HAPPY THANKSGIVING

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

GOOD MORNING ALL
HAPPY THANKSGIVING. 
It is a beautiful day in Iowa today and an opportunity to say thank you all for your support and prayers over the last year in Iowa. Planning just a simple day with rest and the dogs will walk me somewhere before dinner or lunch or whatever. I remember the farm and how Thanksgiving was the day that one covered the windows with clear insulation and one insulated the farm house with hay bails for the coming winter in Western Minnesota. To think of all the adventures and the friends I have been blessed with over all the years. It will be more rewarding to just be grateful all day.
GOD bless, and stay safe.
Cares and Prayers
ME, Mack and Jake

RESPONSIBILITIES

RESPONSIBILITIES

Responsibilities

(Updated from the Original Site in 1-29-2005)

With ministry in whatever form comes responsibility. Whether one is to prostrate oneself before the city gates and scream “REPENT”, or merely comment on the doctrine of the soothsayers and ‘Pharisees’. Whether Church Leaders, Ministers, Popes, or Prophets, it is not to be taken lightly. With thousands of references already on the “net” to unorthodox and Christian, there is but one unorthodoxchristianity.com.

It is humbling. For the seeker who finds themselves seeking through a www, you’ve stumbled upon this site. It is almost as though I have been granted some authority to present a ‘what it is’, I have not. I have no great expertise. I am a simple man. To me, the message of Love One Another is plenty succinct enough. This site is about love one another, and some of my views on what the ‘Pharisees’ say and interpret as truth. Doctrine must be weighed against the gauge of Love One Another. If doctrine doesn’t support that view, I find it hard to reconcile it as coming from GOD.

Many point out Old Testament texts, The New Testament Gospels are about the GOOD NEWS of a new teacher and a radical itinerant Rabbi. The leaders of His time did not exactly embrace his teaching and neither do very many of ours. Do not let anyone make you feel guilty for loving. Do not let anyone condemn you for caring, whether popular or not. And most of all, pay no attention to them when they attempt to judge the measure of your love, that is between you and your GOD. GOD will not condemn any who love, irregardless of their banner. Jesus said that any who love are with us, and can not be against us. Only those who profess to believe in love and who do not demonstrate it need be fearful of the results of their actions. GOD need not condemn for life itself is the greatest of equalizers.

And so I hope and pray that I present what GOD would wish. Unorthodox Christianity is about Loving One Another.

Enjoy.

Dennis Wheeler

The Circle of Existence

The Circle of Existence

The Circle of Existence

From the way-back machine in Unorthodox Christianity. Before there was WordPress there was the internet. In those earlier years was the original Unorthodox Christianity.com The theology was more than a blog. Much of it was much as the following content. I am setting up the reissue of that original .com that will be in the core of this site. One of the many early pages.

From 7-29-2007

The question of the nature of existence has been at the forefront of philosophical thought forever. From long before mankind could record thoughts on papyrus, and prior even to the cultures of hand me down legends of heroes in the past, where do we come from and where are we going has been the basis of theology and the world’s religions.

I have been reading a brief synopsis of the major theological movements over the past few days and have been intrigued by the growth of theological thought. The term cyclical comes to mind as theology and religious history follow an ebb and flow from strict dogma, to flexible reform and back into a strict religious morality when reform results in what the majority considers to be a rise in the incidence of `immoral’ behavior.

I have also noticed that there seems to be great periods of frenetic religious activity, followed by lulls of mere history, followed by eruptions of dogmatic supremacy, followed by periods of romantic flexibility and a return to dogmatic stigmatism.

From the most primitive forms of mythology that established multiple gods throughout the developing world, in Rome, Egypt, Mexico, Peru and others, man has constantly attempted to explain who he is and why is he here. Hinduism seems to predate and to begin establishing the modern era of a monotheistic theology. Hindusim seems to be followed by a dramatic influx of thought developed by Confucius and then expanded through Lao Tzu. Buddhism grows out of this and then on the western front shades of Mosaic law. Then the segue into Jesus and Christianity and then Mohammed and Islam expanding Christian concepts into cultural conformity. This continues to this day through Bahai and some of the more liberal new age inclusive conceptuals that try and appeal to a broader mixed cultural group.

