyed. The great temple was destroyed.

JESUS HAS LEFT THE BUILDING

         Of course, Herod’s temple at the time of our Lord was essentially a hollow edifice. Within the Holy of Holies there was nothing. There was no Ark of the Covenant. There was nothing within the most holy place that gave any spiritual reason for the high priest to enter it. It was empty.

         This past Wednesday marked Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. It was on that day in which the high priest of ancient Judaism would enter the Holy of Holies once per year to make atonement for the sins of the people. Only the high priest could enter the Holy of Holies. And he could only do it once per year.

         But during our Lord’s time the entire ceremony was an empty exercise in illusion. Again, the Ark was not there. It had not been heard of since 586BC. It was lost to history six centuries before the Lord’s time. No one knows where it is to this day or if it even still exists.

         Therefore, from the time of the rebuilt temple in 515BC until the destruction of Herod’s temple in 70AD there was no Ark of the Covenant in the temple. This made the entire sacrificial system an empty exercise in pure religion. Without the Ark it was all meaningless.

         And today, without the Ark or the temple, the Judaism of that time has become largely meaningless with respect to what it once was.

ALL GET FOOLED AGAIN

         But enough about what has happened since Herod’s temple was destroyed. The point of this post is to illustrate the illusion of religion that existed with an empty temple and its spiritual parallels of today.

         The Ark of the Covenant represented the presence of God. The worst that could ever happen in ancient Israel was for the presence of God to leave, to vacate the premises, and to leave the nation to the darkness of their own man-made religious devices.

         And she called the boy Ichabod, saying, “The glory has departed from Israel,” because the ark of God was taken and because of her father-in-law and her husband.

         She said, “The glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God was taken.” [1Samuel 4:21-22]

         In America this past Wednesday, in a national sense, Yom Kippur was completely desecrated. Christians will argue, of course, that the Jewish Day of Atonement has nothing to do with Christianity. But of course, the Autumn Feast Days have yet to be fulfilled. Unlike the Spring Feasts of Passover, Unleavened Bread, and First Fruits, which have been fulfilled, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Sukkot remain in an unfulfilled state and are brimming with expectant prophecy. The fulfillment of these feasts will be capped off with the glorious return of the Lord Jesus.

IDOLATRY ON PARADE

         So to see the way the United States government and the Vatican colluded to desecrate the Day of Atonement in this country reveals just how far the deception has matured and how incredibly powerful the illusion has become:

         Pope Francis arrived in Washington at 4pm on the eve of Yom Kippur, which began at sunset. The President of the United States actually met him at the airport. Think about that for a while. The next day, on Yom Kippur, the Pope met with the President with whom he shares many political ideologies. He was then treated to a parade.

         The next day he became the first Pope to address a joint session of Congress. This man, who possesses the title “Vicar of Christ” (substitute), then proceeded to make his speech.

         But during his speech, he never once invoked the Name of the Lord Jesus. The Lord Jesus was never mentioned. So not only was Yom Kippur desecrated, the Pope, accepting all the glory thrown his way while the Lord received none, absolutely dissed the Lord Jesus and pretty much no one there noticed or cared. He proved his title.

         Ichabod.

         Real Christians, however, those with eyes to see who respect the Lord Jesus and serve Him, certainly noticed. But Real Christians have been noticing such illusion and deception for centuries. Has there ever been a time in America when the illusion and the disrespect for God has been so bold and pronounced?

         There are millions of real believers in this country who, if given the opportunity, could have addressed Congress properly, and strongly, and eloquently, and with complete honor and respect for the Lord Jesus who deserves all honor, praise, and glory. You can bet they would have mentioned the Lord’s Name many times.

         But such an address will never happen. And that is because real Christians are servants of the very King, the real and only King, this world has rejected. And the reality is that anyone, and I mean anyone, such as a foreign Pope or a foreign Prime Minister (who never mentioned the Lord’s Name either) will be allowed to address Congress all day long and all year long, but the Lord Jesus, if possible, would NEVER be allowed to address Congress in a million years.

         And there you have it. He has been shut out. The ruling elite hate Him. And the vast majority not only have no clue about this but do not care whatsoever. They like their little fake world.

         The temple is empty.

         Most churches are empty.

         There is no Ark.

         The Glory Has Departed.

         The majority has been blinded to spiritual reality by their own lack of faith and idolatry. They have swallowed whole a false representation of spiritual truth. They have been hoodwinked by the massive illusion and pageantry. Their growing acceptance of anti-Christian ideologies and personages is preparing their eventual acceptance of you know who.

EYES TO SEE

         For the few who can see, however, there is the following which explains everything:

         And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”

         Jesus answered them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted.

         “For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him. Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.

         “In their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says, ‘YOU WILL KEEP ON HEARING, BUT WILL NOT UNDERSTAND; YOU WILL KEEP ON SEEING, BUT WILL NOT PERCEIVE; FOR THE HEART OF THIS PEOPLE HAS BECOME DULL, WITH THEIR EARS THEY SCARCELY HEAR, AND THEY HAVE CLOSED THEIR EYES, OTHERWISE THEY WOULD SEE WITH THEIR EYES, HEAR WITH THEIR EARS, AND UNDERSTAND WITH THEIR HEART AND RETURN, AND I WOULD HEAL THEM.’

