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.

THE MANUAL IS MISSING

THE MANUAL IS MISSING

THE MANUAL IS MISSING

There was a day, many years ago, when my daughter first entered my sphere. She was 5 months old and came via delivery on an airplane from Korea. There were many who gathered with us at the gateway entrance at the airport. The traveling companion stewardess brought her out and gave her to me. They also gave us a bag full of essentials to take with for a 5 month old girl. She had diapers, an extra set of clothes, a small hairbrush and wipes. As she was passed around among the crowd, I went off to a corner and began looking at just what the bag contained. I looked through it again. I couldn’t find it. I looked again.


THE MANUAL WAS MISSING

When I bought my first car I looked in the glove compartment and there I found a manual on how to figure out how the mechanicals worked. How to turn the lights on, the windshield wipers, the interior lights and how to work the radio. As well as dimensions and what kind of fuel to use. And so much more. Certainly a child must come with a Manual. How to be a dad, how to raise a little girl, how to teach. I was a bit overwhelmed.

I didn’t come with a Manual either, at least not at the beginning.

How many of us find ourselves lost, not prepared for the things of life as things happen? Today more than ever. What is a pandemic? Why can’t I just go get a vaccine and call it a day. Why is there politic, why don’t churches all believe the same thing. In Sunday school as a fourth grader I asked my teacher, “Why didn’t GOD just make good people?” I learned that that question was not discussed. Yet I wanted to know why. I have always wanted to know why. Why are things the way they are with an all knowing, all loving GOD?

religion_10

When I was done with Sunday School I was given a concordance Bible. A Bible where what Jesus said was written in red. I sat down and read the Red Print. Then I read the Old and New Testament. I had found the Manual.

Certainly it was not that easy. When I was reading Proverbs, or Wisdom, or the Psalms,  a parable from Jesus, or an apostle’s comment I recognized similar events or challenges that I had seen in the neighborhood, or a story on TV, or behavior that I recognized in my peer group. I read a simple set of rules that were put down by GOD.

Ten Commandments

These are a good start. If you find life being challenging do not refuse the Bible because it is “religious”. Look at it as an owners manual. A touch of history where when certain people did this or that their actions caused reactions. There is a story in the books that are about your challenge, both causes and corrections. Too many have their Manual sitting on a shelf covered in dust when it can be the start of a knowledgeable life that can make more sense or make pre-planning a norm and not reaction.

Have a wonderful experience when you sit down with the Manual and the one who wrote it. dw

MAGA 2

Quite some time ago I decided I was not going to blog again about Donald Trump and allow him to gain some notoriety from it. I just figured to offer this quick update.

**** This blog was first published on July 15,2016.

Making America Great Again

We have  been promised, “they” are going to make America Great Again. We have more wealth than any nation on Earth. I thought that wealth was the measure of success and greatness. We have more super wealthy than ever before. What day are we to strive for that we are going to base the idea of ‘again’ on?

Of the people, by the people, for the people? Is that the day when we were great once? Is this the day we are striving to attain?
Was plantations and slaves the day that we were great once? Is this the day we are striving to bring back ‘again’?
Was the day before we became committed to create the most personal wealth for a very few people, is that the day we were great once? We seem to have achieved that goal already.

When will we recognize that we are great ‘Again’.

Will we be great again when all the jobs come back from overseas and other countries and every American has a well paying job with the promise of social security and affordable health care? Will we be great then? Will we be great when our police officers and fire fighters and first responders and soldiers are paid as well for their life sacrifice as our basketball players are paid to play a game?

Will we be great again when our cities and states and government find the investment in safety and security of our people is more important than the profitability of the campaign contributors? When the quality of life bonds add policemen and more patrol cars instead of lining the pockets of our wealthiest members with fluff projects to pay them back for their campaign contributions? Is this the measure of great once again?

When will we be great again? Great is an attitude of helping one another, not finding more creative ways to take advantage of them. It will be interesting to watch and hear just what our new leaders believe Great Again consists of. Having already been put in a position of great trust over their lifetimes, I fail to see the signs of the times reversing under either of their leadership backgrounds. ‘Your fired’ or ‘I didn’t mean to do it’ does not strike me as the recipe for great again.