Even within the buracracy of fundamentalist thought, each major religious turn includes its reformists and its liberalists, whatever name is coined for them, or about them or from them.

I am also amazed that each successive religion takes what it wishes from its predecessors and edits to suit a new crowd of followers or a new crop of leaders. I believe that this accounts for the ebb and flow from dogmatism to flexibility as it benefits the practitioners and their `chosen caste’.

As I read with a skepticism born of historical study, I am drawn always to the Christian writings of my cultural upbringing, the Judaistic drama of history, and the history of Hinduism, the more ancient beginning of current group belief. I see a lot of the writings of Jesus being an interpretation of the writings of Lao Tzu or Confucius or Mencius to a crowd that wasn’t familiar with or had disavowed these ancient writings in favor of “their own” Mosaic dogma and Pharasitic interpretations.

I see where the tribe develops its own school of thought for its own culture and then takes ownership of its relevance and correctness. Jesus, as a great teacher, embraces the whole world of theological thought at the time and proclaims that “I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE”. The Way, being the Lao Tzu world of Confucianisms, The Truth, being the world of Mosaic Law, and the LIFE, being the reverent respect for all living things of Buddhism and many of its interpreters. This he conjoins all at once in one convenient itinerant package we came to call Christianity.

Centered amidst the confluence of many trade routes, Jesus was no doubt exposed to much theological thought in his day. I do not believe that one such as Jesus would have been content to merely accept the Mosiac dogma in light of the Eastern beliefs.

The question that seems to gnaw at me is just how much inclusion Jesus incorporates into his world of thought which is buried in his words, thoughts and deeds. In addition, I see how much of our interpretation of Jesus is being contained in a vessel of religious dogma that appears narrow minded and `self’ contained. By this I mean that we interpret Jesus’ sayings in light of what our modern culture wishes for us to believe and not enough of our belief looks at what the world in Jesus time was believing. Because our theological bureaucrats find some beliefs to be `profitable’ we are missing the hidden code of history. Dan Brown only scratches the surface of the code in a haunting mystery novel about political religious history. The real drama lies in the clues to our existence that Jesus came to reveal to us through the disciples and the scribes within his entourage and their families’ oral traditions.

All of this hyperbole to reach this point: where do we come from, where are we going, what is life?

From The Gospel of Thomas within the Nag Hammadi library:

Lesson 18: The Disciples said to Jesus, “Tell us how our end will be.”

Jesus said, “Have you discovered then, the beginning that you look for the end? For where the beginning is there the end will be. Blessed is He who will take his place at the beginning, he will know the end and not experience death.”

Lesson 19: Jesus said, “Blessed is he who came into being before he came into being. If you become my disciples and listen to my words, these stones will minister to you. For there are five trees in Paradise which minister to you in Paradise, which remain undisturbed summer and winter and whose leaves do not fall. Whoever becomes acquainted with them will not experience death.”

Moses, Confucius, Mencius, Lao Tzu, Buddha: All predate Jesus. They are 5 pillars of religious thought that have founded countless schools of theology and represent a core of thought that one could reasonably call, the ancients. Within each lie the prodigy which expanded and interpreted their ideas. These are cores whose beliefs have not fallen out of favor (among the `enlightened’) although they have always been threatening to those who desire power. The stones are the beliefs, the sayings, the proverbials that have been tested and reviewed and found to be valid through the ages.

The mysteries of Jesus have always been enigmatic to scholars. “Even these stones will minister to you.” There is a proverbial that I like from Ecclesiastes, “a time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together.” I noticed in my reading, as obvious as it is that I missed it, the order of the saying seems odd. A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together. Common sense would seem to support that one gathers stones and then throws them; but not in this sense. The stones of beliefs are often
“ read and then cast away, discarded into the cavern of memory”. Later in life an event occurs that brings that old `stone’ to the surface, gathered together so to speak in light of new knowledge or understanding.

An example are the many events of our lives that are lived and cast out of our conciousness in favor of each new event. Upon the death of a loved one we then sit back and pull these stones to the forefront of our memory that we may derive comfort from the memories once discarded and now retrieved.

