Great Again Revisited

From 7-15-2016
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’?

Back in July of last year I posted Making America Great Again – Really? An excerpt of which is above. Little did I know how quickly I would be answered. Life can be scary.

The last few months, culminating in Charlottesville of last week, has developed a pattern of what “AGAIN” means that seems to be developing in America “Again”. The excerpt above seems to nail it. Was plantations and slaves the day that we were great once? Is this the day we are striving to bring back ‘again’?
1859 nails it.  Just before the Civil War. Seems to fit perfectly. A little prior to Nazi Germany, but right (pardon the pun) on for the white supremacists. It was also a perfect time to be great again if today you benefit from stock in large corporations or invest in business or have a similar situation that would profit greatly by it. A time before income tax, minimum wage, OSHA,  big government, No health care, no clean air, no unemployment, no benefits, rules or regulations. Slavery was the order of the day, (I guess a case could be made for free board and room by the Washingtons and Jeffersons and Jacksons of the day. All of whom who shared the Presidency with our current “leader?”
The conflict between the North and South was as similar to Republican vs Democrat then as it has now become. The theft of private property then is very similar to the “Eminent Domain” of our present day cities, or counties or states to find the property to assist the owners of the campaign PAC’s who supplied the money to put them or their ‘charge’ into office, to have a convenient and cheaper way to satisfy their need to make money out of a location that merely housed ‘people’ rather than add to their financial success. The American Indian can forward a discourse on the World of Rich Business of then, vs now. I remember the music of the day referenced by a song from my generation “Owe my soul to the company store”.  Of course our modern CEO’s eliminate employment by moving employment totally out of the country for what conforms to the Great Again theory of “FREE” “profitable” business. The law of the land was Success AT ANother’s expense. Which still reigns supreme in America. Low wages and no benefits  = bigger profits and a testimony that says “I made myself a Billionaire all by myself.” Patriotism and profit are not considered to be the course of action for “Great Again”. Making America Great Again is not as important as making MYSELF wealthier again.

The news of the era that comprised the Civil War made American Armament (and European) makers discover the profitability of war and the weapons to wage it that has carried forward to this day. Business has found war quite economically advantageous. And the ‘bully pulpit’ of present day world leaders. When Health care became a burden, the country seems to have divided over the merit of concerning itself with taking care of its citizens, or for some of our citizen’s the answers would be to kill or deport as many as necessary to make it less of a burden on others apparently.
This is the seed of news media. Of our social media, and of too many who owe too much to the powers that put them in office. A swamp that rather than being drained is merely being covered by algae, and tweeting birds.
More than any, I would like to see America the Great. We were headed toward great at one time. The Civil War began a movement toward a level of Civility in the United States. But that Civility was extinguished almost immediately with the assassination of a President whose name is held up as GREAT and invoked often by those who seemingly have no knowledge of what made him great. It was not division that made him great, it was the pursuit of UNITED that made him great. UNITED is what will make us GREAT. It seems Great AGAIN is confused AGAIN.

dw

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.

Fake News

Much of recent history discusses ‘Fake News’.
As Bill Clinton might say, “I guess that depends on what ‘Fake News’ means”. That in and of itself depends on what ‘Fake’ means and what ‘News’ means.
Fake: Not the truth? Imagined? Artificially fabricated? Speculative?
News: Information on a recent event. According to witnesses. Substantiated.

It is interesting just how much “Fake News” is about THE NEWS lately. I can not recall a time in my lengthy past where the “Fake News” was so much of “THE NEWS”. When I was young it was also referred to as “yellow journalism”. News that had been manufactured by the creation of events that became news by themselves. It is tough enough to watch the news in general, be it local or national. Now I have to figure out what “Real’ news is.

Yet I do know something about people.
If you do not want to get a speeding ticket, drive the speed limit. Often I see the privileged fly by me down a side street only to see the brake lights come on suddenly and then, oddly, I see a police car drive by from in front of me. I have to guess that they really knew the speed limit, they just ignored it because they were, how would I put it, special, or perhaps they felt that they were exempt. I had friends who were never so dressed up as the day they went to court. Why, all of a sudden, did they appear with short hair and a suit? Who were they trying to impress and why? Couldn’t they get by being the who they were every day? Is that like “Fake News”? Is like “Fake News” only viable when you get caught breaking a law? No one has ever gotten a speeding ticket for actually driving over the speed limit, have they? They must all be victims of a cruel society that picks on them because of their cultural status, color or race? Is it “Fake News” when the reality is too harsh to become “REAL NEWS”?

I have read a lot about “FAKE NEWS” lately. I have also discovered that “FAKE NEWS” has also been called “LIES” in the past. It knows no political preference, no cultural preference, no financial status preference and is not exempt from its own natural results. No wonder America Being Great Again is such a challenge to our politicians. They are totally unaware of what “Great” means. I would even settle for “GOOD” news.

Oh, BTW, there has been “GOOD NEWS” in the past. I believe it’s purveyor’s name was Jesus…something. They would have us believe that his news was “Fake News” also…..

The Last Revelation

The Last Revelation

Always remember as you read, this site is called Unorthodox Christianity.

