Did Jesus Bully the Pharisees?

It’s Complicated

Moral teacher, guru, revolutionary, Jewish zealot, magician/sorcerer, political activist, “demon” (John 10:20) and spiritual healer are just a few of the bizarre and eclectic heretical Jesus’ that have been presented as reinterpretations of the biblical Christ. Most of these descriptions are not new, but have been levied against Christ since he turned water into wine. The mysterious, miraculous nature of the Incarnation, as simultaneous man and God, has confounded even history’s most devoutly religious men like the Pharisees. During the time of Christ, the Pharisees were among the first men to reject Christ’s divinity and offer alternate views of Christ’s ontology.

After Christ healed the demon possessed, blind, and mute man the Pharisees refused to believe that Christ had received his power from God the Father and said,

“It is only by Beelzebul, the prince of demons that this man casts out demons.” (Matthew 12:24 ESV)

The Pharisees like so many others throughout the centuries could not believe in Christ’s divinity. Thankfully, our faith may rest easy in the biblical Christ thanks to the works of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, Peter and many others who all affirm the deity and sacrificial work of Christ.

Later when the teachings of the church became more codified, the doctrines of the Apostles were solidified into the heresy fighting Nicene and Apostles Creeds, which affirmed the divinity of Christ, as the son of God, and the work of Christ, as the sacrificial savior of the world. However, while scripture and creeds may protect the divinity and work of Christ, do they protect him from the charge of bully? Christ may be the only begotten son of God, but he may not have been above bullying in his tactics to spread the gospel.

Christ the Boxing Champ

Whenever Christ came into contact with the Pharisees his demeanor changed from Jesus Christ the friend of sinners, to Jesus Christ the heavy weight boxing champ. Christ in the ring with the Pharisees always left them babbling, bruised, and bewildered. A couple of classic bullying characteristics come to mind with Christs interactions with the Pharisees.

Name Calling:

Jesus was not above name calling, labeling the Pharisees a “brood of vipers,”(Matthew 23:33) “hypocrites, blind guides,” (Matthew 23:13.16) and “unmarked graves,” (Luke 11:44). Based on these names Christ appeared to have a low tolerance for the Pharisee’s duplicity.

Public Humiliation:

Jesus was known to publicly condemn and shame the Pharisees while he was addressing large audiences. “Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, ‘The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger.’” (Matthew 23:1-4)

Intolerant of Differences:

It’s true that Christ and the Pharisees never saw eye to eye, but at times it appeared that Christ never even listened to the Pharisees point of view. The Pharisees may have been hypocritical and vindictive, but many of them were earnestly trying to follow God’s law. Christ constantly came into conflict with Pharisees over their differences, and “condemned them for raising their traditions to the level of Scripture.”[i]

The Masters of None:

The Pharisee’s were the master theologians of their day, the academic and religious elite of Palestine, stalwart loyalists to Israel, political opponents of Rome, and defenders of the sacrificial system handed down by Moses. They were, as Paul identified himself, “the Hebrews of Hebrews” (Philippians 3:5). Yet, as we know from scripture these men are among Jesus’ worst enemies. They were the men out to ensnare, trick, and imprison Christ (Matthew 16:1-4; Mark 8:11-12, 10:2-9, Mark 12:13-17).

Self-Righteousness

The most interesting fact about the Pharisees in relation to Christ, was that they “cultivated a strong hope in the coming of the Messiah, the Son of David, who would deliver them from foreign oppression.”[ii] Yet, when presented with Christ as the coming Messiah, they not only reject him, but plan to hand him over to the Romans to be put to death. The dramatic irony of the Pharisees was that their own self-righteousness led to their spiritual blindness. Their goal was to follow the Law of Moses in order to be ready for the coming Messiah, but their zealous legalism led them to reject the one who offered them true righteousness and forgiveness of sins.

In the eyes of Christ, the piety of the Pharisees could not make up for their self-righteous narcissism. The spiritual blindness of the Pharisees prevented them from seeing Christ’s divinity. However, even more condemning for the Pharisees in Christ’s eyes was their status as religious teachers and leaders in Israel.

