Saturday, June 25, 2011

The All in All

What if God really is inside every single human being, not only in Christians?  And not only in humans but also in nature?  And not somewhere far away up in heaven, but amazingly close?  What if he's the energy that's holding our bodies together?  What if he's the breath we breath and the life that's flowing through us?  What if we're made up of a lot more (of) God than we dare to believe?  What if he really is the all in all?
As Max Planck, the Nobel Prize winner in Physics, said:
“As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter”

Monday, June 6, 2011

Being glory vs. Giving glory

What if true salvation is realizing that I am the glory of God?  Isn't that what Paul is hinting at in Romans: "...for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God"?  Or in other words: Everyone has missed the mark (to sin) on what it means to be truly human, everyone is lacking the glory of God.  It seems our predicament is/was not our inability to give God glory, but our inability to relax and 'just' be God's glory.
What if all my attempts to give God the glory (through singing worship songs and serving him and stuff) are actually keeping me away from this deep unity/oneness the Father desires with his child?  
What if God doesn't want/need me to give him the glory?  What if he just longs for the day in which I realize that I am his glory?
And what if that is not pride, but true humility?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Being in Christ vs. Being in Christianity

What if it is very difficult for a modern day Christian to experience what it really means to be "in Christ"?  What if the reason for all those books and teachings about who a Christian is in Christ is that we just don't experience it?  I mean what if we need all these reminders just because it's not a reality in our lives?  What if the reason that it's not a reality in our lives is that we traded being "in Christ" for being in Christianity?  What if being "in Christ" means to be outside of or free from religion/Christianity (and it's nagging thought: "I'm not good enough for God.  I have to change.")?  What if the freedom that Christ wants to bring is at odds with Christianity?   What if religion has to make way for something new?  "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!" 2.Cor.5:17

Monday, May 9, 2011

New Religion vs. New Creation

What if Jesus never intended to found Christianity?  What if he didn't want another religion?  What if what Jesus taught was freedom from religion?  What if Christianity became exactly that which Jesus critisized in Judaism, a religion seperating people from the love of the Father?  What if Jesus' gospel is so much higher and deeper and wider than what Christianity could hold?  What if Jesus really is the firstborn of a new creation, instead of the founding father of a new religion?

Friday, May 6, 2011

More on Hell

What if the belief in hell is actually creating a hell; a seperation between "saved" and "unsaved" people, as well as between God and "unsaved" people?  What if the idea that some people are disposable is a pretty hellish one?  What if not seeing people the way God sees them is hell (seperation, darkness)?

Monday, April 18, 2011

Hell & Manipulation

What if the Pharasees in Jesus' day taught the idea of hell (borrowing it from other religions - Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Zoroastrian and Greek) in order to manipulate people to be good, so that the Messiah could come?  What if Christians started to do the same thing, causing a seperation between people who go to heaven and people who go to hell?  What if Jesus is all about breaking down this seperation, by hanging out with the 'sinful' people and turning the idea of hell onto the religious establishment?  What if Jesus was only ever warning religious people about hell?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A bigger God

Jim Palmer wrote on his blog "Shedding Religion to find God":

"What if God isn’t a belief system? What if God is bigger than any theology that religion can produce? What if God is bigger than self, bigger than family, bigger than church, bigger than tribe, bigger than nation, and bigger than any creed or set of doctrines we might wrap around him? Could the vision of a bigger God cause us to place higher value on expanding our circles of care and compassion, and working toward a more peaceful world? What if God is love? What if God is peace? What if God is unconditional acceptance? What if God is empathy and compassion?"

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Predestined to what?

