Friday, April 14, 2017


No 'Good Friday', please.

     For me, it's a real perversion to call today 'Good Friday'. We remember Jesus of Nazareth getting excecuted by the Romans, for being very guilty of the charges against him: advising people to not pay the Roman tax, for starting a riot, and for claiming to be king, the Messiah. All were crimes against Caesar.
   These actions were taken because Jesus was following the law of Love, of Shalom, the basis of Jewish understanding. Although he had not claimed the throne, his followers had. He was guilty. He was killed for his convictions. Where's the GOODNESS in that? As of this day, he was a failure on all counts. The lessons learned: LOVE has a very high price indeed; You can't fight the system; Might is right; and so on.
    Please don't try to change this lesson by the old Pauline and  Augustinian claim that Jesus died for our sins. It doesn't 'wash' anymore. That might have made sense to first century Greeks who believed in sacrifice and unloving gods, but for me that old doctrine, however orthodox, just doesn't help at all. This doctrine makes a monster out of God. We shouldn't wonder why most 'Christians' stay home from worship today. Any kind of 'loving' God will forgive their 'children' without having to kill off the best of them as some example. And besides, I'm still far from perfect. Just ask Judy, or any of my friends. Or am I supposedly only now 'forgiven' from the that old sin of 'The Apple'? Who knows?
   So, today we have a very bad Friday. Let's learn from it. Love and Justice are costly. Following Jesus in any way does and will have a price. As he urged many times, even as he was asking others to follow, before we chose, look closely at the cost and weigh carefully what you value most in life. If you want to be popular and 'successful', don't even think of trying to follow. Stick with going to church and feeling good. Or keep on by yourselves.  It's much easier and hasn't the perils of following Jesus.

Friday, April 7, 2017



    Most churches are dying, along with classical Christianity. Being more truthful might make a difference. A good example of this is what will be heard from most pulpits this coming week, on Palm Sunday. What you won't hear is the reality of how Jesus had been asked, time and time again, to lead the people in revolt against Rome, to be their Messiah Of how even the mention of 'messiah' was a crime against Rome. Of how many of his disciples and followers were supporters of the Zealots, the movement that was dedicated to revolt and the killing of not only the Romans, but all who were profiting from their occupation of God's Kingdom.
   Jesus had finally said YES. He entered the city through the main gates, going right past the Fortress Antonia which housed the Roman Legion. Pontius Pilate was probably there as well, as his palace wasn't nearly as secure and easily defended against the expected attack. At church we sing of Jesus being followed by bands of children, a family occasion with smiles all around, hardly offensive or a threat in any way. Garbage! There would have been a short sword or dagger under every third cloak. If not, if the Romans hadn't known this, they would have arrested or killed Jesus and his followers right then. Long before he had urged the people to not pay the Roman tax. Now he was causing a revolt and claiming the throne as the Messiah. It was no secret. He was been expected.
   So Jesus entered the city which was, for the most part, in his control. He even closed down the Temple, calling the High Priest and others 'Thieves.' But he didn't order an assault on the Romans or the wealthy. He shared the Seder Meal with his inner group that evening - and then he left the city to return to his unprotected camp in the nearby hills.
   Why? Because he knew that violence was not the Way of Abba, the God that he knew. Only in the giving away of his power might the people begin to understand this concept. Up to that point he had not been able to make them understand; all they wanted was a messiah to solve their problems.
   The truth of what we call 'Palm Sunday' is so much more interesting and valuable than the usual fare. It's something to inspire, challenge and teach us. Why don't we hear of it? Why are churches so afraid of the truth? I can't understand it. Why do they insist on  boring us to death when there's so much life and excitement to share?
  I'll probably stay  home and read, or, if it's not raining, go for a walk on Sand Beach.
    (If you'd like to read more on this, try my Simeon's Gospel, book on Amazon)