Relationships

HeartOn this Valentines a note that I carry over from my signatures.

“Who you know is not as important as how you treat the people that you meet.”

This carries over from “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.

Valentine’s Day is about “love”. It is about how we build and maintain relationships. Whether these relationships are deeply personal, workplace, casual or a simple hello, how we interact with people we have known for years or moments defines us as a human being. From the stand point of Jesus, “Love One Another”” was never followed by exceptions. If there are those who are not inclined to the golden rule, or simply do not grasp that humans are basically chameleons who reflect their environment, one must simply move along, do not force a reaction and do not look back. (“Wipe the dust from your feet”.)
Ours is a role of reflecting our Teacher’s message. When we accept the banner of “Christian” we accept a powerful message that people should recognize by how we interact with them.  If we do not reflect Jesus’ message in our own actions, the message we are teaching send the wrong message of what it is a “Christian” is. It is because of what I have seen in others who proudly raise the “Christian” banner that “Unorthodox Christianity” was born.
What makes “Unorthodox Christianity” unorthodox are its roots in the red print of a concordance Bible. No caveats, no exceptions, no exclusions, no racism, no sexism, nothing other than “Love One Another”.  It is much more difficult to be an “Unorthodox Christian”, than it ever will be to wear the banner “Christian”.

“Though I walk through the valley of the shadows of lost souls, I shall not fear them for thou art with me. Thy word and thy example comfort me. Even now, this very day, you are preparing the future before me. In the presence of my enemies, even in the midst of my own personal struggle. You anoint my head with oil and once again my cup overflows with your bountiful blessings. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever…” (the 23rd Psalm applied to me.)

“Who you know is not as important as how you treat the people that you meet.”
dw-2-14-2018

GOD IS LOVE

GOD is LOVE. When Jesus (believed to be the ‘Christ’) preached amongst us He was Jewish. When Jesus died on the cross He was “King of the JEWS”. Jesus was never “Christian”, outside of the attachment of a term that was corresponding to his teachings. You will know the followers of Jesus by their adherence to his teachings and His primary message was to simply “LOVE ONE ANOTHER”. The true measurement of a believer in the teachings of Jesus is not the attachment to a philosophy that has grown out of a feeling of preference, but of an attitude of “Love One Another” as it is exemplified in their everyday lives. Jesus was not a fan of the religious implementation of the leaders of His own chosen religion, Judaism as expressed in his own words.

Many brand themselves to be “Christian” to garner the preference of a group of theoretically like minded individuals whose attachment to each other promotes a single secular agenda that Jesus warned us about: “Be careful of those who come in my name”.

LOVE ONE ANOTHER is not judgmental based on adherence to a group that is “acceptable” or otherwise. LOVE ONE ANOTHER simply loves. People of all cultures and races and religions have adherents that LOVE and adherents that HATE. A follower of the teachings of Jesus among any of them, is simply required to “LOVE ONE ANOTHER”. You will recognize them by THAT attitude, and by no other measure exclusively.

GOD’s Open Door Policy

opendoorI read a bit. I read the news and read commentary. I pay more attention to the Christian take on things due to the name of my blog and do not, probably, write enough in defense of us.
The commentary I hear too much is that GOD, a loving GOD to me,  is also a judgmental, stern and harsh patron. The GOD I have grown up with is referred to as “LOVE”. LOVE does not close windows or lock doors. LOVE does not criticize, LOVE comforts. The office of GOD has an open door policy. One needs not require a judgmental GOD. The man in the mirror tells me when I have done wrong, made a mistake, or fallen short of my example  Jesus. Too often the mirror judgement is more damaging to me than any.
LOVE understands. No one on the face of the Earth has walked my journey, encountered my fears under my circumstances, made the same decisions for the same reasons. Save One. LOVE (GOD). If we knew everybody’s everything we may eventually learn to understand. GOD has walked the journey with me. Every minute, every day, 24-7. When someone says that you have to earn your time with GOD it is a lie. GOD knows EARTH. GOD knows that people are not always kind to other people. GOD KNOWS HELL. For too many that is EARTH. GOD knows what you have tried to accomplish, and what mountains you have had to climb. GOD (LOVE) does not stand on the sidelines of life. For all who ask, seek, or even irregardless, we have done the climb with LOVE’s help. Whether dressed as a parent, or a friend, neighbor or stranger, LOVE has helped with my climb.
LOVE will help you with yours.
Enjoy the day for the opportunities it represents, not lament it for the negatives of a past that has perhaps occurred. Make your corner of the world a nice one. A comfortable place to hang out for someone LOVE sends your way.