As I have once again perused the Book of Revelation in my New Jerusalem Bible, I have many questions with The Christian Book of The Revelation of John. I believe it is not necessarily all about a meeting with the GOD to which Jesus ascribes himself. I believe some of the revelation is more about the meetings of the Anti – Christs who appear as who John interprets as GOD to John of 1,500+ years ago.

The Anti-Christs are not a solitary Human, the Anti-Christs are of an ideology that is adhered to by human beings and an original physical element that Darwin called ‘survival of the fittest’. It is an inherent instinct. In his letters to the seven Churches in Revelation the position of following SATAN (who I consider to be an anagram for Success AT AN..other’s – expense, and it’s adherents living within the chosen cities, is one to be avoided and that their behavior ‘adulterates’ the position of Jesus which is to love one another ‘On Earth As It Is in Heaven’. The Revelation goes on to present a vengeful GOD that is inconsistent with teachings of Jesus. I also recall a comment from the cross, “Forgive Them Father, they know not what they do.” I see Jesus as the lawyer on our behalf, not a purveyor of punishment.

I also follow a GOD, as referred to as “GOD is LOVE”, who, I do not believe requires Humans to bow down to GOD for GOD’s satisfaction. Free will and Grace seem foundational to Jesus. Why would a “GOD is LOVE” GOD take a creation of GOD’s own and destroy it as punishment for what GOD created in the first place. What I see here in Revelations is a Human being driven by a ‘survival of the fittest’ instinct as the human norm, interpreting a vision of a future event from a lifetime of examples of human instinct and education 1,500+ years ago. This human attitude at work is the way it has been since the beginning of time (survival of the fittest). To have this instinct being accepted by and manifested by GOD for GOD’s own ‘personal’ positioning just doesn’t fit. To me it seems against the teachings of a Jesus that I try and adhere to. The commentary ascribed to ‘GOD’ seems more to be directed by a Human being whose personal position in the room could be equated to GOD (in GOD’s own environment), and interpreted as  ‘GOD’ to someone unfamiliar with the life and times of future events. The vision I present below shares behavior and ideas, and actions,  with logical conclusions that are represented in the vision of John. The vision is so far beyond the realm of John’s human interpretation that I can see this great counsel meeting being interpreted as originating with GOD rather than the result of human activity centuries down the road done to humans by other humans. GOD forcing people to “LOVE” GOD is inconsistent with the meaning of “LOVE” and our small planet is but a spec in the creation of GOD for so much attention from GOD beyond the obvious warning that this Revelation provides.

Now Humans trying to force people to bow down and worship them, and respect them through threats and armies, kiss the ring on my finger and such, this I have seen through out history. Figuring that this would be GOD’s norm also is understandable as the old testament presents a GOD that humans can relate to for ‘Wait until your Father gets home” was never presented to me as a social positive. The tribal philosophy of engagement is not unique on Earth, it is what we call history.

The meeting that is represented to be in Heaven, and referred back to often in the narrative, appears to me to be a meeting of the HUMAN Adherents to the attitude of SUCCESS AT ALL COSTS being held in a room that John, with his background, could only image as having to be in Heaven because of it’s opulence. There is now and always has been such opulence in the hands of a small percentage of the world’s population. At this point in the time of mankind the opulence is well beyond the grasp of John. The plagues are not plagues of GOD, the figure represented as the GOD of all creation is actually ‘their (the humans) GOD, MONEY, the measurement of Power and Success on EARTH. A plague brought on by dumping chemical waste in what used to be clean water because it is cheaper does not have to come from GOD. Humans have been doing this for centuries. Very similar to Jesus’ attack on the Pharisees in the Temple, the setting I interpret as very representative of the Priests in the Temple at that time would be a similar event today. What is occurring in Revelations at our time in history, is being written by someone without our perspective and knowledge of the thousands of years of history since John’s Revelation.

Picture any Congress in the world, or a Parliament, the government meetings held in any nation. Picture a War Room Table surrounded by the keepers of the Power. OR…….

Better yet, Image a description of a company meeting to discuss how to maintain the profits of a war, without the war. A bullet, a missile, a fighter jet, an aircraft carrier, makes no money until used. An artillery device makes no money until the artillery, be it cannonballs, or bows and arrows, or swords and knives are replaced. Even in the times of the John of Revelations, these meetings were held in Kings Courts, Pharisees groups, Ceaser’s offices, even the manufacturing facilities of the Armor supplier for the Roman Army or the ship builders of the Vikings. Who traded what for arms and who made the money? Somewhere, someone, has to be discussing how to keep war flowing in abundance. Without it jobs are lost, profits do not exist, and the power is sacrificed. Add to that a religious philosophy of  “Love One Another”, and the preference of a terrorist opponent would be a better alternative to the balance sheet than a world of peace. (And so it was in Jesus’ day.)

The balance sheet of peace is considered to be very small to businesses and investors now used to the profits of war.

