In keeping with my previous post about interpretations based on the idea of an Unorthodox Christianity:
I believe the Bible is divine scripture in that the interpretation to you of its word can so fit your circumstance that it may be read differently by you on any given day depending on your perspective and your needs of that day. To make a blanket statement that “this is what a particular scripture really means” belittles the power of the scripture to move us, and motivate us, and lead us toward the promise of the kingdom on Earth as it is in Heaven, from the place we are at on any given day.
One such day I sat with one of my favorite scriptures to apply it to the struggles of that day. I have prayed it in this version for perhaps 25 years now, pretty much at least once a week and many times, (the most difficult times), daily. Bold is the verse as written, regular is interpretation to the day’s or life’s events.
Dennis 23rd Psalm
The Lord is my savior and my guide,
I shall have all that I require.
When the fields that I am tilling have become brown and barren,
He bids me to lie down in green pastures.
When the waters of my life are turbulent and I feel as though I am cast adrift,
He leads me beside still waters.
When my faith is sorely tested and I am ready to give up,
He restores my faith and mysoul to me.
He leads me along the right paths (those of His own choosing),
That I might serve Him there.
Though I walk through this valley of the shadows of lost souls,
I shall not fear them for thou art with me.
Thy word and thy example strengthen 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 struggles.
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 shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
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.
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.
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. LoveOne Another is the charge, and Leave the Victory to Him.
Every day I receive the Daily Word, a small spiritual comment for the day in my email inbox. Today’s Daily Word (1-17-17) was on spirituality. At the end of each Daily Word comment is a Bible Verse that relates to the comment of the day. Today’s bloggish stuff from me is based more on this Bible verse than on the comment.
When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became an adult, I put an end to childish ways. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face.—1 Corinthians 13:11-12
I rarely comment on the Daily Word when I forward to relatives or friends but today is an exception.
A comment on today’s Daily Word: I would prefer childish ways, less negative, fewer concerns, more acceptance, less fear. Never forget childish ways, it keeps you young.
The song that you can listen to via the link below is called Ordinary People.
A number of summers ago I was asked to perform at an outdoor revival meeting called Break Down the Walls in Salt Lake City, UT. On one particular afternoon there was a fiery evangelist preaching his Full Gospel Message. In the best tradition of fiery Full Gospel preachers he jumped up and down and shouted and gestured wildly as he moved from one side of the stage to the other, “THANK GOD that Jesus came for us sinners. That Jesus came here, to the other side of the tracks”.
He went on to discuss how deeply we are in sin and why we suffer and how great it was that Jesus came for us sinners. I thought immediately of a young lady on a retreat I was on who commented that she didn’t feel she could find Jesus because she hadn’t been ‘hurt’ enough in her life to find Jesus.
I sat back and thought to myself, Thank GOD that JESUS came for the little lady who always sat in the back of the sanctuary and made a cake or a meal for every funeral at the little white church I had attended in western Minnesota. That Jesus came for the school teacher who stopped in after class to help clean, or mow the lawn. The neighbor who took a bar to the family next door when there was a loss or a celebration.
I thought, “Thank GOD that Jesus came for the ORDINARY PEOPLE. The ones who live ‘normal’ lives, who aren’t fallen angels or alcoholics, or from broken homes or live broken lives. ORDINARY PEOPLE, like you and I.
I was at the grocery store yesterday and was pushing a cart back to the store that someone had left in the parking lot where their car was. In my world of unorthodox christianity a thought came to mind. Would Jesus have pushed the cart back to the store? Would Jesus have left the cart in the middle of the parking lot in the first place under the assumption that it was someone else’s task to put it where it belonged?
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Is it loving one another to expect others to complete the task that we find inconvenient?
To this day I see on my wife’s car the sizeable dent made by the shopping cart that blew into my wife’s car in the parking lot of Sam’s Club on one average windy day in El Paso.
Do I file that under Love One Another, or Take Advantage Of One Another?
The current movement afloat is educational requirements to expand our historical knowledge of the middle east. In the midst the calling is to require the study of A middle eastern religion in a country based on a constitutional requirement to leave religion in it’s place and the government of life in another. How does one teach history by only teaching one religion versus the relationship that all religions have in common (often not peaceful among each other). That is like teaching one viewpoint on events, or not hearing “The rest of the story”. If we maintain only one perspective we only learn one perspective. We either teach all religions or none. Our constitutional creators recognized that our foundation is based on the freedom to exercise your religion, in the context of the law of the land and not to establish one over another. My friend, and many others I have known, were brought up to study and compare a number of religions. The confusion caused by a sincere study of religious doctrine as presented by a number of sources purportedly given to you as a message from a shared source (GOD, SUPREME BEING, MESSENGER or whatever) has resulted in most of these people refusing to be intimidated or swayed to join any of them as a result of the inconsistency of their doctrines within their own umbrella of faith let alone others. From my viewpoint of Unorthodox Christianity, Love One Another is a plenty sufficient message without any more doctrine attached. Doctrine is only a center for power, not a path to peace.