Dec 27 2011
If Jesus Had a Blog: I Told This Great Story About a Samaritan Guy and People Didn't Really Like It

What up.

Frustrating:  STILL no WiFi in Nazareth, so we had to walk all the way to Caesarea to get to this sweet Panera.  We had enough shekels for some coffee, but the guys wanted me to go all "loaves and fishes" on the caramel biscotti.

Not happening.

Anyway, just got done talking to this guy who was all, "What do I have to do to inherit eternal life?"  Great question, but when I started talking to him, and mentioned loving his neighbor, he got a little defensive, so he asked, "Well, who's my neighbor?"

I told a story (By the way, enough with the movie clips. Just tell a story. Best. Teaching. Device. EVER.) and it's about a guy who gets attacked and left by a roadside.  A religious leader walks by, and doesn't help. And then this Levite walks by, and doesn't help, and then a Samaritan comes by and totally takes care of him.

Didn't go over that well.

Well, apparently, Peter "needs" the laptop, so I'm out. He's got this "singing" goat video he keeps making everybody watch. It IS pretty funny.

Posted:  Today at 3:34 p.m.


Hey Jesus... love the blog.  And I know you MEAN well, and making a Samaritan the "good guy" is for shock value, but you've got to remember, you've got a lot of young people who follow you, and they could get the wrong impression. 

We all know that Samaritans believe a lot of wrong things. They are nice people, I'm sure, but their doctrine is TOTALLY fouled up. By making a Samaritan the star, you sound like you're saying it's more important to "love" people than to believe the right doctrinal things. 

I'm sure you don't mean that. 

Just something to think about :)

-- sunny_ames34

Hey "sunny_ames34":  I think he totally means that.

-- the4joneses

I know it's not the point, but I'd like to just say I'm a little disappointed you guys watch stuff on YouTube.  Yes, I know there's nothing wrong with the cute singing goat video - not that I've seen it - but YouTube has a lot of other bad stuff on it - which I also haven't seen. 

Just kinda disappointed you're apparently endorsing everything this secular organization does.  Please read more on personal holiness at my blog:

-- sally83

Sally, just kinda disappointed you're endorsing "blospot".

-- pre262

Well, I can't say I'm surprised, here, Jesus. This just tops it, for me. You tell a story and the BAD guys are the preachers and religious leaders?  And the good guy is a guy who doesn't even know the right place or way to worship God?  Wow.

Just wow.

Our leaders try hard, and and they help us try hard, and they are men of God, and we respect them for that. They have a lot of charisma and personality and they know so much. Leave them alone, unless that is, you want us to think NO ONE but YOU is good, and only YOU should be our Teacher?

-- grace2u

Is this where I sign up for the seafood giveaway?  I heard you were doing a big seafood giveaway. Sorry if wrong thread.

-- elly1972

This is great.  Thank you, Lord, for making things so simple. I don't envy you. Simpicity makes experts mad. Always will.

You are my Teacher, and I heard your story.  And I now know all the expertise in the world, all the "authority" in the religious world, all the busy-ness that comes to religion - all are meaningless, distracting, even OFFENSIVE, when not coupled with extreme humility and love and true servant-heartedness.

Beautiful. Reminds me of how often I've driven past my neighbors' home en route to another church planning session, or practice, or church event designed to - you guessed it - "reach our neighbors".  They sure keep us busy, don't they?

Thank you, once again, for setting me straight.  It frees me, honestly.  So simple!  Boy

-- c_dyson12

JESUS, you make me angry.

But it's a good anger, and a righteous anger I have.  Because I'm totally sure I'm right.

-- jasecase

Well, Jesus, I appreciate what you're saying, I guess. But let's be honest: While you're making the religious leaders the bad guys in this story, you NEED them. You need their talents, their special abilities, their speaking skills, etc., to get your word out. Without talented religious people, do you think the Kingdom would really advance?


-- DTS_class2008

Guys, you're jumping all over Jesus here, and that's not his point. His point is that we need accountability groups, and possibly an additional Bible study each week.

-- atlanta239

That's not his point.  His point is that we need GOD back in our schools, and back in our government, and people just need to deal with it.  RIGHT. NOW.  BEFORE WE LOSE THIS COUNTRY.

-- katyinfla

Hey "atlanta239", I live in Marrietta, and could join a Bible study. I have church stuff on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. And Wednesday and Saturday/Sunday, but Friday is open.  Wait - it's not.

-- go_dawgs4040

So, Jesus, apparently I can be wrong about all sorts of stuff, but if I love God and love my neighbor, that's all that matters, like it just sums everything up.

This is the kind of feel-goodism that's killing our great churches.

-- Bible_BillJ

jesus pls help me love peopl like u do

-- horsegurl9

Dec 20 2011
Please Don't Get Offended By This Thing About Not Getting Offended. Thanks.


(Today, on the show, we talked about this. And if I'm wrong here - I can always be glaringly, spectacularly wrong - please tell me how.  I should note here I write as someone who wants to follow Jesus's example in how he dealt with people, and as someone who believes God uses the Bible to instruct us with wisdom.  Without that as a background, the following will make no sense.)