LOVE has an open door policy, let no one tell you otherwise.
“FATHER, FORGIVE THEM, FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO.” (Jesus of Nazareth)

On The Job Training.. OJT

OJT  Keys

The journey has taught me a lot to this point of it. I wasn’t much of a school person after about year two in college. I didn’t go to law school, or doctor school. I was a history major with a minor in business. I started working young, full time. I’ve had a wide variety of job experiences over the years, but I did not study the hows at the community college. I had what we called OJT. On The Job Training.
For as diverse as the jobs have been, the training has been essentially the same.
On The Job Training.

Oh, every so often, someone rode with you in your car, or told you how to fill out this report, turn in this order, check payroll, schedule help, interview-hire- and terminate people, for about two hours. People that train people to do stuff first go to school to learn how to talk fast. Real fast. And in about two hours everything you need to know about everything is disseminated and they are gone and you couldn’t write fast enough to get it all down. “Here are your keys. Enjoy.” Now you are experiencing On The Job Training or OJT.

I learned about Jesus on Sundays. Sometimes. I got a Bible when I was ‘confirmed’. I asked once in Sunday School, “If GOD is a great creator, why doesn’t God just make good people?” I was asked not to ask any more questions.
So GOD took it upon itself to teach me another way.

On The Job Training.
Mom and relatives supplied more and more expanded Bible’s. I listened to sermons and drew out what I could. I meditated on what I had read. My Aunt, the Christian Scientist, encouraged me to learn more. I studied Jesus within the red print of concordance Bible’s and found a few who followed the things that I had read, and more who do not appear to have looked at the book at all but say they follow it word by word. More people who have called themselves Christians, have taught me what it isn’t. They have become examples of what not to be when throwing the Banner around. GOD through in a bunch of OJT. I was lucky in that most of the people I met in church were the stewards of caring in the little tiny churches that have crossed my path. They brought food for the funerals, the weddings and the births. They taught Sunday School and took kids on ‘retreats’. Many became Mentors by their example. The politicians stood out. They all seemed to have had signs made for their foreheads that said VOTE FOR ME.
On The Job Training has taught me more than anything. GOD has seemed to be much more of a great educator than book writers.

Jesus said once, “Be careful of those who come in my name.” He, also, spent a lot of time in On The Job Training. My guess is that you have also. And what has On The Job Training taught me?

I call it Unorthodox Christianity..
Thanks for stopping by.

The Real Jesus

From 4-10-2007 (brought up to date)

The whole scene of Jesus has been so distorted in our minds eye by grand movies with huge sets and fancy settings. Where we see Jesus Christ Superstar, a handsome movie star in a clean white robe, the people saw an itinerant street preacher who was ‘despised’ and rejected of men, not comely to look at. Thin and ‘average’.
Without the miracles, Jesus would have lived, preached, and died without much notice. No new calendar, no Christians, probably no Koran, no crusades, and a completely different history.
We have created a legend that has become pretty and acceptable. We can not understand why anyone would not jump on the Jesus bandwagon. The walking was down crowded alleyways in Middle Eastern Earth, dusty, dirty, and smelly with no deodorant, no shaving cream, and no breath mints. There probably wasn’t a closet full of clothes to take a clean robe from daily. The beds were blankets on the ground or in hard bunks. It is said that the man himself was born in a stable. Standing in the presence of Pontius Pilate was a man who probably did not look much different than a thief or, at best, the most common of commoners. When Jesus spoke he was a carpenter’s son and not a priest.