Will great again be for the regular guy, or will it be more of “left out again”? Time will Tell.

On May 15,2016 I wrote this post concerning Make America Great Again. I asked the question of just “when” from history was Donald Trump going to reflect that time in our History was He going to base his Make America Great Again theme on.

As I have been watching the daily news around America  I have had a chance to really nail down the time in our History that Donald Trump was going to focus on.

WhiteHouseConfederate FLag

From the Trump Constitution:
OF the Trump, By the Trump, For the Trump.

I would only ask Trump to find a better time in our history to focus on this go round. I am tiring of the REAL NEWS.

**Ads reflect income for helping pay bills. Does not necessarily reflect any endorsements or product support by myself.

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.

PRAY

It is a new year. It requires a new attitude.

Over the years I have posted a lot of things. I have taken many breaks and always come back. I have posted “On Politics”, to “Love One Another”. The responses I receive from readers follow a pattern.

The largest numbers of Likes to Unorthodox Christianity posts have dealt with posts that deal with Jesus and a loving GOD.

There are a great many of writers posting on all sorts of things. They have large groups of followers and impact thousands of people with help issues, ‘kick the cat’ commentaries, and simple stories.

    Today I want to address Unorthodox Christianity.

Today  I was just reading about the rapid deployment of thousands of troops from Fort Bragg to overseas. The story talked about the real world of instant change to a group of people for whom the future instantly became unknown. How to react overnight. How to change what were simple things to address the serious.

I think of an old song “What the world needs now is Love, sweet love. No not just for some but for everyone.” What can I do about that for them? For their families and friends? There will also be a great number of residents where they are off to who have just had their lives changed also. Who have no choice of where to live as a result of their own location. The innocents suffer to politics no matter where they are. 

Life is hectic. We have our routines and get lost in them. Jesus had his routines. People came to him for help. Help because what the world was offering them did not solve their problems.

I ask a simple question quite often during a given day, as do many of us. “Good morning, how are you doing today?”

Often they tell me. They tell me their dog had just passed away. They tell me they just got diagnosed with some form of cancer. They mention a friend’s concerns. They say they simply are not feeling very well today. They say their world is changing.

I am just a simple guy. I am not a doctor, a scientist, a politician, or a well known anyone. But I do have a response to all of them. “ I can and I will pray for you, that may be all that I can do.” (And I do. I do not sit down and take a hand, though for some I may have, but I do pray for them in the course of human events.)

They thank me, and seem to appreciate the simple degree of help from someone they really do not know. Jesus, unfortunately isn’t coming down the street today, walking through town for them to run up to him and say “Please help me.” I was told once at a retreat that I may be the only Jesus that they may ever meet. I have learned over my life to take that seriously.

Today GOD will ask you to fill in for Jesus. I rarely mention Jesus to them. I never mention a church or a religion. For those who know of Jesus they will think of that. If they believe along other lines they appreciate the prayer from the context that help entails. Unorthodox Christianity is not about conversion, it is about help, and a simple form of Love One Another.

The world needs more prayer. Unorthodox Christianity is not about creating a mega church, it is about filling in. Today the prayer you offer is a simple reflection of love. It is a reflection of help. Any day, any news, anybody.

“I give you a new commandment: Love One Another.
Just as I have loved you, you also must love one another.
BY THIS LOVE YOU HAVE FOR ONE ANOTHER
EVERYONE WILL KNOW THAT YOU ARE MY DISCIPLES.”    (JOHN 13.34 njb)

Pray

Forgiven

There seem to be so many requirements of us Christians for us to be ‘Forgiven’. Often the requirements manifest themselves in the commentary of pastors and the prophets that it can overwhelm us. It creates such a monstrous anxiety to bear the burden of our humanity that doubt becomes the driving force versus a very special force that comes from within. 
One of the two thieves who hung from crosses in the company of Jesus prompted Jesus to use his “power” to save all three. The second thief, in all honesty, said that “they” were being punished for things that they had done that were knowingly wrong and could have been avoided by choices. Jesus, on the other hand, had done nothing to deserve what he was receiving. In addition ‘he’ asked Jesus to remember him in heaven. Jesus response was that this person’s request would not only be observed, but that “today you will be with me in “Paradise”. The Gospel is not “fake news” but GREAT News and GOOD NEWS.

