1. God is Love!
2. God/Love is Perfectly Represented through Jesus Christ.
3. Jesus came to experience our pain and Love us in, through, and out of our pain. He never put a disease on anyone to teach them a lesson, draw them closer to Himself, or seal their death and/or a place in Dante's underworld of eternal conscious torment. Truth is, He never put a disease on anyone. Full Stop. That has not changed. He's our comforter, not our tormentor.
4. You are not perfect like God, Who Christians call "Father"...and you certainly wouldn't put a disease or plague on your children. Would you? Is human, parental love greater than God's Perfect Love?
5. Many of today's Christians, like many people in the Old Testament, interpret current events through a flawed theological lens that attributes their pain to a monster god instead of evil (which, in many cases is combined with human wickedness, hatred, fear mongering, abuse...and the effects of human sovereignty).
6. Jesus is God's ONLY Perfect Selfie! He alone is the Brightness of the Father's Glory and the Express Image of His Person...Who alone could claim "He Who has seen Me has seen the Father". ALL who came before Him were THIEVES and ROBBERS in one dimension or another!
7. The Coronavirus is NOT from God, but we can learn to Love one another more through it.
8. The Coronavirus is affecting professing Christians along with the people that many professing Christians think God is "judging" or should "judge". We have a COMMON enemy...and it isn't GOD!
9. God is our Healer and one of His primary means of healing is through humans loving other humans; whether that happens supernaturally or through so many precious, loving, compassionate medical professionals.
10. God couldn't possibly Love you any more or less than He does right now. God IS Love! His Perfect Love casts out ALL fear and transcends sickness, pain, and even death!
Regardless of your Religious or Political Affiliation (or any other affiliation), God Loves You and so do I!
Yours In Human Joy & Suffering,
What's depicted in the picture above is NOT THE MESSAGE OF THE CROSS!
Here's how I see it: God Loved us so much that He became one of us to show us what humanity was created to look like (Love). We rejected Him and killed Him. Nevertheless, The Power of Love and forgiveness triumphed over the power of hate, sin, and death. This forever incarnate, glorified, risen, and ascended representative of all mankind shall forever be one of us. God Himself formed this union to totally identify with us so that we could forever totally identify with Him. His Life is now our Life through His Spirit. We are now free to receive Love, be Love, and give Love! The message of the cross is one of pure Love...not anger, bloodlust, vengeance, and appeasement.
God is Love. Love/God can't be humanly manufactured. Our union with Love, through Christ, is the only way that we can Love Love and enjoy Love Loving through us. We discover the highest expressions of Love when we reckon ourselves dead and our lives hid with Christ in Love! The key to Loving God, Neighbor, and Enemy is to stop trying to Love and to just let Love in us and all around us Love through us!
A few reasons why this diagram is deeply flawed:
1. The Godhead is the pattern for ALL relationships.
2. The Trinity's Inter-Dependent relationship and function is best described through the Perichoresis (A Circle Dance) example, not pyramids or umbrellas.
3. Unless Jesus' Umbrella LEAKS, why would anyone need the others? Our lives are hid WITH Christ IN God.
4. God's Pattern emphasizes FUNCTIONING IN UNION vs. A Boss Dominating a Subject down the inverted, misogynistic, Patriarchal pyramid.
5. The Law came by Moses, but Grace and Truth came by Jesus Christ. Moses could tell you what to do ("top down"), but he couldn't indwell and empower you to do anything! Jesus does! Therefore, umbrellas and inverted pyramids are horrible ways of relating to God and each other. While some of the "principles" may be correct, the implied dualism and multiplicity (vs. union) are glaring misrepresentations of the Christ Life. A man who views himself as ONE with God, His Wife, and His Children will be much more successful than one whose prominent perspective is from a "Husband Down" position.
6. It seriously devalues the Christ in women and children, and is an unnecessary stumbling block for Non-Believers.
7. Some diagrams include "Pastor" (Mentioned only once in the entire N.T., where it is plural and listed 4th among 5 functions), which makes the "LEAKY UMBRELLA/INVERTED PYRAMID" picture even worse.
8. Notice the only place where "LOVE" is listed.
9. What does it speak to broken families, widows, orphans, or women and children who have been abandoned?
10. According to the diagram, Who is closest to Christ (but not even IN HIM)?
Ephesians 3:21 "Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen."