A Fight Against Heresy

Seen in this light, Christ’s conduct with the Pharisees can be better understood as a fight against heresy. In fact, the Pharisee’s denial of the deity of Christ and their attempt at self-righteousness before the law can be traced backed to one of the oldest Christological heresies called Ebionism. Ebionism elevated human nature as capable of perfection.[iii]

The Ebionist claimed that Christ was not born God, but achieved a level of righteousness and goodness that allowed him to become the adopted son of God. The Pharisees, along a similar vein, believed that they could achieve righteousness before the law. Based on the depiction of the Pharisees in the New Testament, and Christ’s own words against them, it is clear that the Pharisees did not come close to achieving righteousness.

The heresy of the Pharisees was that they denied the divinity of Christ and therefor rejected Christ’s righteousness.

Christ may have called the Pharisees names, publicly called them out on false teaching, and completely ignored their point of view, but Christ was no bully. He was God incarnate, the Word made flesh, and the good Shepherd who protects his sheep from the wolves of heresy.

References:
[i] Strauss, Mark L. Four portraits, one Jesus: an introduction to Jesus and the Gospels. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2007. Print. 133
[ii]  Strauss, Mark L. Four portraits, one Jesus: an introduction to Jesus and the Gospels. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2007. Print. 133
[iii] Allison, Christopher FitzSimons. The cruelty of heresy: an affirmation of Christian orthodoxy. Harrisburg, Pa: Morehouse Publishing, 2007. Print. Pg. 39

By Daniel Christiansen: I am a recent graduate from Grove City College, where I majored in Biblical and Religious Studies. I am pursuing my life calling to work full time in ministry. I love to write, whether the topic is on theology or creative writing, because when we write about life we discover something about our humanity and our identity as the Imago Dei. Follow me on Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin to get to know me better!

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Who cares about making disciples?

Jesus said it: “go and make disciples” There it is Matthew 28:19 but who is doing it?  Do you know someone who is ?  I’ve known a lot of Christians, for many years but I can’t say that they are making disciples. Where is it happening?…anywhere? Who is doing it well? In what church or ministry, by what group of people, program or denominations. Who cares about making disciples?

It was said recently that 80% of people are lost, whether that is true or not we can’t really know. we want to reach the lost and they need to be discipled. Our task is clear: “Go and make disciples” some call it “the great commission” and by almost every account is seems we are ignoring or just plain failing on the discipleship front. There are plenty of church members, do they count as disciples? People claim they are Christians, do they count?

Or perhaps that’s not for us, that was just for Jesus’s disciples, they were supposed to go unto all the nations and make disciples, but not us?

Let’s assume for a minute it is for us and that we want to go and make disciples. Where does one begin? Where do we go to make disciples? What does a disciple look like? Am I one? Who would want to be my disciple, for that matter who should be discipling me?

Should we be enlisting disciples? Jesus did, he hand picked his entire group ,even Judas.  And they changed the world. Of course He was Jesus. What should be our response? This is a sincere question that we should have an answer for.

Perhaps we should be doing it the way Jesus did it.  They seemed to drop everything and focus on Jesus. They left everything, their family, their work and followed him. Was that the best model? is that what is expected? Is anyone doing that? How is it working for them? If someone somewhere is doing that we should know about it.  I just don’t understand…This appears to be an insurmountable task that is very difficult if not impossible to achieve. 

The Navigators.org have some tools. Where are the best tools? Please share below.

Help me Jesus to go and make disciples.

HOOKERS FOR JESUS…… Yes, you read that correctly

Hookers For Jesus
Heading in the right direction

“Little girl lost, thought no one loved her….” Annie Lobert

We’re suppose to love them.  When children are brought into our lives we are to feed them when they are hungry, warm them when they’re cold and love them, pretty much unconditionally.  Life’s most complex issues develop when these seemingly basic needs are not met. Annie Lobert, former prostitute and founder of Hookers for Jesus, at an early age labeled herself…. unloveable.  People who were suppose to give her the love and affection that she craved, didn’t. So her search began, her search for love and acceptance. In Annie’s book, Fallen she writes about the many years she lived in the dark world of prostitution.  What at first seemed like a life of  love, glamour, money and possessions turned into a life of beatings, rapes, arrests and loneliness.  