To the crowd that followed Jesus’ journey to the cross and made fun of Him and chastised Him, Jesus had a simple prayer. “Father forgive them,  for they Know NOT what they do….”  and then “Into thy hands I commend my SPIRIT.”  
The mockers, the bullies, and the Judges have instincts that are driven by their instinctive humanity. They are products of the human culture. Win at all costs. “Success AT ANothers expense”. Jesus recognized this and had a unique foresight to put the conflicts of the spirit vs the human instinct into a perspective to be approached by LOVE vs culture. “Many will come in my name and will lead even the elect astray.” Jesus’ example should not be reflected of a position of power, but rather an example of the kingdom of the spirit. Many who fly the flag of Christianity do so from a political perspective, Jesus did it from a cross. Your spiritual journey may win no human conflicts, but your spiritual journey will stand the test of eternal life.

Jesus is your advocate. Jesus walked the walk, talked the talk, and took the hits. And yet Jesus has stood the test of time and the others are names that need to be looked up to be remembered. Do not underestimate the power of LOVE to reconcile differences. Do not underestimate the power of LOVE to discover inner peace and tranquility. And do not believe in coincidence. GOD is active, GOD provides, GOD teaches, and GOD pays attention. And GOD asks. GOD asks for your help. Life is different once we can say “What can I do?” All of the things that tempt you, tempted Jesus. “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil…”
“Father Forgive Them, they know NOT what they do..” 

Do not beat yourself up for being human, seek out the spirit within you and wake up to a new day. You HAVE BEEN forgiven, when you accept it for yourself…

DREAMS

Just what is Unorthodox Christianity? Where did it come from? For what purpose?

“Leave a little behind before you go.”

Unorthodox Christianity focuses on a lifetime of the results of Christian conversations with people from the churches I have attended, retreats I have been on, and my own observations in different forums from friends and neighbors, school to work to coffee. What I believe. I started this assemblage of my writings many years ago. For the most part it resides on notepads, music folders, Cd’s and others in boxes and folders, and corners of storage in my disheveled little world.  This internet forum became affordable and longstanding. As a result, on these pages is a part of me. I needn’t be my only fan, or critic. You also have notepads, cd’s, ideas.

I do more than just jot some religious or political philosophy down on my WordPress site. Today I spread a wing or two. Allow me this indulgence.

Dreams

Years ago I wrote a song.
“All of the dreams I had as a young boy
Shot down in flames of a middle aged man……….
There’s Still time to dream the dreams..”

I realized how much of me rests in folders and on note pads and Cd’s like the writings of my Aunt Vera that she had accumulated over her lifetime. I wanted to share what I could of me and a logical forum became the internet. And with the internet came many forums for different elements for just who dennis c wheeler had become.

What has your dream been? To leave your story behind? To write that book or see your music on the web? Maybe build your own e-book or have a place to share your pictures or poems. Your family history? Too much of who we are doesn’t survive us. I have been trying to change some of that for myself as well as others. 

Maybe your music could be similar to:
www.denniscwheelermusic.com

Maybe that book in your head could be like: www.theearthexperiment.com

Maybe your personal philosophy could land on a blog like this one: 
www.unorthodoxchristianity.com  

Maybe a business venture like:

www.denniswheelerrealtor.com

I have always wanted to be able to leave a little behind before I go. Find some permanent  home on the web to share what I have not had time to share with too many over the years of working and raising family. I have admired the forum that WordPress has created for soo many that I have read from in this forum and places like Newsvine, Facebook, Instagram and soo many others not to speak of what has yet to be developed. The web has allowed many of us to find a notepad or song or philosophy that doesn’t disappear into a folder in a filing cabinet forever.

All of us have stories to tell. Let me know if I can be of help. Contact me via any of the above, or here