         “But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear.” [Matthew 13:10-16] [1]

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Invasion of the (Invisible) Body Snatchers: Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing

         And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”

         Jesus answered them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.

         “Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. [Matthew 13:10-13]

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         Everything false and deceptive has a dual nature.

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         There is the outer form, the one presented to the world which makes use of spectacle and illusion.

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         And then there is the inner form. It is unseen and hidden. Few can perceive it. Few know of its presence outside those that are part of the delusion.

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         The inner form wears a costume—the outer form—which it presents as its actual form…

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         Q: Why?

         A: Because the inner form does not operate in good faith. It is stealthy by nature. It has a hidden agenda.

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OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND

         The aim of the inner form is to fool the public by putting forth a false outer form, that which is essentially mere window dressing. People are drawn toward it and eventually taken in by it.

         In its best manifestation, the inner form within is hidden by the outer form without to the point that the inner form becomes completely invisible and effectively ceases to be.

         Throughout history, the majority of people have often been deceived into thinking the outer form they see is the only form there is. Because they never see or perceive the inner form, they believe it does not exist.

         Much of the reason the majority of people do not believe there is any actual inner sinister presence is because their natural senses are overwhelmed by the outer pretentious costume.

ALL THE WORLD’S A STAGE

         Hupokrites (hoop-ok-ree-tace’) Greek. (1) One who answers, an interpreter, (2) An actor, stage player, (3) A dissembler, pretender, hypocrite [2]

         There is a reason stage actors and orators have traditionally depended on ostentatious costuming and loud, somewhat strange methods of speaking. Their voices must be loud and clear enough to be projected to the farthest seats and end of the crowd. They must never miss a beat in their speaking in order to keep the attention of the audience. Distractions are anathema. They must command attention at all times. That’s why they are there. The audience must be riveted upon their every move and word.

         This is also the reason costuming, or branding, is so important.

         Of the five senses, only two are most applicable to the thespian art and therefore must be appropriated fully by the stage player. These two senses are: Sight and Hearing.

         Stage productions must do everything possible to grab the full attention of the entire audience and maintain it from beginning to end for any chance at all to be successful.

         In former times this depended greatly on the appearance, voice, and emotive ability of each actor, especially the lead actor, including gaudy costuming, quasi-gymnastic bodily movements, and extreme facial expressions.

         It was all pretend, of course, and completely overblown. It was not real and everyone knew this, but everyone also wanted to be entertained. Everyone was mindful of the few people in their lives that possessed the ability to command attention in social groups. They also knew that some of those people were mere put-ons, having learned how to take advantage of others by their looks, charm, natural skills, confidence, and speaking ability.

         The best ended up on stages making good livings at being nothing more than super-emotive fakes. They could turn it on in a second and right back off again once the curtain dropped with most spectators being none the wiser.

         In these times, the success of the two-faced process has gained considerably. Many millions are completely fooled not only by the false appearance of the body snatchers, but are completely oblivious to anything beneath the surface.

         Image is Everthing.

         As a result, the world is quickly becoming a purely surface-oriented entity. Motives and morals no longer matter. It is a world dominated by the present, by phonies, photographs, illusion, tweets, and sound bites.

         The inner form has completely disappeared. The outer form has taken over.

CONFUSED BY LIES, BLINDED BY SIN

         Behold, the LORD’S hand is not so short that it cannot save; nor is His ear so dull that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.

         For your hands are defiled with blood and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken falsehood, your tongue mutters wickedness. No one sues righteously and no one pleads honestly. They trust in confusion and speak lies; they conceive mischief and bring forth iniquity.

         They hatch adders’ eggs and weave the spider’s web; He who eats of their eggs dies, and from that which is crushed a snake breaks forth.

         Their webs will not become clothing, nor will they cover themselves with their works; their works are works of iniquity, and an act of violence is in their hands. Their feet run to evil, and they hasten to shed innocent blood; their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity, devastation and destruction are in their highways. They do not know the way of peace, and there is no justice in their tracks; they have made their paths crooked, whoever treads on them does not know peace.

         Therefore justice is far from us, and righteousness does not overtake us; we hope for light, but behold, darkness, for brightness, but we walk in gloom. We grope along the wall like blind men, we grope like those who have no eyes… [Isaiah 59:1-10] [1]

RELIGIOUS PERFORMANCE ART

         In the first centuries AD, it did not take long for the emergence of those with a hidden agenda to make use of stages, clerical costuming, acting skills, and theater props to appropriate and further their personal and denominational cause.

         They had joined the ancient cult of the outer form.

         “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves.” [Matthew 7:15]

         These were hypocrites—religious stage players of the highest order. They learned well from the originals and the best at their craft—the demonic enemies of the Lord Jesus.

         Their spiritual descendants of the present have multiplied exponentially, invaded many other fields since that time, captured minds by the billions, and are presently all over the landscape.

         Their dual-natured, double-dealing method and ability to deceive has made possible the acquiring of incredible wealth and power, the means to successfully sway public opinion toward their hidden agenda, and the diabolic skill to induce millions into believing in and accepting the opposite of that which the Lord Jesus died to give them.

         But no one knows they are there. They are perfectly hidden by their outer form.

         Unless one has eyes to see.

