Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Love Is God

I have a few Evangelical ties on Facebook and in real life. So, at least once a week, I see Evangelicals' favorite verse.

"Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me." John 14:6

There are thousands of verses that most Evangelicals have never even read... but this one gets put on T-Shirts, bumper stickers, mugs... you name it.

Evangelicals love it because it is so damn exclusive. Jesus tended to be fairly inclusive, so Evangelicals have to step around and ignore a lot of his sayings. Not this one though. This one they cling to like a rope tossed to a drowning man.

This verse did cause me some consternation during the last years of my faith... it was so un-Jesus. Couldn't he see how those words would be weaponized?

Of course, who knows if he even said it... but let me put on my Christian hat for a second and state that he did. Take it a step further and let's say he was divine and liked to layer things up a bit for those paying attention.

There is a mathematical axiom that states – If A=B and B=C then A=C.  This is called the Transitive Property.  According to this property, A, B, and C are completely interchangeable.

1 John 4:7-8 says, “Beloved let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

Notice, it is not that God tries to love or desires to love… it is who and what he is.  ANYONE who loves knows God and is born of him.

God likes math, so let’s use that Transitive Property: God=Love, Jesus=God, Love=Jesus.

Let’s look at that seemingly exclusive verse again.

“Jesus said, “Love is THE WAY, Love is THE TRUTH, Love is THE LIFE.  No one comes to the Father but through Love.”

Now that verse syncs up with 1 John 4… and can no longer be weaponized.  Everyone has access to God through Love.


Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk.

Monday, February 26, 2024

How To Lose An Ally

"That's the difference between the Democratic and the Republican Party - Democrats are hostage to their crazy minority and Republicans are hostage to their crazy majority." ~ Bret Stephens

I often say that Democrats and liberals have a talent for turning allies into enemies.  The slightest deviance from whatever is the accepted orthodoxy of the moment can get a politician or leader in more hot water than they care to deal with.

I re-read a conversation that occurred on a friend's page last year where this was happening.  Issues of sexuality and gender were being discussed and I would guess that nearly everyone in the thread felt roughly the same way in terms of rights for everyone.  There was one person though who felt a lot of frustration with any variance away from her "pure" view... and that was translating into her doling out some pretty harsh rhetoric.  People who should have been allies were in her crosshairs and she did not question pulling the trigger.

I have met a lot of liberals like her over the years... and I am pretty sure they may have motivated as many folks to MAGA rallies as the orange buffoon himself.

Anyway, here was what I wrote at the time... and I still feel this way.  And no, in her estimation, I am just part of the problem.

"Amy I think you are expecting too much from people.

I teach math.  Have you ever tried to do math in a different number system?  It's kinda crazy.  We have done math our whole lives in base 10... probably because we have 10 digits on our hands.  If we had 12, all of our math would probably be done in base 12.

So, for example, in base 3 math 1+2=10.  That's cause the odometer spins after 2 instead of 9.  Get a bunch of adults trying to do math in base 3 and you will see them counting on their fingers to do the simplest equations.  They have been functioning under base 10 all their lives.  Their brains are literally wired for it.

I know "how" to do math in other number systems... but it still feels awkward and I have to REALLY think about it.  It never comes natural.

In the same way, people have been brought up to perceive gender in a certain way... their WHOLE lives...  Then someone explains that, actually, there is a whole new mathematical approach.  It is probably never going to be as 2nd nature to them as it is to you... even if they are trying.

I mentally assent to all of the issues regarding sexuality and gender... but I can't say I "get" them.  I can do the math... but I really have to pay attention.  It can be a little exhausting when people resent me when it does not come as naturally for me as it does for them... as I am sure it is exhausting when they have to re-explain something that, to them, is as clear as day.

My kids are much more "fluent" with trans issues.  I will probably always feel a bit like a right-hander throwing left-handed.

We all want to be heard and we all want to be understood... but I don't think we can demand that of others.  We can demand equal treatment under the law.  We can expect to be treated civilly.  I think though, to describe someone who does not "get" me as "despising" me is not helpful, nor is it accurate."

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Historical Jesus?

Someone asked me if I believed in a historical Jesus-

"I think there probably was a Jesus... but everything we know of him is 2nd hand, generations later, motivated retells. So, I take the stories for what they are and what they say... and don't worry too much when Jesus contradicts himself or the Pauline epistles head in different directions.

In the end, those who scream most loudly about the Bible being the "Word of God" usually have a very thin knowledge of how it came about or what it contains. In my sect, Evangelicals, we would regurgitate the same 500 verses annually, while pretty much ignoring the other 30,000.

Ultimately, I think most folks find the Jesus they want in the Bible. I have friends of all different economic, social, and political persuasions... and funny enough, all of them quote Jesus and claim to be followers. Jesus has many faces."

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