What if in the New Testament being 'chosen' or 'predestined' or 'the elect' does not so much refer to holding a valid ticket to heaven, as it does to being picked out in order to be a blessing to God and to people?  What if Christianity's failure is the same as that of Israel:  We still don't get that we're chosen, not for our individual gain (personal salvation), but in order to be a blessing to the world?
What if being "a chosen people, a royal priesthood" does not seperate us from and elevate us over our neighbor?  But instead it unites us with them, as we join them in their mess, the same mess that we came from, helping them up into a loving relationship with Father?  Isn't that what Jesus did and still does?  What if he continues to come alongside people, even in the place of the dead (Hades) to which he holds the keys?  What if (his)"love never fails" and never gives up?
What if there can't be an eternal bliss for the elect in heaven (in this life and after), while people are still suffering in whatever hell they are in (in this life and after)?  What if the shepherd doesn't rest until all his sheep are safe?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Freedom from fear & shame

What if we, in western Christianity, don't understand anymore what it really means for Jesus to forgive our sins?  What if it's not just about a 'Ticket to Heaven' or a 'Hell-Free Card'?  What if for Jesus, when he walked this earth, forgiving people their sins used to be all about freeing them from the bondage of shame which seperated them from Father (ie. the paralyzed man in Luke 5)?  What if "Do not be afraid" and "your sins are forgiven" were some of the most spoken words of our big brother?  What if it really is fear and shame that keep us away from a loving relationship with Father?  What if sin is this seperation caused by fear and shame?  What if, trying to manage our own sin, we get sucked deeper and deeper into it by fear and shame?  Would it be enough to just deal with the sin?  Or do we need to allow Jesus to deal with the root of it: fear and shame?  What if religion is just using fear and shame for its advantage, instead of, like Jesus, removing the burden of it?  What if I can live in a loving relationship with Father without fear and shame?

Friday, April 1, 2011

One IV

What if the existence of approximately 38000 Christian denominations in the world today is kinda opposite to what Jesus had in mind when he prayed: "...that all of them may be one, Father, that the world may believe that you have sent me."? (John 17)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Sin Management

What if living as a child of God is not about not sinning anymore?  What if for God it has never been about us not sinning?  What if, by trying to manage our sin, we're really worshipping sin, sacrificing good deeds on the altar to sin?  What if we're really "free from the law of sin and death" (Romans 8)?  What if there really is "no condemnation" anymore (Did God ever condemn us, or was it our shame that condemned us?)?  What if life is 'just' about enjoying being one with Father?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Sermon on the Mount

"What if Jesus isn't being cute and romantic in the Sermon on the Mount?  What if he is completely serious and means to be taken seriously?  What if he is proposing the ultimate deconstruction - the deconstruction of all human structures, whether scientific preanalytic visions, governments, economies, ideologies, civilizations, and the framing stories that drive them- so that we can be recomposed in our true identity, resituated in God's primal framing story of creation?  What if he is trying to excavate through layer upon layer of carpeting, plywood, ceramic tile, blacktop, gravel, trash, broken glass, and cement, so our bare feet can once again feel the cool, moist, soft soil from which we were, and are, all created?"
                                                               -Brian McLaren, Everything must change-

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Great Commission

What if Jesus telling his disciples to "go into all the world" (Mark 16) and to "make disciples of all nations" (Matthew 28) is not the "Great Commission" that we've made it to be?  What if Jesus was really just talking to his disciples back then, about their world back then, which would have been the Roman Empire?  If  Jesus really was talking about gentiles when referring to "all nations", which is better translated as "all tribes", why did it take the disciples quite a few years before they started to warm up to the possibility of sharing the good news with gentiles?  What if Jesus, in these "Great Commission" passages is really 'just' saying to his disciples: "Go and share the good news of the kingdom with our Jewish brothers and sisters before the end of the age is coming (the end of the old covenant, the destruction of the Temple together with the sacrificial system in AD.70)."?
What if the "Great Commission" that even is valid for us today is rather to be found in John 15: 
"My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you."?
What if Christians throughout history, in their effort to "go into all the world", have all too often neglected this most important call to LOVE?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The word of God

What if a large number of Christians throughout history didn't have the ability to read the bible, nor have any deep biblical/theological knowledge?  What if these brothers and sisters didn't miss out on hearing and living by the word of God?  What if owning your own copy (or several) of the bible and calling it "the Word of God" is a relatively new thing, only a couple of hundred years old?  What if we search the scriptures, learn them, teach them, and all the while miss the one thing that, Jesus taught, really counts?  What if all these Christians, without the ability to read, or without the means of purchasing a copy of the Bible, or simply living before the age of the printing press, got this one thing right?  What if the word of God simply is LOVE?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


What if we are ONE?