         © 2015 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

[2] Strong’s Concordance

Why the Lord Used Parables (And Why So Many Christians Still Don’t Get It). Part 3

         And He said, “How shall we picture the kingdom of God, or by what parable shall we present it? It is like a mustard seed, which, when sown upon the soil, though it is smaller than all the seeds that are upon the soil, yet when it is sown, it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and forms large branches; so that THE BIRDS OF THE AIR can NEST UNDER ITS SHADE.”

         With many such parables He was speaking the word to them, so far as they were able to hear it; and He did not speak to them without a parable; but He was explaining everything privately to His own disciples. [Mark 4:30-34]

         Here we have the mysterious but distinct contrast to the real teaching method used by the Lord Jesus and that of imposters.

         As mentioned in Part 2, religious indoctrination must be used when no relationship with God is present.

         There is no doubt this is a “hard saying,” and certainly causes the inevitable stumbling when related to one’s Christian experience. But try to see it this way: Fathers do not put their small children in a school desk or pew in the living room and attempt to ram home all the teaching they must impart through a contrived institutional format.

         Instead, they spend as much time as possible with their small children and allow them to ask questions. They are gentle and open, and allow each child to feel secure while also putting forth a mature stature which the child naturally respects.

         The father spends time with his children, engages in activities with them, attempts to bless them with opportunities, and teaches by example. Love comes first, and as life’s opportunities for learning present themselves, fathers are ready with the same kind of instruction used by the Lord.

         I don’t know why this is so hard to see, but it certainly is. Traditional, institutional Christianity has robbed the children of God from having that particular close learning relationship with the Lord He so wants to share with them. He loves His many children and He must feel very bad at being shut out by those who insist on regimenting and overly structuring Christian teaching, and turning spiritual revelation into classroom indoctrination.

         Why can’t we see that the Lord Jesus never did this? Why do we justify it? Why do so few “Christian” men lack the spiritual backbone, intestinal fortitude, and outright nuticles to do something about it?

         Though God, the Lord Jesus is also the greatest MAN who ever lived. He is manly to the core. When He walked this earth He presented the manliness and strength of God in a way that had never been done before. The real seekers of truth noted this, honored and respected it, and listened to the Man to the point of receiving His truth, His Spirit, and all that entailed.

         Some of them wanted to seize Him, but no one laid hands on Him. The officers then came to the chief priests and Pharisees, and they said to them, “Why did you not bring Him?”

         The officers answered, “Never has a man spoken the way this man speaks.” [John 7:44-46]

         Rather than respect Him and the gospel, His detractors and enemies took the opposite path. Whether intimidated or angered by Him, they simply could not possibly coexist with Him. They were the ones who insisted on cold, unfeeling, formalized religion that never touched the deep heart of people in great need.

         The Lord, though, never used their false methods. He got down on the level of His disciples and taught with love and sincerity.

         He had no church building.

         He had no pulpit.

         He had no narcissistic clergy distinctions whatsoever.

         He did not need to prop Himself up or surround himself with or within some grand faux religious apparatus to appear genuine.

         He was genuine by His love and manner. His disciples felt His love. They knew they were loved, the same way a little boy or little girl knows he or she is loved when daddy takes them fishing, or to the park, or plays a game with them, or shows them how to do stuff.

         Is not this the very essence of mature servanthood and of the strong taking care of the weak? Instead of the strong becoming more strong and more enchriched and ruling over the weak?

         For we rejoice when we ourselves are weak but you are strong; this we also pray for, that you be made complete. [2Corinthians 13:9]

         This is the heart of God. At best, some of the overly formalized regimented methods of clergyites might lead to a better understanding of God on possibly an elementary level, but can in no way reveal the Lord for who He really is. This is why all the patriarchs spent so much time alone with God out in the desert. It is why the apostle Paul did the same. They learned from God directly, and they brought home teachings and understandings no one else possessed.

         Please consider the following:

         For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. [Galatians 1:11-12]

         Paul had no New Testament. He had no formalized church to attend. How did he learn so much? Though he had no New Testament, he ending up writing much of it! How?

         He says he did not receive the gospel from man.

         He says the gospel he taught was not according to man.

         He says He received the gospel he taught through a revelation of Jesus Christ.

         Think about it. No church. No Bible school. No seminary. No New Testament to memorize and learn from. No brothers or sisters around him all the time instructing him.

         Paul received the gospel he preached through a direct revelation from God while he was out in the desert alone with God.

         How do we know he got it right? And how do we know most “Christian” ministers get it wrong? Here’s how:

         And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.

         I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom,

         BUT IN DEMONSTRATION OF THE SPIRIT AND OF POWER,

         so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.

         Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away; but we speak God’s wisdom

         IN A MYSTERY, THE HIDDEN WISDOM WHICH GOD PREDESTINED BEFORE THE AGES TO OUR GLORY;

         the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory; but just as it is written,

         “THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD, AND which HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN, ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.”

         For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.

         For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him?

         Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God.

         [1 Corinthians 2:1-11] [1]

         © 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Why the Lord Used Parables (And Why So Many Christians Still Don’t Get It). Part Deux

         Real Christians must always guard against religious indoctrination. The human mind in its fallen state is such that it has no reference to truth, no infrastructure toward a standard basis of spiritual knowledge and fact, and no ability to properly comprehend that which can only be spiritually discerned.