-An absolute impossibility if a revived, "National Israel" takes the place of the ONE NEW MAN/The Israel of God (The expansion of Israel if you will)...made up of Jew (first) and Gentile. What part of "all ages" and "without end" don't you understand?
It's strange that "The Fruit of the Spirit" is seldom mentioned when "Great moves of the Holy Spirit" are being discussed.
Imagine a MOVE of Love, Joy, Peace, Perseverance, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, & Self Control!
I'm no Cessationist, but if our "Charismatic Moves" haven't greatly impacted the world with these beautiful expressions of the Nature of Christ, then perhaps we've missed something really BIG.
It might also be a great idea to focus more on the Beatitudes than "Who's Who in the Five-Fold Zoo", and our "Special Meeting" goose bumps which had no lasting impact beyond the "church" parking lot.
Peace & Love!
Grace, while remaining ever-present, functions through sweet, experiential, loving communion in and with the Godhead, not presumptive acts of human will and whim.
Being IN Christ doesn't automatically mean that our words and works are OF Christ.
His Finished Work brought us into a very special relationship with Himself...one which requires reciprocal Love (which is freely given by God and never humanly manufactured), appreciation and cultivation in order for His Glory to truly emanate from us.
Grace is all about ROMANCE, not presumption or legal transaction!
For those Christians who are all for "Freedom of Religion" AND mandatory, audible prayer in public schools... What happens if the prayer is being led by a Satanist?, a Buddhist?, a Hindu?, a Muslim?, someone who claims to believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster? or another Christian whose beliefs don't line up exactly with yours? Do you expect people who don't believe in Jesus to pray in His Name? Should that be forced? Does God punish schools that don't adhere to your philosophy by ordaining mass shootings?
Fearful people quite often treat prayer as a superstitious, good luck charm that must be imposed on others in order to fend off a Zeus-like god who is longing to wreak havoc, pain, and death on those who don't yet know him. Others believe that it is in His nature to be passive-aggressively "absent" in the midst of human pain and suffering. Nothing could be further from the Truth! God isn't a school shooter, nor does He ordain such actions. God is LOVE!
The Truth is: We can't literally TAKE GOD OUT OF anything, and unceasing prayer can't be stopped by anyone or anything!
I agree that our influence must be stronger, but that should be facilitated through Jesus' Love flowing through us...not by us imposing religion on others. Our delegated authority must function through Love and Servanthood, not legislation and imposition.
Spiritual Gifts are some of Love's greatest "weapons" for advancing God's Kingdom (on earth as it is in heaven),"conquering" the world with kindness and bringing Peace. They were Weapons of Mass Salvation in the ministries of Jesus and the Apostles, and they are still available to us today! If Jesus and the original Apostles relied so heavily on Father confirming His Word with signs following, shouldn't we?
It is, however, of utmost importance that such "weapons" are not used to build personality cults and towers of Babel. Instead, they must be used to point all people to Father's Love..and to encourage ALL to exercise their right to "bear arms" (Lovingly function in Spiritual Gifts as the Spirit of Love instructs and enables).
The Word, Good Doctrine, and Impeccable Theology will never demonstrate His Love and Beauty on a grand scale if they are not accompanied by the Gifts of Power which dispel the myth that the love of power is greater than the Power of Love.
Men have, unfortunately, tried to replace the Supernatural Gold of His Manifest Presence and Power with the brass of self-help monologues, programs, and entertainment which scream, "The Emperor has no clothes!"
My prayer for the Body of Christ is that we all awaken to deeper realities of Who Jesus is, who we are in Him, all that is available to us because of Him, and what He would have us to do with all that He has freely given and instructed us to freely receive.
While I have seen many wonderful signs accompany God's Word in His ministry through me (to include medically verified miracles and healings), there is a strong, yet gentle cry within me saying..."There is much, much more!"
Let us earnestly covet Spiritual Gifts for the benefit of others and the betterment of the world!
1 Corinthians 12
1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant: 2 You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led. 3 Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. 4 There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: 8 for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.
Jesus' crucifixion was the result of us taking our wrath out on our Loving, heavenly Father...in the person of Christ (and Him allowing us to do it)...from a twisted, political and religious mindset. It had nothing to do with God desperately wanting to kill us, while Jesus talked Him out of it...after deciding to be the substitutionary victim of His Father's cruel and deadly torture. Every Old Covenant sacrifice was a shadow of God's LOVE for us...which would be perfectly revealed in and through Christ! The only blood that our Loving, heavenly Father was ever thirsty for was His own! He has always LOVED us!