The Lord's Prayer

What if we made the 'Lord's prayer' to be the total opposite of what Jesus was trying to teach?  What if Jesus' main point was to show the closeness of relationship that we can have with our Father, by saying: "Abba, papa, daddy, I love who you are and what you are doing." (my version)?  Instead of: "Our Father who art in heaven, up there, far, far away..."

The king & his kingdom

What if Jesus' kingdom is really, as he says, not of this world?  What if the type of 'second coming' that most Christians are waiting for, is totally contrary to Jesus' heart and words?  What if he is not the kinda king that most denominations make him out to be?  What if he is not going to come ahead of a massive army, overthrowing all other kingdoms by force of the sword (or atom bomb)?  What if he hasn't changed his plan nor his ways?  What if he continues in the way of love and humility?  Isn't that powerful?  Doesn't that overpower superpowers? 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Love & Evangelism

What if love is really the only way to spread Jesus' beautiful news of the Fathers' love (to evangelise)?  What if there is some measure of love, some measure of the Father's image,  hidden in every person, burried under all that other junk, like hurt, shame and rejection?  What if real evangelism is like going on a treasure hunt, seeking that measure of love in someone, and calling it forth with the love that I receive from Father?  What if any other agenda (like winning souls for Christ etc.) is only doing injustice to the pure motive of love building up love?

"The true lover always believes that love is present; precisely in this way he builds up.  In this way he only entices forth the good; he 'loves up' love; he builds up what is already there.  For love can and will be treated in only one way - by being loved forth."       -Kierkegaard-

One II

What if every one of us is really made in the image of God?  What if His DNA is flowing through every person?  What if we have never left oneness with our creator?  What if the problem of humanity is not that God, because of our sin, is distant from us, but that our sense of shame and focus on our selves has convinced us of this lie (I have to hide; I'm not good enough, not worthy)?  What if this perceived distance is what kills us spiritually, unplugging us from the source of life?  What if Jesus' message is that of the loving Father who just wants to share everything with us, and not that of the untouchable, highly exalted king, way up there on the throne, somewhere in heaven, wherever that is...?  What if Jesus' life-giving spirit is awakening/bringing back to life our spirit, dealing with our shame, and opening our eyes to the truth that we're one with the one who created us to be one with Him (not seperate; not up there and down here; not servant and king; not big God and little human)?  What if so many of our 'worship songs' are full with lies about God being distant?

Friday, February 18, 2011

OT Hell

What if there is no mention of eternal punishment in the whole of the Old Testament?  What if the word Hades (the only word sometimes translated hell in the OT) was never meant to convey the meaning of eternal punishment?  Wouldn't God, when He talked to Moses on the mountain, have told him of such a place, if such a place existed? (Something like:  Oh, by the way, if you don't keep my commandments you'll end up in a place of eternal punishment.  And the people you'll be killing on the way to the promised land, they'll end up there, too.)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Born again

What if being 'born again' (or 'born from above') is only mentioned twice in the bible?  Yet it has become the central doctrine of modern day Christianity. 
What if Jesus was using this term to show Nicodemus that he had to die to his religious ways and become spiritually alive?  What if this term is no where used in the bible for a heathen repenting of their sin?
What if today Jesus would talk most likely to a 'born again Christian' about the need of really being born again?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The last days

What if most of the prophecies in the bible have already been fulfilled?  What if all of them have already been fulfilled?  What if 'the last days' the NT authors wrote about were really as close as they thought them to be?  What if all the things predicted by Jesus in the 'Mount Olivet Discourse' (Mat.24) were really, as he himself said, to be witnessed by the generation of his day?  What if the book of Revelation really contains pictures of things which, back then, were shortly to come to pass (Rev.1)? 
What if 'the last days' (and the end of the world/age) refer to the last days of the old covenant between God and Israel?  What if the king has already delivered up the kingdom to God, and now there is a new covenant: God being father of all, God being all in all? (1Cor.15)