         We do have a conscience, of course. A healthy though natural mind does have the ability to differentiate between good and evil to an extent, but because human beings are also willful creatures and, short of a born-again experience, rebellious toward God and the things of God, it also possesses the ability to veto one’s moral conscience.

         In general terms, people always know in advance when they’re about to engage in wrong behavior if they follow a certain course their conscience is warning them against. Once doing the bad thing, one’s conscience confirms its earlier warning with an “I told you so” to further convict one, reinforce the fact that a wrong course was chosen, and warn further against the illicit action in the future.

         And if that’s not enough, there is always the fruit of evil behavior that sprouts up in one’s life to give an individual further proof that the activity was bad.

         Therefore, as the Word of God clearly states, even though unregenerate humanity is blinded by sin, human beings still have no excuses whatsoever for evil behavior and rebellion against God:

         For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

         Professing to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures. Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them.

         For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. [Romans 1:20-25]

         In this passage the apostle adds to the fact that we all possess a conscience with the further fact that the natural world all around us also reveals God and the difference between good and evil. One must remember that Paul wrote this long before what is now presented as fully accepted fact and believed wholeheartedly by most, including most “Christians”—the lie of human evolution—and that even then humanity had descended into a gross depravity regarding morality, truth, and mankind’s origins.

         Because the nature of such depravity goes unregistered in a sinful mind, one fails to see the nature of the advancing disease as one cannot see the forest for the trees. Because of such gross distortion and moral compasses out of whack, and because of the rapid nature of the sin disease metastasizing throughout the human family, the majority are lost within the matrix and deceived about reality.

         A faux reality has thus been constructed to deal with humanity’s distance from God which includes distance from God’s light, truth, and love. This very dark world is then made peace with, so to speak, and accepted as standard reality from which actual morality appears unreachable and impossible. The idea of evil remains, however, but evil is relegated to the realm of the grossly evil. Hence, regular human beings doing regular things according to this low denominational moral understanding are perceived as good and moral, though it is no such thing.

         In other words, God’s righteous standard, if we all obeyed and practiced it, would result in a truly wonderful and loving world, while mankind’s faux moral construct is equivalent to an extremely low moral common denominator in which almost everyone can feel good about themselves regardless of pesky moral consciences that are most often shunned and put aside.

         Picture a scale of ten in which the Lord’s holy life for all is seen as a 10 and mankind’s false moral standard as a 1. A 1 is relatively simple to achieve since it almost always involves no necessary attempt at achievement whatsoever, and one in which 95% are good people exhibiting moral behavior, as in, “Gimme a break. I’ve never killed anyone, dude. Back off,” meaning that murder and such sins cross the line but almost everything else is fine and dandy.

         This all came about for the same reason that all the little five year old soccer players started getting little individual trophies several years ago. First of all, little kids’ soccer is a faux sport in which all the little ones run around trying to kick a fat ball. Real hard. Then they all get a trophy for participating as if they achieved something when they actually achieved nothing.

         In contrast, the early days of Little League Baseball showcased the clear differential between those boys good enough to excel at the sport, often through very hard work, dedication, practice, and much playing time among themselves with no adults ever present, and those geeky ones who were quickly seen as possessing little or no talent and no passion for the game. Teams were formed, leagues were formed, and ONE team from each league received ONE team trophy, if anyone ever received a trophy at all. Most of the time there was no such thing. And there were certainly never any individual trophies.

         The point here is that winning a championship meant something and that only the winners achieved anything. Even those in second place were seen as losers. This resulted in a very high standard and something one must work very hard at to become a winner.

         Do we not see this almost exact dynamic in international Olympic sports? Only one person in each event wins the gold, and often by milliseconds. Imagine missing out on the gold by .001 of a second. You’re still a loser regardless of losing margin. Why even bother with silvers and bronzes? They didn’t win. There is no winning in placing second or third.

         Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win.

         Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified. [1Corinthians 9:24-27]

         To sum up, the world’s standard of morality is actually no standard at all. Almost everyone considers himself or herself righteous. Pretty much everyone believes himself or herself to be a good, basically decent person whom God has no real problem with, if indeed there is a God. Everyone wins a trophy, whether they run around in circles doing nothing, sit on the field as a spectator watching the untoward activity around them, become distracted by butterflies, knowing or unknowingly join the other team, never touch the ball, whine and cry, or refuse to leave the sidelines. Everyone gets a juice box and a snack and a trophy and good wishes from doting parents though the majority never achieve squat.

         The above is this world in a nutshell. Most people are oblivious of the spiritual world all around them. They are spiritually blind and deaf.

         But some, a few, actually have spiritual ears and eyes that work, and they receive little radio signals they know must mean something but can’t quite figure out. They remain intrigued, wondering why they see things a tad differently, and is why the blindfolded majority perceive them as a tad off, or strange.

         These are the ones who can be reached by a parable.

         They do not respond to religious dogma or forced compliance to some hackneyed, subjective, incomplete, false, or fractured moral code. Though they don’t know what they’re looking for, they know what it is not. They reject faux substitutes. They travel on in search of the lost chord—the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow—that unseen something they will know when they find it.

         This is why they reject religious indoctrination. They know that within their weakened state of being prior to discovering truth that they possess the potential to be force fed faux drivel and indoctrinated against the very truth they seek, and they intrinsically know they must shun such brainwashing efforts by the great faker controllers.