The pillars of heaven are also not stone pillars, but the knowledge passed along by these great theologians and their theologies of the time. If you become familiar with their teachings and the meanings of the teachings, you will not experience death because you will recognize the mysteries of life. So what mystery do you discover?

I believe that Jesus told us, straight up.

Lesson 18: The Disciples said to Jesus, “Tell us how our end will be.”

Jesus said, “Have you discovered then, the beginning that you look for the end? For where the beginning is there the end will be. Blessed is He who will take his place at the beginning, he will know the end and not experience death.”

This is a simple and common philosophical question. What line has no beginning and no end? A circle. There is no discernible beginning to a circle and no discernible end unless one establishes an arbitrary beginning, which also becomes its own end.

Is it possible, let alone conceivable, that the circle of life: birth, living, death is reflective of the circle that is existence itself. Can the circle of spring-summer-fall-winter-spring- summer-fall-winter be a reflection of existence. Is time a circle not a line? That would explain prophecy, invention, science fiction, people. Another philosophical question, what came first, the chicken or the egg.

In the beginning was the word and the word was with GOD.

If Jesus was the word, did the circle begin with Jesus, or the beginning with GOD. Was it ‘poof’ all at once,everything?

 Ecclesiastes also says, “everything that is, was, and ever will be, has already been.” To expand on that idea, imagine a globe made up of an infinite number of circles of varying widths that whirl about each other always maintaining the globe as the perfect circle. Which microscopic dot on one of the circle lines are we, now, at this time? We are all at once someone’s future and someone’s past.

Time travel is perhaps just locating a spot on a globe of circles that roll within itself, a huge globe beyond our conception. The other side of  time may, in fact, be an arms length through the globe. Then, what is beyond the globe?

Whooooo,, so deep for a simple guy.

Do not worry about the future, Jesus says, God will take care of the future, the present day has enough concerns of its own.

What a good time to gather that stone together and allow it to minister to me.

Just some thoughts.

dennis

LOVE ONE ANOTHER

LOVE ONE ANOTHER

1-25-02 (updated 8-31-20)

‘Their GOD is not our GOD.’
“Our beliefs are the true beliefs”.

So many times have I heard this come out of the mouths of Christians I am reminded of what Jesus said, “It is not what goes into your mouth that defiles you, but what comes out.”
I was involved in a discussion once with a Christian acquaintance and the topic came up of whom GOD loves more.

Who are the true chosen?

I asked him to list the people on Earth whom GOD did not create. You see we are ALL the children of GOD.

I related a story: when my grandmother baked cookies for me she always made more oatmeal raisin cookies than chocolate chip cookies. Why? Because I liked oatmeal raisin cookies more than chocolate chip cookies. If we believe that GOD shows some sort of preference for one group over another, certainly the chosen people are Asian, for there are many more of them than anyone else.

I believe GOD is big enough, intelligent enough, and loving enough to speak to all people in their own language and in their own culture. I believe there is a measure of truth intertwined within all the religions of the world and that we are missing the entire message when we exclude one faith journey vs another because of our tribalistic propensity to hold our own ritualistic faith as the entire truth of GOD’s teaching. How much wisdom has been lost in such ignorance.

Jesus taught, ”Love one another”, No caveats, No claims of exclusivity of membership. “By this [love] will they know that you are disciples of mine”, LOVE is a common destination that leads to peace. In fact, it is the only destination that leads toward peace. Until we can embrace our diversity of culture, religion, and faith with the understanding that GOD speaks through many tongues, our destination will be one of division. Until we learn to focus our energies on a common destination of loving one another, our world will never find peace. I believe that:

GOD WILL NEVER DENY HEAVEN
TO ONE WHO LOVES.
 THIS IS OUR PROMISE, IT IS OUR HERITAGE,
 IT IS OUR TEACHING, AND IT IS OUR GIFT.