His message was beyond radical, it was crazy. LOVE ONE ANOTHER was not going to save anyone from the Romans, or the tax collectors, or the Priest who sat in the seat of honor. ‘Kiss my ring’ was not invented by the Pope or some French King, it was a traditional realm of power, a perk of status.
Jesus would have been seen as a commoner in the temple, expressing ideas that were so far out in left field, and then slowly but surely, over 3 years it got worse. Now a bit of a politician, a teacher proclaiming a kingdom of GOD radically different than that espoused by the priests, a position also in opposition to the Sadducees, the politicians of Jewish society. Worse yet, he was gaining a following. Think of John the Baptist in the wilderness, wearing animal skins and eating locusts and wild honey. They thought Jesus was the Baptist. This is not the image of a handsome Hollywood actor who just walked onto the set and then retreated to his trailer. Everyday, 24/7, healing the sick, preaching a message of LOVE in a world of hate and prejudice. Every rumor of healing threatened the seats of power. Every healing brought 100’s more to the neighborhood to be healed. Some out of desperation, some out of greed, some out of love for others. Think of the reactions among the priesthood upon hearing of a crowd of 5,000 men (plus women and children), not once but at least twice. The stories we read about are merely highlights out of a life of touching the sick, the unclean. To the traditional Jew, Jesus would have been the uncleanest of the unclean, the commonest of the common, and the least likely to be a Messiah.

Inside of this man, though, resided a very special spirit that was recognized almost immediately by others. Fishermen debated with him until he proved that what He said had an other worldly prophetic power.

“Cast your nets there,” Jesus said to a group of fishermen headed by a scurrilous old salt named Simon (to be called Peter).

“Been there, done that, ain’t there,” responds the tired fisherman.

“Just try it,” responds Jesus. Somehow the authority in his voice commanded a respect that one wouldn’t expect from this Simon. We are told Simon went back out, did as was asked, and couldn’t reel in the haul without breaking the nets.

In the end Simon and his brother follow this teacher and become “Fishers of Men”.

I tried to find a picture of this real Jesus on the web to put at the top of this post (looking under ‘Jesus Images’) and could not. If you have an idea, feel free to forward it to me.

So all that said, in today’s terms, was it all fake news? I believe because of what the followers did. They risked their lives to spread his simple message. They would never have thought of doing that had there not been substance to the stories. No magic publication of a million copies to change the world. Just the sayings of a carpenter’s son spread by word of mouth. I wonder how Twitter would handle “Love One Another” today.

Try it and see what happens.

Disclaimer

With a site called Unorthodox Christianity I feel this is a good time to clarify some of the logic behind it. The name alone draws interest. I see lots of definitions across the internet. What can you expect here, from me?  Below is from my original site and I place it here to put this site into it’s proper perspective.

TRUTH IN ADVERTISING:

Understand, these writings, songs,  poems and opinions may incorporate the teachings of one Jesus of Nazareth as interpreted by Dennis Wheeler. These interpretations are based on the experiences of Dennis Wheeler, and on the relationships that I have had along my own spiritual/physical journey. Dennis Wheeler is a human being with flaws and is far from perfect. Unorthodox Christianity is for ordinary people.

I personally believe that all the world’s religions should be advertised according to their proper doctrinal basis: Examples:

Catholic: The interpretation of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as interpreted by Saul/Paul a converted persecutor of Christians and extended through the hierarchy of the Catholic Church through a reining individual referred to as Pope. Throughout the centuries such interpretations have also been  subject to changes throughout the lifetime of the organization due to the changes of “Pope”s.  .

Protestant/Lutheran: The interpretation of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as interpreted by the monk/scribe Martin Luther.

Protestant/Presbyterian: The interpretation of the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as interpreted by the preacher John Calvin.