         Indeed, such religious controllers, especially those of the Unreal Christianity variety, are as much a part of the world’s faux moral low denominational construct as all other members, and are actually the most sinister of all in that they represent the devil’s last chance at stopping the searcher of truth on his or her path toward life.

         It’s like getting detoured a few yards short of the finish line on a winning run. Real Christians, both before and after their born again experience, can never allow themselves to be cut off at the pass by the religious chucklehead posse.

         They must press on toward truth and life. They must listen to their conscience, and respect their hearing ears and seeing eyes though the volume be low and the vision initially blurry.

         These are the ones who can be reached by a parable.

         “For nothing is hidden, except to be revealed; nor has anything been secret, but that it would come to light.

         “If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” [Mark 4:22-23] [1]

         © 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Why the Lord Used Parables (And Why So Many Christians Still Don’t Get It). Part 1

         Most Christians are taught what the Lord’s parables mean without actually receiving their meanings from God. At best, teachers teach what others have received from God. At worst, there are substandard and completely wrong interpretations passed off as genuine.

         This is the difference between religious dogma and divine revelation.

         In that light, it is said that spiritual knowledge is gained in two ways: (1) book knowledge, or head knowledge, or gaining data empirically, or reading our Bibles to gain facts, etc, and (2) divine revelation.

         The former is accessed by a working brain regardless of heart condition or spiritual proclivity. The latter, divine revelation, is gained through the Lord revealing something to our hearts—bypassing our heads (or possibly going through them).

         And speaking of brains, it should be obvious to most people with brains that divine revelation is the best method. One might even say it is actually the only method, and here’s why:

         We have millions of Christians who have been taught and dogmatized by the letter but actually have no understanding of the spirit (and much of the letter they are taught is not Biblical anyway). In fact, the majority of Christians worldwide are walking around in head knowledge, and the probable majority of those have very little head knowledge, (that’s what we pay the preacher/priest/minister for!), which means they have absolutely no spiritual knowledge whatsoever.

         How then are they Christians? One must understand the concept of cultural Christianity to understand that calling oneself a Christian because one identifies with some aspect of denominational Christianity makes one no more a Christian than so many proponents of other religions—those who are such only because of outside circumstances and cultural/family pressure. Many Buddhists, for example, do not actually practice the full teachings of the Buddha but still consider themselves Buddhists.

         It is no different with Christianity in the sense that most Christians do not practice or attempt to practice the full curriculum of the Lord Jesus and reject becoming real disciples.

         Real Christianity is different from all other belief systems and religions (including Unreal Christianity) simply because it is not a belief system or religion. It is based on an actual personal relationship with the God of the Universe who revealed Himself to us as one of us—God became a human being.

         Now, that in itself sounds completely weird to the natural mind and is thus summarily dismissed and denounced by most people right off the bat, which reveals something about the natural mind, of course.

         Further rejection by the natural mind of spiritual knowledge follows, and the idea that we can know God and God wants to know us and we can talk to God etc. is also thus placed in that place where the down to earth put belief in little green men and off-the-wall dark conspiracies and haunted houses and “I see dead people” and Ray’s hearing voices out in his field and in short, weird stuff that only weird people take a liking to.

         For non-believers this is understandable, but for all the so-called Christians who fall into this category it is beyond mind-boggling and completely proves my point: Most Christians want no part of all the “weird stuff” put forth in the Bible, but only the completely surface indoctrination and cultural low-denominational “refinement” that characterizes all dead forms of Christianity, much like the dead forms of Judaism during the Lord’s day which caused its proponents to reject the Lord Jesus outright.      

         Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words.

         But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised. [1Corinthians 2:12-14] [1]

         © 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved. [To Be Continued.]


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

The Greatest Secret

           And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”

           Jesus answered them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.

         “Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.” [Matthew 10-13]

         In my previous article, I made an attempt to reveal a little light regarding Secret Societies, those mysterious behind-the-scenes organizations often composed of very powerful people.

         The United States of America was in part founded by members of such groups. Our first president was a member in good standing of one such Secret Society and never absolved himself of his lifelong membership.

         Though not all of those who played principle roles in the formation of this country belonged to secret groups, those who did seemed to play a larger role than those who did not. Such was their power at that time.

         Two questions: (1) Because of such facts does it somehow lessen both the necessity and pertinence of the founding this nation, or diminish the individual freedom gained as a result? And (2) What does this have to do with real Christianity?

         Glad you asked (or possibly thought of asking).

         First of all, in order for a group to be established, stay in existence, and remain viable, it often has to use some form of tact or secrecy. For Christians, such secrecy stems from the very parables the Lord Jesus taught. Rather than a cut-and-dried formulaic approach, He used a parabolic form of revealing truth that demanded the direct participation of His followers.

         Instead of the passive forms of indoctrination used by the majority of teachers, religious hucksters, gurus, mystics, and even many philosophers from ancient times to the present, the founder of real Christianity preferred not the usual indoctrination process of forced dogma and non-interactive “sermons,” but alive and lively mutual and reciprocal communication. He wanted discussions. He wanted His listeners to engage, to use their minds, to consider His sayings and respond.