-”My greed, my  lust and my need to be loved.  That is how trafficking caught me.” Annie Lobert

Annie became one of the  most sought after high class escorts.  Celebrities, musicians, politicians and other men with endless supplies of cash became her life.  What at first seemed to be living “the dream” increasingly turned to nightmare.  In her book Annie writes of her sixteen year journey and being owned by a violent pimp who took every dollar and beat her multiple times within inches of her life.  The freedom she once sought was now her prison. When Annie found herself near death from a drug overdose she cried out the name Jesus.

“Jesus, please save me – I don’t know if you’re real, but I don’t want to die,”

Annie’s life was spared and she began to heal.  She started reading her Bible and going to church.

-“I started to stand on Jesus’ words – that I’m whole, that I’m healed, that I’m pure.  That I’m a virgin in Him.  And that gave me peace.”

http://www.hookersforjesus.net/media/

Annie was called to go back to the Las Vegas strip where she use to prostitute herself and tell the girls that are in slavery there that God loves them. “That’s what I’m called to do,” says Lobert – “To simply tell them, “God loves you.”  No matter where you’ve been, no matter what you’ve done, no matter how deep [or] how dirty you feel. That there’s redemption. You are white as snow if you accept Him into your heart.”

– “Redemption. Redeemed. Set free. That’s my life. That’s love”

In addition to ministering to ladies on the strip, Annie has established Destiny House. Destiny House is a place and  a program that helps women escape from the sex industry and reestablish their lives.  

-“We believe that each lady that comes to Destiny House will have a brand new chance to fulfill their true destiny: To not only be over comers from their past, but strong, amazing, and  empowered women who will literally change the world for good with their new found purposes.”

There’s so much to Annie’s story. If you haven’t yet clicked on the link above in this article, be sure and do so.  You probably will find yourself watching “I am Second”, a second and maybe third time.  Why?  Because Annie’s life story reminds us that we can’t out-sin God’s love and that merely speaking the name Jesus is life saving power.

-‘I’ve been through way too much in my life to turn back now–I don’t have time for the enemy to trip me up.  I’m going forward!  Who’s coming?’ – Annie Lobert

“Little girl lost, thought no one loved her….” Annie Lobert
“Little girl lost, thought no one loved her….” Annie Lobert

 

Find out more about Annie Lobert at:

Website Hookersforjesus.net

Twitter @hookersforjesus

Her book Fallen by Annie Lobert

Facebook – Hookers For Jesus

 

Would Jesus eat bacon?

“Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to fulfill them.”

Matthew 5:17 (NLT)

Is the law here or is it done away with? I mean, if Jesus appeared at your table tonight and you offered him bacon, would he decline out of observance of the law?

One might say yes and point to Matt 15, Mark 7 or Galatians 5-7 and show that we are not under the law, and Jesus wouldn’t observe it when eating food today. Probably the clearest verse in the whole new testament is:

 Food doesn’t come in contact with your heart, but only passes through the stomach and then comes out again.” (By saying this, he showed that every kind of food is acceptable.) Mark 7:19 (NLT)

But, is that a fair representation of the Greek? King James translators thought not:

 Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats? Mark 7:19 (KJV)

What is the truth here? Would Jesus eat bacon or not?

References.

http://www.codexsinaiticus.org/en/manuscript.aspx?dir=next&folioNo=6&lid=en&quireNo=76&side=r&zoomSlider=0

What Would Jesus Do – Really

What would Jesus really do in certain given situations, at least according to His pattern while here on earth?

WWJD

Do you remember the popularity several years ago of the wrist bands that had the letters WWJD?  It stood for What Would Jesus Do and was designed to remind Christians that we should do what Jesus would do in any given situation that we run into in our daily lives but no mere wrist band can help you do what Jesus would do if He were walking where you walked today.  No, He would do far more than any of us could or would ever do because He is sinless and we are most certainly not. For example, what would you do if you found a homeless man or woman on the street?  Would you give him or her money or would you try to tell them how they might be saved?  Just giving them money might be enabling them if perhaps they were alcoholics and were homeless of their own accord.  Maybe you’d be getting between the rock and the hammer in the sense that God is trying to humble them so that they might turn to Him. Perhaps you’d offer to give them your coat or feed them.  That might be the best thing you can do…clothe them and feed them and then give them hope that is only found in the gospel of Jesus Christ.  If you don’t do the latter, you’d be failing them big time!