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Law vs. Love

What if we're doing the same thing to the New Testament (NT), as the Jews did to the Tanakh by writing the Talmud, trying to keep the law plus thousands of other extra rules. What I mean is that we take the NT (but also the OT) and read it as the law, something to live our lives by as good Christians.  And because it's not that easy to understand what the different authors really want us to do, we come up with commentaries that we need to study and adhere to as closely as possible.  What is the difference between a good study bible with footnotes and commentary (not to mention Christian book stores filled with advice and rules to live the Christian life succesfully, based on scripture), and the hundreds of intricate laws that the God fearing Jews put on themselves?  Have we really come away from living under the burden of the law?
What if Jesus is really right, and it all can be broken down to... LOVE?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Blood covenant & freedom

What if the reason that it is very hard for me to condure up a feeling of gratidude and meaningful thankfulness when thinking about Jesus dying on the cross (I'd have to watch "The Passion" or sing one of those slow "thank you for the cross" songs) is not that it's so long ago, but that I have never been under that blood covenant that Israel made with Yahweh?  What if the cross was primarily for the Jews?...and the life of the resurrection for all of creation?
What if I was born into freedom?...into life?...into the new covenant?
What if I can just live in that freedom without feeling guilty?
What if really being thankful is living out this freedom to the fullest (and not crawling on the floor telling God how awful and undeserving I am)?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Completely comfortable

What if God, my creator, the one that gave me life, really thoroughly enjoyed hanging out with me?...right now, just the way that I am this minute?
What if there is nothing He'd rather do and what if He'd be completely comfortable with me, even though I see myself as still lacking?  What if He'd be completely comfortable with me, without having to change or wash me first?
Would really knowing that make me sin more or less?  Would there still be room for sin?  What really is sin in light of all this?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Creation: The joy of planting seeds?

What if God really prefers the long process of planting a seed and watching it grow, over the quick act of miraculously creating something in its full grown form?  What if He really enjoys the process as much as He enjoys the finished product?
What if that is how God created the universe: planting seeds, rather than creating finished products? 
What if God, beholding His creation and judging it, did not say that it was perfect, as Greek thinking would have us believe, but rather that it was 'very good', ready to freely grow, blossom and become...?
What if what we call 'the Fall' wasn't a fall (from perfection) at all, but rather a dying off of the organism that God planted?
What if (through Jesus) we came fully alive again?

Loving Jesus

What if loving Jesus is really not about how many songs of love I sing to him, but about how much I'm willing to love the person in front of me?  Isn't that what Jesus taught?
It's so easy to see and love Jesus as high and exalted King 'up there', but what about seeing and loving Jesus in the lowly and poor beggar 'down here'?  What if I saw him in the person I absolutely can't stand, the person who is doing everything to make life hard for me?  Would I still see love as only this fuzzy feeling that comes whenever the band starts playing my favorite worship song?

A more excellent way

What if Paul really is right when he writes that it's all for nothing if I don't have love?
Why is there such a temptation to ask for 'more power', miracles and big clanging things?
What if love really is "a more excellent way"?
What if I actually was patient enough and asked Father to teach me the way of love, and have everything else grow out of that love?
What if the way of Jesus still is serving in love, instead of ruling in power?
What if the only true way to rule in power actually is serving in love?
Why do we prefer Jesus as being exalted, mighty and powerful, when he prefers being lowly?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

One I

What if the real problem with us humans is not that we don't know how to become one, but that we don't know that we are one.
How different would the world be if we found out that we are one?
What if I started living in the knowledge of being one with every person I meet (beggar or buisness man)?
How much differently would I treat my neighbor if I really understood that I'm one with them?
Same substance, same breath.
Same father, same maker.
Just a different person(ality),
but ONE.
First, one in Adam.
Now, soon and forever one in Christ.