         When this form of teaching is not being used, one can rest assured that a method of instruction designed to bypass critical thinking is being applied in an effort to have maximum impact on impressing relatively unused hard drives and create anything from a shallow-minded cult to a universal sect.

         This method may be fine when properly teaching first-graders how to read or use basic arithmetic. The young ones have no established data bank to accept or refute such instruction and such instruction in its purest form utilizes hard facts and fixed fundamental absolutes. One can thus afford being dictated to somewhat, but later interaction with parents and loved ones regarding such instruction is a must.

         Now, the Lord certainly taught facts and He certainly used and supported the Mosaic code. He never spoke against the Law of Moses but did allude to its misapplication and misinterpretation by certain religious leaders who taught according to rote and demanded unconditional acceptance with no dissent.

         Thus, the casuistic method of the Pharisees appears much like the methods traditional, institutional unreal Christianity has used throughout its long heyday. It is a teaching method that has an answer for everything, down to the atomic level, and engages in dogma-domineering of both large block fundamentals, the smallest minutia, and everything in between.

         Such teaching not only does not need an interactive, responsive discussion, it condemns it.

         The reason most Christians do not see this is because they have been conditioned to accept a false modus and consider the Lord’s actual method as inappropriate at best and outright disrespectful at worst.

         And there’s your problem: “If you do not listen to me properly, give me the floor, and never question my core beliefs then you are disrespecting me as a teacher/minister/reverend/priest/pastor.”

         Such a response usually reveals a person so insecure in his religious beliefs and practices that he must have large artificial constructs all around him to support his standing, rank, status, and stature, and to enforce his absolutist all-encompassing theology and doctrine.

         These people are playing hardball with no ball on a fake field and when they get on a real field with real players they are exposed for the jacked-up pretenders they are. Without such great Hollywoodish props to fake people out they would be standing alone in the midst of people with lively brains who would undoubtedly take issue with their false religious clothdom and hardwired casuistry.

         By the demanding of total allegiance and professing an answer for everything, a prospective disciple (student, congregant) is cut off from hearing God.

         “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.” [Matthew 23:13]

         The counter intuitive nature of such religious indoctrination, which seemingly exists openly and without guile, must actually depend on secrecy to remain outwardly legitimate. Otherwise, it would not be issued forth as something never to be questioned, and it would not treat dissenters with the vile disgust and anger it is historically known by.

         So, what am I driving at? I’m driving at the actual need for secrecy in many pursuits, such as that used by the Lord (and including the need for it in the founding of a free republic), whether or not some use it incorrectly or for sinister reasons.

         If not for the tight-lipped secrecy and strong organization employed by Secret Societies and others in the founding of this country, there might possibly not be an America. The American Revolution happened with their direct involvement for better or worse as a matter of historical record.

         What this portends is simply the fact that some had one agenda and others had another, but all such agendas agreed on the need for FREEDOM. This is how Great Awakenings work. The real ones begin in the spiritual sphere and ripple out from there.

         During the American Revolution, one man wanted religious freedom because real Christians were denied such freedom for many centuries by evil demon-possessed religious autocrats and pinheaded inbred monarchs in Europe. Others wanted political freedom. Most wanted economic freedom and the liberty from being taxed and regulated to death by those mentioned above.

         In the early centuries real Christianity had no choice but to use secrecy simply to stay alive, since the community of the Lord was made illegal, both by the Jewish ruling authorities and later by the dreaded iron-fisted Roman Empire. Our forebears were wanted men and women, and they had to use tact and genius to do their work of evangelizing the world, often behind the scenes. Many were caught though, and many were killed, but the movement was never stopped.

         As we fast forward to modern America in the last one hundred years or so, we see that much of that which refers to itself as Christianity has indeed been stopped, and has become relatively dead and useless. Nevertheless, the witness of real Christianity has thrived though greatly persecuted. At the height of America’s material wealth and prestige, many Christians succumbed, and wanted no mention of the Lord’s real teachings.

         But now, as America is descending into a moral and economic abyss, a curious and wonderful event is taking place: Real Christians are coming forth. A Great Awakening is happening. What has been done in secret for the last half century or so is now beginning to produce fruit outwardly. The ones formerly involved in the hardest foundational work will be the greatest recipients of the outpouring and the ones most used of God within it.

         I’ll have more on this theme in the immediate future. But for now know this: The Lord Jesus is in charge. He never uses force. He has granted and respects free will. He expects us to use our free wills and our brains. He expects us to utilize every gift and blessing we’ve been granted. And His greatest blessings come to those who do things His way, because His way is the best way. This has been proven historically.

         But those who refuse a closer walk with Him, many “Christians” included, will end up joining the bad guys against the Lord’s people. And most will think they’re doing God a favor:

         “They will make you outcasts from the synagogue, but an hour is coming for everyone who kills you to think that he is offering service to God.” [John 16:2]

         (Many Christians in western countries historically blow off such pronouncements because they do not seem to apply. But we better start paying attention.)

         There is nothing to be done about those who refuse to see. They are engaging in willful blindness. They have either been indoctrinated to the hilt, something to which they freely submitted, or they are simply apathetic toward truth. Not even the Lord was all that concerned about healing their blind eyes. By His behavior and teaching method, it was up to them to hear Him. And until they did they were given a steady diet of parables that they neither understood nor applied to themselves.

