Non Sequiturs of a Postmodern Jesus

Non sequiturs¹ Jesus never said …

(But are implicit among those who jettison scripture to create a postmodern² Jesus of their own perception):

Non Sequitur

Non Sequitur

“It’s about relationship …

So forget obedience.”

“All scripture points to me …

So your own perceptions of me trump any scripture that offends you.”

“I am the living word …

So you no longer need to submit to the authority and discipline of my written word.”

“‘Be holy as I am holy’…

Now means ‘I am postmodern as you are postmodern’.”

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Civil Government and Civic Engagement: A Worthy Calling

Here are some thoughts on yesterday’s elections that I posted on Crossroad Junctions’ Facebook page:

I don’t want a central government that promises to solve all my problems by demanding the power to run my life. Such utopian schemes always lead to intolerance and tyranny.

It's fun watching millennials finally figure out, just like us old farts did in our day, that liberalsim is very attractive ... until you actually have to live under it. ~ www.CrossroadJunction.coomInstead, I want a central government which insures that the foundations for a healthy society are strong, so I then can build the kind of life that God wants for me, my family, my church and the community where I live.

A central government that promises to solve all my problems is a government that seeks to usurp the rights and responsibilities God has given to individuals, the family, the church, local communities, and voluntary associations of folks working together to make their lives better.

It’s All About A Relationship …

The Existential Jesus

The biggest lies involve half-truths, like the current fad of saying that “it’s all about a relationship with Jesus.”

But that begs the question: A relationship on whose terms?

Yes, Jesus wants a relationship and for us to feel His presence – as our Lord, on His terms, as we obey Him by doing the will of His Father.

Any other “relationship” is a lie and the day eventually will come when He declares: “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” (Matt. 7:21-23)

Jesus: He’s more than a feeling.

~ Jim Wright

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A Timely Warning by Steve Hill

The Seven Great Lies in the Church Today, by Steve Hill

Amen and amen. I stand shoulder to shoulder with Steve Hill on this important article.

If you’ve read Crossroad Junction for very long, you’ve seen me also tackle most of these same, out-0f-balance issues. I’m glad to see others raising identical warnings, now to a broader audience, regarding:

  1. Overemphasis of Prosperity
  2. Exaggerated View of Grace
  3. Antinomianism
  4. Deification of Man (or, as I put it, creating Jesus in our own image)
  5. Challenging the Authority of the Word
  6. Rejecting Hell
  7. Universal Reconciliation

Really, folks, it’s kind of simple: He defines what is ultimately true, real and right, not us.

He’s God. We’re not. Get over it!

~ Jim

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Resurrection Sunday

Forty-eight years young in the Lord!

On Resurrection Sunday, 1965, I had a deep, deep conversion experience as I totally surrendered to the Lord. I’m told the tears on that old wooden floor made permanent stains.

graceWow, how time has passed. It’s been – and continues to be – a wonderful adventure, and even during some tough times I never once regretted belonging to Him.

Through it all, I’ve always felt His hand on my life and was blessed with a solid foundation from Godly parents and mature teachers, which has served me well over the years.

In an age of crazy doctrines and postmodern spiritual angst, that foundation yet stands firm for those willing to surrender their sensibilities to the Living Word and His written Word.

Really, it’s just not that complicated, but it does mean letting go of your own impulse to define Jesus – and what ultimately is right, real and true – on your own terms.

My life is a living testimony to His sovereign Lordship, and His passion is my very life.

I invite you to also surrender, and find life.

~ Jim

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Frank Viola: Feed the Need

Sorry, Frank Viola, but when your “revelation” of Jesus looks a lot like your own sensibilities, I’m not impressed.

And when “deeper life” merely reinforces your own postmodern proclivities, I’m likewise not impressed.

Nor do I find a persistent failure to be a functional part of any healthy, local fellowship – despite all your books and blogs on organic church – to be a virtue.

Really, didn’t you get the memo? Postmodernism and existential angst just ain’t that compelling or counter-cultural anymore.

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Christocentric Buffoonery

Those with the hutzpa to claim that their personal perceptions of Christ are more accurate than His written word of scripture deceive themselves. They have rebelled against God’s own chosen revelation, and worship at the feet of postmodernism instead. I would rather that my sensibilities shatter against the rock of God’s Word than subvert Christ to their subjective, existential angst. 
 
Here’s a little song about the dilemmas facing my existentially-consumed friends:
Beyond Scripture? (Part 2).

Tyranny and Murder by Presidential Decree

In America, we’ve lost the right to be born, the right to practice our faith without government dictate or penalty, the right to proclaim moral sanity in the public square, and now the right to due process of law against a president who thinks he literally can pull the trigger and execute fellow citizens at his whim.

Who's Next?

Who’s Next?

In a bizarre “legal memo”, President Obama has asserted that he can target and assassinate Americans – at will – simply on his belief that they are subversives.

The memo’s specific focus is Americans who President Obama has unilaterally concluded are affiliated with al-Qaida (not that this makes it right), but its rationale and justification can now be applied to anyone else who he likewise concludes is a non-combatant subversive.

America was once a great nation, ruled by law under a Constitution that was consciously written to embody a Judeo-Christian worldview.