SATAN IS NOT A GOD

SATAN IS NOT A GOD

A lot of evil has been attributed to Satan, a fallen angel of Judaism. I have a somewhat different view.
I see SATAN as an instinct that needs to be confronted in ones life for one to move on into the promise of LOVE on Earth. If GOD is LOVE, then Satan is the opposite of LOVE, the yang to LOVE’S yin. I have never been able to ascribe any kind of humanity or divinity to SATAN. I don’t see SATAN as a controlling angel, I see SATAN as a controlling attitude.

We people adore developing acronyms. I have such an achronym for SATAN. Success AT ANother’s expense.
Oh how we humans are so adept at doing this. If LOVE is created out of a bond of equality, caring, sharing and mutuality of affection, then SATAN is the manifestation of trying to take out of a relationship or circumstance a disproportionate measure of energy than ‘one’ has invested in ‘it (the relationship or circumstance)’.
The SATAN attitude draws resources out of a relationship for personal gain, satisfaction or security but does not invest a similar contribution into the relationship.

The measure of a relationship may simply be that it is either a friendship where LOVE becomes manifested through its participants, or it falls into the realm of “what’s in it for me?” Only GOD seems to be capable of bringing this LOVE attitude to relationships.

Satan, on the other hand, is a poor administrator of relationships, whether they be among individuals, groups, states or nations. The challenge is turning away from the survivalist mentality and embracing the LOVE mentality, that is the whole challenge of the Christ. Often humans ascribe to GOD a belligerence born out of preference. Then they extract a license from that attitude. Religion is from man, GOD is LOVE. One needs only LOVE, one does not need religion, per se, to LOVE. What one can use are examples of what LOVE is when manifested as a human entity. For the Christian, JESUS becomes this example. For others the journey may be different. We are not the judges.

I believe the KINGDOM on EARTH will only be born out of this LOVE and we must be careful not to taint the religion to use it for personal control of people and personal power, and personal satisfaction. Even Jesus ascribed HIS own ‘power’ to one greater than HE, and often thanked that power of LOVE for its intercession in His own life. We will be wise to do the same and judge much less.

LOVE causes us to care and share and reach out and give a hand up. GUILT should never be our motivation, and personal reward makes the giving quite shallow indeed. LOVE is the destination, not Success AT ANothers expense. The choice will always be ours. Our affiliation to either attitude will always be our choice. I would offer up to you the example of Jesus.

GOD blesses. GOD bless you, this day. (originally written 2-22-2005)

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THE BLESSING OF TODAY

THE BLESSING OF TODAY

GOOD MORNING ALL

Welcome to a blessed Monday. Work, Income, Chores, friends. The sun always reminds us that today is a new day. The past is done. Today is not yesterday and HOPE is always the home of GOD. The concerns of the world today is in the heart of most. The SUN is our opportunity to anchor ourselves to OUR circle of living and our blessing of life. Enjoy today, whether a simple recline of thanks in a favorite chair, the kind hello from our work mates, a note from our friends. Too much news separates us from ourselves. I thank GOD for all the gifts that have brought me this far.

Cares and Prayers

ME, Mack and Jake

AGAPE LOVE

AGAPE LOVE

Agape love is not a manufacture of people, it is the creation from GOD. It is a state of realty.

Agape love is not a manufacture of people, it is the creation from GOD. It is a state of existence between two spirits as people. I am more and more convinced that the pleromic love JESUS speaks of (Love one Another) is not a one sided exchange. To be in ‘agape love’ is to be in a state of mutuality. If this emotion is not jointly held in common, it is not love but merely infatuation, or desire or lust, or business but it is not love. I believe that agape love is a shared emotion created jointly between two people. ‘Love’ is not a one way street as so many seem to present and/or live it. The word ‘Love’ often is used to mask possessiveness or control. It is often a word interchanged with lust or desire. I do not believe the ‘love’ to which JESUS refers is anything but this agape love that is a creation out of the mutual affection between two people that even the participants find difficult to describe. Once found, it becomes a most difficult emotion to duplicate for it depends on this mutuality between two people that is such a rare discovery. I have also found that its discovery is incomprehensible in its scope to the physical, its reality in a daily existence lived by just a very few who risk convention to pursue it. I do not believe that there are too many who truly believe that GOD can perform what seems to be impossible through something as elusive as this spiritual emotion people often casually refer to as love. That may be why it is so difficult to live its promise, we do not allow it to ourselves. We perceive it to exist only in a specific life structure that may, in fact, vary between the spirits that share it among themselves. Rather than be defeated by circumstance, this agape love has the power to overcome circumstance, but it can only do so in its mutuality, for that is the source of its existence. “What is impossible for men, is possible for GOD”. It is no wonder that the teachings of Jesus have seemed so radical. The basis for agape is so very elusive, even to those who have discovered agape love in one another. Agape Love is a different emotion. The risks of this unconditional Love can scare people from entering into it. The spirits know that ‘from the heart’ opens up the heart for hurt and risk. Yet the experience of it is profound. It’s power in its mutuality scared those who felt threatend by it and they could not accept it. Those who experienced it sacrificed themselves to carry its message to the masses.