         But those with eyes to see will know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. Revealed truth will fill them, and they will be the recipients, on this earth, of the oracles of God, especially the greatest secret of all:

         …The mystery which has been hidden from the past ages and generations, but has now been manifested to His saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. [Colossians 1:26-27]

         And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness. [Acts 4:31]

         “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” [Matthew 5:8] [1]

         © 2014 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

RELATED POSTS:

Blessed Are The Eyes That See

The Partial Bliss of Ignorance

New 21st Century Wineskins for American Christianity (Part 1)

New 21st Century Wineskins for American Christianity (Part 2)

I and My Father Are One and The Same!

Blessed Are The Eyes That See

        Formerly, truth shone like the sun.

        There was no denying it. It stood forth for all to see, and all could see, and all did see.

        There was never any thought of questioning something so perfectly, starkly, and prodigiously shining forth.

        Truth was like Everest or the Pacific or the vast blue sky above. It was the fruited plain that stretched from horizon to horizon, north to south, and east to west. It had no actual boundaries.

         And it was free.

Sun

         But then, slowly, terribly, a grey darkness drifted in, ever so slightly, deceiving, conniving, covering up, shading, equivocating, and probing—not against the truth, but against the perception of it. For it was perception that mattered.

         In other words, one cannot actually question Mount Everest or the Pacific Ocean. But one can question one’s perception of Mount Everest or the Pacific Ocean.

         Do they really exist?

         How do you know?

         Why are you so sure?

         Do you just take everything you are told as a given?

         Are you so gullible?

         Can you not think for yourself?

         The darkness, actually a light shade of grey, became somewhat darker. As those who questioned obvious truth became increasingly more perplexed, though they had not been previously, and though they had also shined bright like the sun in innocence and pure faith and love, with glowing smiles and clear consciences, and no reason to worry, their souls also became darker.

         Then they became foolish. They eventually became idiots. Truth became lost to them and they became wise only in their own eyes, and they grouped themselves together in communities of ignorance, and they began practicing very strange behavior, and engaging in increasingly horrendous deeds.

         They fell completely out of their first estate and tumbled down several spiritual echelons until they were no longer spirit at all but pure animalistic purveyors and practitioners of evil most foul and most dark.

         And they liked it.

         And they built religious communities and claimed the discovery of new truth and truths and new light and new ways of seeing things and new perspectives with new allowances and laws and manners of living, and they taught them, and these things became a code to live by.

         And they did live by them. And their world was as dark as dark could be and all the people were as blind as could be but they smiled and lived and carried on as if they were light and walking in the light.

         And they cursed the darkness. The darkness that was actually the light. The light that had never stopped shining. And they cursed the truth as well, and disbelieved it. They disbelieved it in mass.

         The truth had never stopped being the truth. Mount Everest was still Mount Everest. The Pacific Ocean was still the Pacific Ocean as it had always been.

         And the vast sky was still blue.

         But not according to their perception, because their perception had changed, and thus, their perspective had changed, and thus, the obvious was no longer obvious whatsoever.

         Professing to be wise, they became fools… [Romans 1:22]

         And they hated one another and called each other heretics and started denominations. And they had religious wars over points of doctrine and burned one another at the stake and murdered and maimed in the name of God and for the cause of their religion.

         And to this day they continue to violate the two commandments upon which the entire Law of Moses and Prophetic Books hang.

         They have lost their way.

         They have smiles on their faces but little love.

         And they act like they know God.

         And go through their routines every Sunday morning.

         In darkness.

         With eyes that don’t see.

         And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?”

         Jesus answered them, “To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted. For whoever has, to him more shall be given, and he will have an abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has shall be taken away from him.

         “Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.

         “In their case the prophecy of Isaiah is being fulfilled, which says,

         ‘YOU WILL KEEP ON HEARING, BUT WILL NOT UNDERSTAND;

         YOU WILL KEEP ON SEEING, BUT WILL NOT PERCEIVE;

         FOR THE HEART OF THIS PEOPLE HAS BECOME DULL,

         WITH THEIR EARS THEY SCARCELY HEAR,

         AND THEY HAVE CLOSED THEIR EYES,

         OTHERWISE THEY WOULD SEE WITH THEIR EYES,

         HEAR WITH THEIR EARS,

         AND UNDERSTAND WITH THEIR HEART AND RETURN,

         AND I WOULD HEAL THEM.’

         “But blessed are your eyes, because they see; and your ears, because they hear.

         “For truly I say to you that many prophets and righteous men desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it . . . [Matthew 13:10-17] [1]

            © 2013 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.


[1] Unless otherwise noted all Scriptures are taken from the New American Standard Bible, © 1960, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

The Parable of the Church Chairs

       Then Peter and John went to church.

        It was the day after the Sabbath. The new padded folding chairs had arrived from Antioch. The tasteful gray tones of each identical chair matched well with the muted shades of the carpet and fabric-covered acoustic wall panels.

         Strolling to the front row, the two apostles looked forward to seeing their own new church chairs with their names scripted tastefully on the backrest, but otherwise denoting a pure spiritual humility in that the chairs were identical to all the others.

         They had learned this from the Master, who had decided it best to no longer sit in His huge and decorative platform throne but down among the little people in a regular chair. And His new chair was a regular chair like all the rest, of course, except for being gold-plated, just a tad larger, with His name embossed, and with special wiring and comports to facilitate better communication and access to His laptop.