Would Jesus…

What would Jesus do about the cause of the debated issue of global warming?  Would He suggest getting into politics and changing the way the world’s industry operates or would He try and tell others that the world is headed down the broad path of destruction and that they needed to repent and believe the good news of the gospel (Mark 1:15)?  Would solving a political issue really help when the real problem lies in the human heart?  That problem is the problem of sin and how sin has cut us off from God (Isaiah 59:2).  If we are to walk where Jesus walked and do what Jesus would do, we would be warning others of the wrath of God abiding on those who refuse to believe in Him (John 3:36b).  He would tell others today what He said when He walked the earth, “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God” (John 3:18).  Christians love to quote John 3:16 which says “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” but we leave out the rest of the message of condemnation for those who refuse to repent and believe (John 3:18, 36).   If we are only giving the good news of salvation without the bad news of rejecting Him, then we are not giving the whole counsel of God but only what we think people want to hear when in fact we need to tell people what they truly need to hear and not what we think they’ll love.  Jesus spoke some very hard words because they were necessary to soften the human heart.  Soft words produce hard hearts but hard words produce soft hearts…at least sometimes…but speak them we must or we leave out the reason that the good news is good.

What Would Jesus Say?

We don’t have to wonder what Jesus would do because we have the Scriptures to show us what in fact He did do and what He would do is what He said.  He was not concerned with winning friends and influencing people but only in speaking the truth and those words that the Father gave Him to speak.  Is that our desire too?  Jesus once said to the self-righteous, religious leaders “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence” (Matt 23:25) you “hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness” (Matt 23:27-28).  “You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell” (Matt 23:33)?  These words sound very harsh yet which one of these words is not true for those who believe that they are righteous in themselves?  Those who believe that they are a good person by their acts are actually bringing filthy rags before God and proclaiming their own goodness.  That is an insult to God because in reality, there isn’t even one of us, myself included, that is good (Rom 3:10-11).  We’ve all gone out of the way of righteousness (Rom 3:12) and every one of us are sinners (Rom 3:23).  Unless we show lost people that they are going to face the wrath of God someday unless they repent and believe, we are not telling lost people the truth.  We must tell the lost that it is “because of your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed” (Rom 2:5).   The truth is never popular but the truth will set those held in bondage under sin free (John 8:32).

What will you Do?

People withhold the truth because “they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God” (John 12:43) “Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you” (1 Thess 4:8).  People don’t want to hear the truth most of the time.  Until they are humbled that they have the wrath of God abiding on them they will never see the need for the good news of the gospel.  The good news is not important until you hear the bad news of condemnation and judgment for rejecting Christ as Lord (John 3:18).  To simply spout nice sounding platitudes is to refuse to warn them of the coming wrath of God (Rev 20:12-15).  Jesus says that “Whoever listens to you listens to me; whoever rejects you rejects me; but whoever rejects me rejects him who sent me” (Luke 10:16) so don’t take their rejection of your words personally because it is God Who they are rejecting.  Jesus gave one of the most serious warnings for those who believed that Jesus is their Lord but in fact don’t live like it (1 John 3) when He declared: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’  And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness” (Matt 7:21-23).  Those who believe that they are Christians but in fact are not, will hear, when it is too late, the most terrifying words that they will ever hear and these words will echo in their memory for all time. It’s not really whether you say “I know Jesus” that’s important but does Jesus know you!

Conclusion

If you want to do what Jesus would do, I would strongly suggest you would say what Jesus said.  If Jesus said it, we know its truth.  We cannot compromise the gospel by telling lost sinners only half truths for a half truth is a whole lie and all liars will have their part in the lake of fire (Rev 21:8).  We will all be held accountable before God and stand before Him to give an answer for our sins of commission and our sins of omission and not telling sinners to flee from the wrath to come will be a serious dereliction of duty.  What would Jesus do?  What did Jesus say?  Since He always speaks the truth then we ought to speak the words He did…because that is what Jesus would do.  Will we do the same?