Agape Love is not an idealism, it is not an attitude, it is a real gift from GOD.

 

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EASTER

Easter 2020

A card from a friend reminds me that the simplest of things can take us right back to the normalcy that we have been used to. Luckily the church I attend here has had an online hookup for the Sunday sermon for quite some time so that we all can share Easter Sunday even if remotely.

Enjoy your day and as an old favorite song of mine goes ” Count your many blessings, name them 1 by 1.”

Enjoy the day in the place that you call home.

dennis

CARDS of LOVE

CARDS of LOVE

My daughter’s grandmother has been sending cards out to people since as long as I can remember. When they are celebrating a birthday, or when they are ill, or when they need a kind message. I have always praised those who invest their time to help others. In these difficult times we are seeing the true power of Love One Another in action. Not just in a religious setting but in a world wide setting. To see how others are helping others they do not know and never will meet in countless ways is so encouraging. The power of congregation focusing on a single thing to help others that are affected throughout the world has never happened to this degree in the history of mankind. When one gets down, and discouraged or feels helpless the reaction of the human race to the pandemic is the most heart warming example of the power of the human race that we may ever see. I salute all those who rise to the occasion for all of us.

Enjoy the opportunities that each day provides to make someone’s day.

Are You The One?

Are You The One?

The talk on the net and around town is now let’s get back to work.  Let’s turn our attention to the economy and move on. Because some important government official thinks it’s a great idea. Or because you do?

Move on to where?
When some children of a friend I know lost their parents to a drunk driver, the drunk driver lived. The driver had all the choices in the world to not drive when drunk. The parents killed were given no choices. It was not their fault and was not a judgement by GOD. GOD, in fact, marshaled sooo many people to help instantly. Within moments of the knowledge of the event our phone rang. Our lives changed and our direction in life forever.

The corona virus is similar to the drunk driver. You can carry the virus and not know it. You may never know it. Some people drink and do not get drunk or do not choose to drive. Many drink and do not care what happens when they start their car. They do not expect to kill anyone. We have already spent a trillion dollars over all the years to advertise about the dangers of drunk driving. That does not stop the drunk driver from driving or people from getting hit and killed by them. And when the courts are all done the drunk driver moves on and the dead are dead. The children are raised by relatives or friends, or a caring someone.

When you are not the one who dies life goes on. If you give the disease to your child, or parent or neighbor or good friend and they die are you willing to accept the responsibility for your choices?

Mayflower

And what about the economy?
When America was just a ship of people we started with nothing and have gotten this far. We can do that again but we need people to do it. There were no billionaires. There were dreamers. Hard workers. People who wanted to build a new society. This society has survived world wars, and we have survived Civil wars. We will survive Corona but need to do everything we can to do it as safely as possible. Not just for the ones at home, but the care givers and everyone who risks their lives to protect people they do not know to provide all that is necessary to help those who have contracted this disease. When we choose to help reduce their risk, we help ourselves to survive. Not every man, woman and child went physically to war, but they and their families were affected by the wars themselves.

We will survive this event with the American spirit and our perseverance through our beliefs behind us. Inconvenience did not stop the Mayflower.
And for all of you who are working to help keep us and me as safe as possible I will be eternally grateful. Thank you.
dennis