You're not allowed to be angry.

I'm serious.  You're not allowed.  


I don't think lots of people agree with me on this.  I sense this, because tons of people say, "I don't agree with you on this."  I've got antennae for subtlety like that.  I pick up on things.

Typical:  This entry from something called "Nehemiah Notes", an online devotional, dealing with anger.  The writer gives what I think is the reigning understanding:  Anger's pretty dadgum good, sometimes:

There is also a positive, even essential, side to anger. I doubt that we ever accomplish anything fruitful when anger isn't part of our motivation, on a certain level at least.

We don't ever accomplish anything fruitful without anger?  WOW, devotional-writer dude.  

Here's another example of how we retrofit actual scripture with our current embrace of anger-culture:

Ephesians 4 (NIV translation)

"In your anger do not sin" Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold

Ephesians 4 (The Message paraphrase version)

Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry--but don't use your anger as fuel for revenge. 

Did you catch that? I like Eugene Peterson - the guy who wrote The Message - but... sheesh. "You do well to be angry"?  

That ain't in the original, folks.  That's the updated version, hope you like it better. 

Remarkably, Peterson does this, knowing that just a couple sentences later, Paul says, "Get rid of all bitterness, rage, and anger".  Get rid.  All.  Anger.  From this, we get, "You do well to be angry"? 


But doesn't God get angry?  Doesn't Jesus get angry?  Well, in a word:  Yep.  

God is "allowed" anger, yes.  And other things, too, which we're not.  Like vengeance.  That's His, and it makes sense, too that we're not allowed vengeance. We stand as guilty as whomever is the target of our anger.  But God?  He doesn't.

For that matter, God is allowed to judge, too.

God loves you, but you're not God.

We positively love "righteous anger".  The operational definition of "righteous anger", for me, of course, is the anger that I, Brant Hansen, feel, usually because I'm ticked that somebody done me wrong.  It helps that we humans are experts at casting ourselves as victims, and re-writing narratives that put us in the center of injustices.  And we can re-paint our anger or hatred of someone, like, say, a President, into a righteous-looking work of art.  And yet, in Jesus' teaching, there is no allowance for "Okay, well, if someone really is a jerk..."  

We're flat-out told to forgive, even - especially! - the stuff that's legitimately maddening, and legitimately offensive.  That's the whole point.


Anger is very easy.  Love is very difficult.  Upon hearing my ideas on anger, I was asked, today, "I don't get it.  Shouldn't we be angry at those guys in the news who beat up homeless people?" 

But here's what I think, given that we're to "get rid of all anger":  We're to truly grieve this stuff, and be motivated to pursue justice, and to defend the vulnerable.  

Seek justice, love mercy.  You don't have to be angry to do that.  In fact, the best soldiers don't function out of anger. Neither do the best police.

The problem with anger:  According to the radical teaching of Jesus, I stand as guilty, morally, as any other sinner, period.  I asked the guy, "How long do you think you're allowed to keep this anger?"  He said something like, "You can keep it for a little while."

We can keep it awhile.  Sounds...reasonable.  Sure.  Absolutely.  But mere seemingly "reasonable" isn't what we're going for here.  We want to follow the Gospel, wherever it takes us.

In Proverbs, anger is always -- not sometimes, always -- associated with foolishness, not wisdom.  The writer recognizes that anger may visit us, but when anger finds a residence, it's "in the lap of fools." 

Harboring "justified" anger, towards a political figure, a news network, your dumb neighbor, your lying spouse, your deceased father -- whomever -- is perfectly natural, and perfectly foolish.

And foolishness destroys.


I get angry.  Can't avoid it.  But anger can't stay here.  I can't try it on.  I have to take it to the Cracks of Doom, like, NOW, and drop that thing, much as I want to wear it awhile.   This silly LotR analogy breaks down quickly, though.  

There's not a single, hyper-destructive "One Ring".  

There's like...six billion.

Drop yours.

Actions: Permalink | Tell A Friend! | Comments (53) | RSS comment feed Comment RSS

Dec 12 2011
Some Christmas Songs! "Wolfgang the Christmas Wombat", "My (Real) Favorite Things, and "Sad Christmas"

You:  "I'm looking for a woefully under-produced Christmas song about a wombat."

Me:  "Here's 'Wolfgang the Christmas Wombat'!"

You:  "But I'm also looking for a version of 'My Favorite Things' that pretty much makes no sense."

Me:  "Here's a version of 'My Favorite Things' that pretty much makes no sense."

You:  "But I'm also looking for an accidentally Neil Diamond-esque song that's kinda like, 'The Christmas Shoes', except way more stupid."

Me:  "I give you 'Sad Christmas'."

You:  "What about an awesome picture of a penguin in an excruciatingly tight turtleneck sweater?"

Me:  "Uh... c'mon, man, I don't have everyth-"


Me:  "Sheesh."

Actions: Permalink | Tell A Friend! | Comments (33) | RSS comment feed Comment RSS