The bedrock of our constitutional republic – rooted in Biblical principles articulated by men like James Madison and his mentor John Witherspoon – was the liberty to pursue virtue by imposing checks and balances against the evil of unrestrained government power.

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Traction

treadmillI’m having an interesting online (but private) conversation with someone, talking about the state of things in his part of the country.

Here was my observation:

“My impression from interactions on Facebook with various folks in the [deleted] area is that there is a lot of angst that has driven folks from institutionalism and legalism, but not much in the way of any solid foundational Biblical principles operative among them.

“Your area seems to be a hotbed for interest in ‘organic’ things, but mired in lots of unrealistic sensibilities. They seem to have idealistic expectations rooted in those sensibilities but can’t seem to find traction, yet they are not willing to change and so they keep trying and trying without success.”

I wonder if this describes other areas around the country as well?

~ Jim

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Election Postmortem

Election Postmortem

Leading up to Tuesday’s elections here in the United States, I often used this blog and Facebook to urge Christians to vote. (See Does Jesus Want You to Vote?)

When I did, I always got heated push back – mainly from other Christians who oppose Biblical civic engagement.

Generally, they think God is only interested our personal relationships with Him, or that He is solely focused on the Church.

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Postmodern Idolatry

Does God do what is right, or is it right because God does it?

Many think God is subservient or subject to external standards – that He does what is right because there is a higher moral code that even He obeys.

This denies God’s sovereignty, and as a result many today seek to hold Him to the standard of their own sense of right and wrong.

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Beyond Scripture? (Part 2)

Jesus Loves Me

(An existential version of that favorite childhood song.
I encourage you to have some fun by singing along as you read it.)

Jesus loves me, this I know,
Postmodern grace has made it so.
With His Spirit in my heart,
External truth now has no part.

Chorus:

Did Jesus tell me?
Oh, how can I know?
I feel Jesus told me,
I hope that makes it so.

Additional Verses:

The Bible says that I must go,
Proclaim His Word – oh no no no!
Now existential I’ve become,
‘Cause His commands just leave me numb

My sense of Jesus is true light,
I do not worry what is right.
With my sensibilities,
I do not need moralities.

The Bible’s NOT the Word of God.
My own perceptions earn my nod!
The Jesus I have come to see,
Surprisingly looks just like me.

I only want the Living Word,
The Bible seems just too absurd.
Now I perceive reality,
The way I want it all to be.

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The Power of God

We don’t go looking for or emphasize miracles, but in our fellowships we’ve been seeing the miraculous happen time and again.

We had one man collapse and then die right in front of the paramedics and the fellowship he had been helping to start in the jail – and then come back to life shortly thereafter on the gurney in the jail infirmary after brothers gathered together to pray for him.

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Organic Church Dead Ends

I’ve been thinking a lot about why significant segments of the organic church community in the Western hemisphere have failed to achieve Biblical viability – becoming instead anemic, self-focused and insular.

Even a casual observer must acknowledge that “organic” or “simple” churches in the West (unlike other parts of the world) seldom exhibit dynamic spiritual power; consistent reproduction, growth and maturity; or tangible, transforming impact.

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Love in Action

You tell me how in Christ love is everything.

How it transcends morality, truth and even scripture itself…

How if we just expressed your concept of love, the world will beat a path to Jesus…

Yet you recoil at basic truth, like the reality of sin and moral precepts.

And you reject much that God has revealed in His Word to help us understand His own nature and thus the parameters of authentic love – for the good not just of individuals, but whole societies.

Somehow, you have been deceived into thinking that authentic love is freedom from truth, when actually it is truth set free.

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I Confess: I Ate at Chick-fil-A

It hasn’t taken long for the Christian postmodernists among us to start accusing their brothers and sisters in the Lord of bigotry, intolerance and hate simply for eating yesterday at Chick-fil-A.

In the last 24 hours, I’ve seen several blogs and related Facebook comments along those lines.

My Favorite Chick-fil-A Meal

Really? Bigotry, intolerance and hate? I saw no evidence of that yesterday.

Have some become so trapped in their postmodern sensibilities that it now is wrong to stand up in a civil, respectful manner against those who want to use the power of government to silence a man of faith – and block his businesses?

And his “sin”?

Simply this: Affirming his personal support of marriage as God has ordained it in His written Word, while nonetheless being open and embracing of all who patronize his establishments regardless of their sexual orientation or differing views.

Let’s get a grip, folks.

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I Want More Religion (Part 3)

I figure that if half of the folks reading my blog say “amen!”, and the other half say “oh my!”, then I’m right where God wants me.

The Whole Picture

The consternation and angst – in blogs, Facebook comments, podcasts and the like – generated by this series have convinced me that what I said needed saying.

My point is simple, and 100% Biblical:

I go, do and obey because of who I am in Christ. It is His life in me, expressed through me.

But here’s the kicker: If I do not “do”or obey as Christ commands, then the life of Christ in me is a lie – at least in those areas where I choose to disobey or stay trapped in my own sensibilities.

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Post-modern Rage

My recent blog on “I Want More Religion” provoked a degree of rage which only served to prove the point I was trying to make.

In a lengthy online discussion, one podcaster (whom I will not grace by identifying) commented that my blog made him so angry that he wanted to “kill” me.

Seriously. He said he felt like killing me because I dared say that Jesus was not all about relationship, but also obedience and holiness.

And he kept repeating it…

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