Protestant/Methodist: The interpretation of the life and teachings of the life of Jesus of Nazareth as interpreted by John Wesley.

Mormon/Latter Day Saints (LDS): The interpretation of the life and teachings of the life of Jesus of Nazareth as interpreted by Joseph Smith.

Islam: The life and teachings of ‘the prophets’ as interpreted by Mohammed.

Buddhism: The life teachings according to Buddha.

ETC.

Whether you use the word interpretation or revelation is irrelevant to me. These belief systems grow out of a human source and should be advertised as such. It is for the individual to decide which interpretation of this life is relevant to them and which can offer practical assistance to their everyday life.

Watch for more definition-ish writing to describe Unorthodox Christianity by me in the near future.

Leave The Victory to Him

I have just been adding an old song to my music site. Remember, the title of this web blog is Unorthodox Christianity, and this song and its meaning and story embody what it is to be an Unorthodox Christian. The context meaning of this song is below.  The words to the song are below the story. Click on the left control button to play the song.

 

9-11-2001 was an emotional day for all of us, and it set off an emotional roller coaster we have been on ever since.  Many of the events surrounding that time come to mind. Where you were, what you were doing when you heard, the TV images, the angst, the reactions.

I remember the Sunday following Sept 11, 2001.

As they entered the sanctuary to pray, I could see the stress on the faces of my Pakistani Christian friends. The brush we were painting with as a nation was obviously very broad. I walked up and extended a hug. The hug and thank you I received were so warm, unlike any before or since. The tragedy had struck all of us irregardless of race, religion, location. It was an attack on the world, not just America. The victims came from around the world, all walks of life, and crossed cultural and religious lines. The darker skin of the Pauls was the skin that Jesus would have been wearing on that day. I am sure the pressure that He (Jesus) would have felt would have been just as intense.

A month later, as the United States response was taking shape, I found myself performing music at a Christian men’s retreat in central Idaho. The talk of the event was still very fresh, and vehement. As the weekend progressed the air was tainted by the anger. As often happens, I chose to express my opinion through the music GOD gave me. You are listening to that song as you read this. The message of JESUS, whom we professed to believe in and follow, was being sacrificed to our own survival of the fittest animal instinct.

I don’t believe that our response as a nation would have been reflected in the response of our teacher. Rather than contain the loss of life to those who weren’t waylayed for one reason or another, to those from every nation who were in the building or on a plane or fought the fires, the loss has been magnified to the families of troops from all over America and the world that have found themselves engaged in a war that is more politics than it has been protective. It has resulted in more terrorism, not less. If the terrorist intent was to kill as many as possible in one radical attack, we have certainly accommodated their desires quite well over the ensuing years.

Jesus was radical because His response to life’s events was so against our instinct. The challenge to follow the charge of Love One Another is as difficult today, and as remote to our leaders, as it was to the Pharisees and Sadducees of Jesus own world. I can only pray that the outcome to our nation today is not reflective of the outcome that came to the Pharisees within theirs who also chose to ignore the message.

‘Leave The Victory To Him’ is for those who may still feel that GOD isn’t big enough to fight GODS own battles GODS way. I don’t believe our future will be secure as long as we feel that we need to beat people into loving. Love One Another is the charge, and Leave the Victory to Him.

Thank you.

Leave The Victory to Him
W/m dennis wheeler© 2001

There is a gospel of the Christian that we must hold as true,

 It is a teaching of their master

That they are bound by nails to.

 It’s not a complicated concept.

It isn’t hard to understand.

Simply Love One Another,

and offer helping hands .

 Leave the Victory to Him   

 Leave the victory to Him    

   Simply Love one another  

   And Leave the Victory to Him..   

We often focus on conversion

and not the message of the cross.

For if you Love One another,

then the sacrifice is not lost.

For God can speak to every nation,

the only victory to win,

is to love one another,

 And leave the victory to him.

     Chorus

        Repeat 1st verse.