         The usual comforting din of low voices and polite conversation had ceased momentarily as the two great men took their seats on either side of the big chair in the center of the first row like all the rest. Church was about to begin. All was in good order.

         The church song leader and choir director strode to the front. Also known as Pastor of Music, he was beaming. Some thought it was because his new contract increased his salary to match that of the top 5% of mega church song leaders and choir directors across the land. But others whispered something about a new friend. The congregation had always admired his polished taste in manner and clothing, as well as his unashamed emotive expressions and being able to cry so easily at the moving of the Spirit. He always worked very hard at putting forth an excellent expression of taste and unity toward the outside community. He handpicked and/or created the choir robe fabrics, wall hangings, platform arrangements (though he abhorred the term “platform”), and all else associated with his music and performance. He believed that God deserved the very best and was thankful for the generous monetary outlays which allowed him to give God the very best.

         At last, the moment that everyone anticipated had finally arrived—the time had come for the church members to stand in place among the rows of new chairs. The joy was palpable. There was a kind of hush all over the church.

         Within seconds all was quiet. All children below the age of thirteen had long since been tucked away out of sight in Sunday school rooms and all the precious little toddlers and infants in their Sunday best were ensconced in the large permanent cry room and nursery far in the back. Amid the dignified and inspirational silence, the church lights were dimmed, and the low opening strains of introductory live instrumental praise and worship music commenced. Since only standing was allowed during praise and worship, trying out the new church chairs would have to wait. Thankfully, though many were tempted, every single person in the congregation continued standing and no one gave in to temptation, though many were sorely tried.

         Some were visibly saddened on this momentous day because the Master would not be in attendance. If only He could be here! Instead, and much more important, He had a church business meeting in Jerusalem regarding the purchase of a new plot of land near the old city of David to build a new satellite church facility including extensive grounds for multipurpose use in sight of the Temple Mount. Among the attendees of the church business meeting would be highbrow Sadducees and high-level temple priests who had no little concern at such a radical-appearing move of the young upstarts. They were especially concerned about the large parking lot and the effect on traffic flow, not to mentioned further strain on the local Gihon Spring water supply. But Christianity must prevail, of course, regardless of such outright persecution.

         Praise and worship had finally ended. After almost an hour of standing and singing, some with arms raised, most congregants were ready to take a rest and try out the new chairs. After resisting temptation for so long several people hesitated. But those who sat instantly felt the difference! The new chairs were a hit! Although the previous padded pews had been quite comfortable, the padding in the new chairs was better, and even more relaxing. Some of the older church members were sad at the loss of their favored pews, but the pews were deemed much too “churchy.”

         Though not nearly as dignified as the stately old state-of-the-art padded pews in muted taupe, the new shade-of-gray padded metal folding chairs represented well the new freedom everyone was feeling—the chairs lightened the mood and helped bring the local church into the twentieth century. Of course, the chairs had to be fastened together in clearly delineated exact rows with perfect spacing and placement. But unlike the former pews, these new chairs were not bolted to the floor. That particular fact alone was an obvious unspoken cry of freedom and spiritual liberty.

         The brand new chairs, like each congregant, illustrated very well the clear New Testament concept that freedom of spiritual expression should be greatly encouraged but never allowed to go so far as to affect controlled unity, church uniforms, or correct and proper attitude and decorum. Though such facts were much appreciated by those of the older generation, they would have to understand that church must be brought closer to the original model, though even many young adults were concerned that change was happening too fast. But they appreciated the freedom to dress down somewhat and be more comfortable.

         Some of the younger men actually got together beforehand and made a pact, vowing to bring the church into even greater liberty by no longer wearing neckties with their business suits. Though applauded on one level, these boat-rocking young men knew that such a radical move would cost them when unpaid entitled staff positions became available. And they could forget about church valet parking without a considerable increase in gratuity. Such is the cost paid by spiritual pioneers.

         It was now time for the preaching to start. The Lord had left the Apostle Peter in charge, of course, as He always did when He was on the road. The Apostle Peter was noted for being the first among equals and relished his place in the pecking order. As the Lord taught, the big man was to be addressed by his title and never his name, hold his head high, and walk in the dignity of his office. And unlike the religious Pharisees who insisted on wearing specialized ecclesiastical clothing, the Apostle Peter, as did the other apostles, dressed instead in the simple attire of mere business executives and CEO’s.

         Being second in command to God was certainly okay under such circumstances. The Apostle Peter celebrated the day by wearing a brand new blazer with a new gold “key” motif on the front, designed specifically for him by the Pastor of Music and fashioned by a local tailor who had also received the contract to make the choir robes, special singer costumes, and general performance attire.

         Then, exactly on cue, with the Apostle John looking on (who was also looking forward to the day when the Apostle Peter would get promoted to Senior Pastor of the new satellite church so he could have his own opportunity to preach on such occasions when the Master left town on important church business), the Apostle Peter arose from his humble new front row padded church chair and strode toward the huge handcrafted wood pulpit atop the platform, climbing each step with dignity and decorum, his head held high, a servant to all.

         It had taken him years to get the smell of fish off his hands.

         © 2013 by RJ Dawson. All Rights Reserved.