What Easter Means To Me: A Personal Message

It’s not often that I get to write a personal article, one that reflects my own thoughts with no research or outside sources at all. However, Easter is the perfect time to do so. It’s a deeply individual story with implications for the entire church. It’s something that has touched my life in a completely unique way, yet also reached others while at the same time brings myself and others in unity. This will not be an article that discusses the origin of Easter, the theology around it, or even an apologetic for Christ’s death and resurrection. Rather, it will talk about what I have learned as a result of Easter and how it might impact others, too.

1. Easter is a pivotal part of my faith

Easter and Christmas are drastically different. Yes, they’re both important. Yet, even 1 Corinthians 15 talks about how pivotal the resurrection is to the Christian faith. To paraphrase it, if Jesus did not rise from the dead than I am nothing more than an idiot, believing in something that has no true power. Jesus being born by a virgin is quite the miracle, but it did not erase my sins. His incarnation does not make me holy before God—Him dying on the cross and rising again, though, certainly does!

When this finally sunk into my heart after years of Easter messages and traditions, I started living differently. No longer was Christ’s death and resurrection an abstract idea, it was a vital truth within my heart. I began to want to live for Him, simply because He died for me. I wanted to love Him because He loved me enough to die. And yet, I also know that my faith has true power because the same power that raised Christ from the dead is in me, too. Romans 8:11 says just that: “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodied through His spirit who dwells in you.” 

2. Easter must not be once a year for me

The resurrection should not just be celebrated and remembered once a year. Is it good to set aside a holiday to remember it with family and friends? You bet! But I’ve learned that the crucifixion and resurrection must be forever upon my heart. If I lose sight of that, I’ve lost sight of the main point. When it’s constantly on my mind, I’ve noticed that I even treat people differently: my bosses, my friends, even my Fiancée. I start living from the power of the cross, realizing that I must follow in the footsteps of my savior and die to my flesh while serving others. And Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection is not just merely my inspiration for doing this, it’s the very power that drives me.

3. I should speak of Easter often

This definitely plays into my last point, but it’s worth noting. For myself, I’ve realized that the Easter message is spoken about very easily during the Easter season, but what about the rest of the time? If it’s such an important part of my faith, shouldn’t I be sharing it with others more readily and freely? This means, not just evangelizing, but encouraging by brothers and sisters in Christ by speaking about Jesus and what He did for us all. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (among many others places) says to “comfort each other and edify one another.” What better way to do that than to point each other to the cross?

Conclusion

Easter is right around the corner, so let’s not wait to talk about it—let’s start now! I’ve shared the ways Easter has impacted my life personally, but what about you? Go ahead and share some of your own thoughts about Easter in a comment below? Or, share how your church and or family has traditionally celebrated Easter? It’d be great to hear how other people are thinking about this yearly holiday, but more importantly how it has impacted their daily life—and not just for one day! The gospel and the Easter message are all about lasting change, so share how Christ has done that within your own heart! I can’t wait to hear what everybody has to share!

The Trending Church

By Rod Jonas

A Majestic Stampede

The Trending Church 3Have you ever heard the sound of a stampede of wildly free mustang horses running through an open terrain as the ground began to tremble under your feet? Neither have I but as a kid I’ve been close enough to them to experience their majesty. In massive groups they are awe-inspiring. Thanks to the innovative invention of camera’s like GoPro Hero Series and Sony’s POV Action Cam we have video footage from points of view that we couldn’t possibly have ever imagined. Our world is changing.

The Trending Church 1Technology has given us the ability to tell stories and share experiences in a far more creative and compelling way than ever before. Sharing our lives with each other is an undeniable part of the human experience. How beautiful is that? The almost constant need of sharing our experiences, good or bad, with the world has made social media arguably the most influential media medium today. But where did our passion to share moments of our lives come from?

In the book of Psalms the writer often conveys his love for the testimonies of God as his delight. “My soul keeps Your testimonies, and I love them exceedingly.” (Psalms 119:167)

How powerful is our testimony? How influential is your story? Over 95 percent of companies use social media to tell their brands story and engage with consumers. There’s social media sites like Facebook, The Trending Church 2Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, and more trending everyday with over a billion users or members. But this is not an article about social media. This is the story of us. “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony…” (Revelation 12:11)

The church changing and like the sound of a stampede I can feel the momentum building as the church begins to embark no the creative experience like we were always intended to. It’s already happening and everyday more and more people are being impacted as a result of our efforts to share the stories within us. Christian organizations like “I am Second” and “Rapzilla” combined have generated over 1 billion impressions sharing personal testimonies, music videos and more. Neither of these organization are actual churches but as members of the church have begun to raise their creative voice.

