How are we to understand the male and female, image and likeness of God, within the human creation? The name, Elohim, Creator of all that is seen and unseen, is introduced in Genesis 1:1, as a Hebrew noun in masculine form. Ruach, the Spirit of Elohim that moves about over the waters, is introduced in Genesis 1:2, as a Hebrew noun in feminine form. Thus, from the beginning of the priestly story of Creation, both masculine and feminine gender terms are present, within the context of Elohim’s stated existence.
Peace on earth. Is it attainable? I believe it is! But first, humanity must deal with its unwavering allegiance to the human clock—a crafty invention that, for better or worse, encourages the repetition of time-honored behavior. Time is both a gift and a curse. The 24-hour clock is not the problem. The measurement of time is not evil. Yet our awareness of time’s passage, along with our desire to keep track of time, has placed the human spirit in a state of bondage that most of us don’t realize.
I offer three tools for humanity’s spiritual garden—a Clock, a Key, and a Net. The tools are universal in nature, but they are contained within the ancient writings of the Judeo-Christian faith perspective. These tools address the subjects of time, language, and organization, respectively. I like to think that the tools will help us on the road ahead, if we trust them enough to use them.
Of all the subjects taught by church leaders, organizing people for effective ministry is rarely one of them. Yet, we all know that a well-organized mission is key to its success. Furthermore, we know that people are not likely to participate in a mission that is not well-organized. So, what does the Bible say about organizing the church? Does the Bible contain any organizational teachings?
Certainty is a real killer of spiritual insight. Yet many Christians tout their certainty about everything! The spirit of certainty exposes Christian tribalism at its finest. One of my personal favorites is the certainty many people adopt regarding John’s Revelation. Four distinct tribes of people will defend their interpretations, to their death if necessary! Well, okay, maybe stopping short of martyrdom, or murder.
The followers of Jesus are called to bind up the brokenhearted and heal humanity’s woundedness. Doing so requires a commitment to justice, for all societies on earth. The religious models of yesterday created systems of oppression. Instead of binding up broken hearts, oppression actually causes heartbreak and woundedness. Will the future model of the church be different? Yes, she will.
Throughout the ages, humankind has investigated and explored the Creation. As we continue to discover the depths and heights of the unknown, it becomes increasingly obvious that humanity is incapable of creating from nothing. We can only create from something that is already in existence. Hence, I continue to believe in the existence of a Creator of all things seen and unseen.
In this final blog of the series, I think it’s important to ask, “What did Jesus’ death and resurrection truly accomplish 2,000 years ago?” Do we know? Or, are we still figuring it out? At the present time, I believe we are just beginning to uncover the true nature, of Jesus’s overthrow, of a lesser spiritual government. I think we are only beginning to appreciate the deeper layers of deception, that Jesus knew all too well.Read more
Part IV of this series continues with Steps #3 and #4 of the scapegoating process. Remember that the process occurs over a passage of time. So the clock, that lives inside the human mind, plays a significant role in enabling an escalation of emotion. To continue looking at the process, I will follow the actions of Jesus, as recorded in the Gospel of John.Read more
Part III, in the blog series, will demonstrate the first two steps in the scapegoating process. Remember, scapegoating requires the passage of time. The voice of temporal time, ever present in the human mind, plays a significant role in the process. It is a lesser spiritual government that manipulates the process by escalating emotional, psychological, and spiritual discomfort, as minutes, hours, days, or months pass by.Read more