Looking at how our world has advanced technologically in 2,000 years, we no longer require GOD to have stars  (missiles) fall on the Earth. Hiroshima was a huge ball of smoke coming from the abyss. A submarine launched missile can easily be a fire breathing beast coming from the ocean and flying through a sky to someone who has never seen either. The conflict between two fighter jets in the sky can be angels attacking one another on the opposite side of their personal beliefs. None of this requires GOD’s wrath to produce. Mankind, following it’s own path, is headed there without the help of GOD. And we are doing that now.

And yet, 2,000 years ago, GOD sends a warning for us to pay attention to today. And we have paid no attention. It is too easy to blame all this on GOD and not accept the responsibilities ourselves. The evening news is a mix of GOD (miracle) and human events. We have to be careful not to confuse the two. We have an interesting, and perhaps short, future ahead of us if we fail to recognize what we have done and are doing.

Go ahead, pick your GOD, assign a name to your GOD. You will probably follow it with all your heart. Does your GOD move you toward peace with your GOD and fellow man? Or do you move toward assertion, power, and success at the expense of others? Which church was John writing to? Yours? Theirs?

The warnings have existed for years. They were given to you a thousand years ago and as recently as today. The price to be paid has also increased substantially. What price are you willing to pay?
Just some thoughts from a simple guy.  dw 6-21-17

Perspectives on Stress

Perspectives: 6-14-17

There are so many tidbits of psychology and sociology around that I collect some of them. You may be familiar with:
“Don’t sweat the small stuff. And it is all small stuff.”
“Life’s too short to worry about that.”

With all the discussions that go about how we approach our daily lives, “do this, don’t do that”, and the push me pull you of human behavior moves forward. But today is about perspective. I read a lot into the scriptures, in light of the present days unfoldings. The tidbits that have been developed about our societies, our religions, our perception of how “God” may or may not approach our futures, does one sure thing. It causes Stress. Lots of stress. Purported to be among if not thee most hazardous health condition in the world.

In the arguments of “why do you put up with this or that,”  whether at work or at home or at church or the club, is a beckoning for stress.

Political corruption, taxes, demands, the state of terrorism and international political and financial posturing causes stress. The response of GOD to your humanness causes stress. And then there is your perspective. Maybe you have noticed, as I have, perspectives change. My scripture reading interpretation changes as my path crosses a contradiction or a newer interpretation.

The news causes stress. Prejudice causes stress. At times it seems someone left the stove on too high and the melting pot that is the USA is boiling over. And that causes more stress.
A simple tidbit like “Life’s too short to worry about that,” meant one thing to me at 18, a different thing at 40, and a totally different thing at 65.
“It’s all small stuff” can become big stuff as your ability to respond ages.

Scripture has always been a home for debate. How will GOD (**Allah, Buddha, pick your personal choice) accept me, in all my weaknesses. Will GOD* forgive? Will GOD* punish. Will I venture to hell, will I be a Hero? The rhetoric causes stress. The results become and demand a personal perspective, because all stress is personal. How do I handle such stress?

At this stage of my journey I hold on to one tidbit. (My) “GOD is LOVE.”

As measured against a broad scope of condemnation in much of the scripture I see quoted, “GOD is LOVE” stands out as a ‘Columbo’ moment. “Something here doesn’t fit. There are some loose ends yet.”

My stressful moments are often measured by the human responses of a specific action, not LOVE’s response. In my case, An all knowing “GOD” has traveled the journey with me. That all knowing GOD has a measure of knowledge about me that NO ONE else will. My stress diminishes when I recognize that GOD so loved the world that GOD gave his only begotten Son (or SUN) so that whomever would believe in GOD would not perish but have eternal life.” That my ordinary-ness grows out of GOD’S spiritual and instinct driven creation, as well as being influenced by how I have been treated, accepted, or rebuked by others, both trusted or unknown. I have met saints, and yet they were all humans. I have met humans that haven’t matured much beyond animals. I have reacted as an instinctive human, and I have tried to react as a decent one of those. And I have been condemned, and threatened, and where I was going after death and what I was going to do there.

And through it all I have been promised within the scope of the GOOD NEWS (read the red print only) that one day I will have the answers from the source. To me, that is the purpose of religion and faith. Comfort.

War and hate is a distortion of the plan. And terrorism breeds terrorism. A bully is a bully. And that environment does not strike me as one of peace. Your daily living establishes the territory you reside in. Is it stressed to the max, is it peaceful? Are you hopeful?
Your reactions are measured by where you are at in life and how it is structured. More often than not by others. Put your FAITH in LOVE to find peace. Not the condemnation of those who wish to power over you, or prosper from you. “HOPE is the realm of LOVE.” “GOD is LOVE.” GOD will know from how we treat others, whether our journey has respected the teachings or how we may have turned our backs on it.

Love one Another” is a red print program. Let your perspective look beyond what you see and hear and journey to what you can not. The spirit inside of you connects to a place that is often beyond the scope of others. Find that place of comfort, and peace. Even if only in moments.

Here is another tidbit that seems lost in today’s cultures: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Would those who willingly do these things to us, appreciate having those same things done to them and not happen to us? In Congress they call these things “Congressional Exemptions”. To a terrorist or a bully they are called collateral damage.

To GOD I believe GOD has another perspective. (A writing for another day, check back)

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.