In Orange County California a state of the art event center was built to serve and help develop the creative arts community and mentor them along the way. Millions of dollars were donated to refurbish a warehouse and convert it into a home for the eclectic. The best part about this venue called The Vault is that it’s a part of a church yet open to the public to use. It’s outdoor skate park has become the back yard to the local skateboarding community with walls covered in paintings featuring the art of some of countries best graffiti artist work. The word is out and The Vault is often booked with album release concerts and other special events with people from all over filling the building to capacity. A unique environment created to experience life apart from the dangers that usually come with events like these.

The Trending Church 4Coca-Cola may have said it best in their mission statement, “The world is changing all around us”. While it is said that we are in this world and yet we are not of it, the road map for winning is coming together in unity. If we can expel our fears of losing the strength of our influence to another God is using then supporting each other and the work God is doing in each of us will be without pause. However, the ambitious desire of becoming a Christian celebrity or maintaining your influence over your community is not easily overcome.

The social media revolution is enticing the church to exist without walls and it’s the younger generation who has embraced it is leading the way. In an article written by Shea Bennett in the Social Times, he cites a survey undertaken by Common Sense Media, who polled more than 1,000 13-17 year olds around the USA. Their study shows 90% of teens have used social media and 51% visit a social site daily. However, 49% of them prefer to communicate in person while 33% prefer texting. This is the generation that was raised with the social experience of Myspace, Facebook, and Twitter yet they still value the close personal encounter. Could this mean social media is primarily used to share content?

In 2013, Oxford Dictionaries names ’selfie’ the word of the year. It’s a snap shot of a moment in our lives. It’s a posed picture saying, “Check me out!”. So what’ll happen if the moments we share and the content we create is a greater reflection of Christ in us than a trending headshot? The momentum is climbing and we are the conduit. Together, as we use media to share our stories of redemption and life with Jesus Christ we trend. We can be the influence this world needs.

So next time you log in to Facebook or check the latest YouTube video trending on your mobile phone consider joining the movement. Search for God inspired content from faith based media and entertainment companies next time you find yourself surfing the internet. Key words: Jesus, God, Faith, Hope, Love, or Live GodF1rst.

About the Writer

Rod Jonas is an experienced marketing and branding professional with 8 years of experience working with developing and established businesses. A two time award winning writer and Maggie Award winning Photo Editor in 2006, digital content creation is just one of the vehicles he uses to reach his audience. As a Project Director with Stephen Gould Corp he has a hand in manufacturing and packaging for some of newest products in the market. Rod is also the Co-Founder and CEO of GodF1rst LLC, a christian clothing and media company committed to creating and sharing faith based fashion designs and media content. One of his keys to success personally and professionally is to know yourself and know your message.

To get in touch with Rod check him out just about anywhere on the web:

Linkedin: rod-jonas     Facebook: rodjonas     Website: www.GodF1rst.com
Facebook: God F1rst Clothing   Instagram: @liveGodF1rst    Twitter: @liveGodF1rst
YouTube: GodF1rstClothing

Resource: Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

‘Resurrection’ TV Show Resonates with Something Deep Inside Us All

ABC Entertainment News 

The new TV show ‘Resurrection’ on ABC premiered Sunday night. I had seen the previews leading up to it for weeks and each time, the commercial gave me chills and caused me to tear up. The thought of the show and what they showed in the trailer resonated deeply with something inside me.

So Sunday night I watched the show and I will continue to watch it to see how these people are coming back from the dead. I will watch it for pure entertainment purposes, but I love the feeling that it gives me.

Why does it resonate so deeply with me? Why does it move us all? I think it’s because at the core of Christianity, we believe that Jesus rose from the dead. We celebrate Easter and the resurrection and at its core, Christianity is a supernatural faith.

I think the reason I was moved to tears by the trailer is because I imagined what the disciples must have felt when they saw Jesus after His resurrection. I imagined what the friends and family of Lazarus and others in Scripture must have felt when they saw their friend or loved one rise from the dead.

And I selfishly imagined my own father walking in the door after being dead for 17 years. I think that’s why I was moved to tears each time they showed a trailer of someone hugging someone they had lost and playing the song “I’m Coming Home.” Death is real, but we know that Christ has victory over death, so we celebrate His resurrection and His triumph over death this Easter.

Did you watch the show? How did it move you? Do you resonate with the theme of resurrection? How can we make that hope real this Easter?

 

How Would Jesus Use Social Media?

Jesus-on-Twitter-as-seen-by-Church-And-Technology.ca_-300x166.png.pagespeed.ic.NEcU7nQSV7

By Allan Buckingham

Source: Churchandtechnology.ca

The  question of how Jesus would use social media is not a new one. I’ve read more than a couple of posts referencing this topic, but I still feel like it’s worth giving my two cents on the matter. This might be because I read a couple of posts last week that brought this to my attention once again.

One post I read questioned whether or not un-friending was un-Christian . It’s an interesting proposition. And while I sort of understand why people might un-friend someone, it doesn’t really make a lot of sense to me. It’s true I do have more Facebook friends that are really mainly acquaintances or people I’ve met once, then I have actual friends, but this doesn’t really bother me much. I know many people complain that their news feed is too full with updates from people they don’t really have a relationship with, but if you use Facebook’s lists feature then you can prioritize who you see updates from and who you don’t. There are also different methods you can use to prioritize how often posts from people show up in your news feed.

All that said, the question remains unanswered, just avoided. Reading the comments to the un-friending post got me thinking about whether using lists, or choosing not to have updates from people showing up in your news feed etc. is un-Christian, and thus unlike how Jesus would use social media. After reflecting on it for a while, I’ve decided that using various sorts of lists is no different than calling the people you care about most. I see it like only calling your friends to catch up and not calling acquaintances as well. You’re still open to hearing from others you just aren’t going out of your way all the time to do so. Un-friending however I see like intentionally avoiding people, something Jesus would definitely not do.

Jesus on Facebook as seen by Church And Technology.caWhich brings me back to my original question, how would Jesus use social media? I say how and notwould because Jesus was pretty apt at using the media of his time to get his message across. This included speaking in the temples where some people hung out  and speaking in the streets where others did. So while I’m sure Jesus would use social media, I’m less confident with the how.
One of Jesus’ main goals as I see it was to give hope and justice to the outcasts, and the people on the edge of society. In my view, today, at least in Canada, many of those on the edges of society are not those using social media.

So what does that mean for us? How does that answer my original question? Of course there’s no way to know for sure how Jesus would use social media, but here are a couple of my thoughts.

I’m pretty sure Jesus would have used social media to raise the profile of the marginalized somehow. I also think he would have tried to increase access to technology so that there are fewer people marginalized by technology.

I also think Jesus would have accepted every friend request, even from that annoying kid from high school, and been happy to do so. I also don’t think Jesus would have been into un-friending. He was all about loving you neighbour no matter who that is, or how often they play Farmville. I also don’t think he’d be huge on Facebook lists that let you pay less attention to those you don’t like as much. It seems to me he would also dislike the competition that can go on for the most friends/followers and the desire for klout, that is all about influence and power.

That’s a few of my thoughts anyway, but what do I know.

Do you agree that Jesus would use social media? If not, how come? If yes, how do you think he’d use it?

 

Image courtesy of crosswalk.com 

Son of God: Jesus Returns to the Big Screen

By now I’m sure you’ve heard Mark Burnett is bringing Jesus to the big screen with Son of God, which releases nationwide Friday, Feb. 28th.  Now, the larger-than-life story of The New Testament gets a larger-than life treatment in the stand-alone feature. This is the first time a Jesus movie has come to theaters nationwide since a decade ago with The Passion of the Christ.

Told with the scope and scale of an action epic, the film features powerful performances, exotic locales, dazzling visual effects and a rich orchestral score from Oscar®-winner Hans Zimmer.

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Portuguese actor Diogo Morgado portrays Jesus as the film spans from his humble birth through his teachings, crucifixion and ultimate resurrection. It marks the first motion picture about Jesus’ life since Passion of the Christ, released ten years ago.

Burnett has partnered with Outreach to offer tons of resources for the local church. Here is a new trailer for the movie:

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For complete credits visit IMDB.