Dec 11 2011
If Jesus Had a Blog: The Good News is Getting Out!

(From Brant... an explainer, for those new to the series:  The "comments" directly below are NOT real.  They're just my best guesses, if Jesus had a blog, what the comments would look like.) 

 

If Jesus Had a Blog

 

What up.  

Man, it's a busy time of year. It's time to celebrate my birth, I guess, so everyone's doing what you'd expect in response - the only logical option:  Guzzling egg nog and singing about Frosty the Snowman. 

I have noticed there are people passing, children laughing, and I'm greeting smile after smile. So that's nice.

(It's all awesome, but you know what really frosts me?  When the people at the Jerusalem Costco say "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas".  MAN, that sets me off.  I hope my followers, thousands of years from now, make a huge, huge deal out of that, in keeping with my teachings regarding Christmas and stuff.  Okay, so I'm being sarcastic.  This isn't the first time, folks.)

###

Anyways, it's all good, and here's my real point:  I'm pretty stoked, because I sent more followers out today to tell the good news!  And here's the news:  The Kingdom of God is near!

Some are catching on that I'm the Messiah, because they see the evidence:  Blind people getting their sight back!  Deaf people getting their hearing!  Lepers now clean!  And the good news is getting out to poor people!

POSTED  TODAY  2:34 P.M.

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COMMENTS

 

I'm sorry, Jesus, but last time I checked, that wasn't the "Good News".  You don't tell the whole story. 

The Good News is that I got my ticket to Gloryland!

-- sharon777

So...when Jesus shares the Good News with the poor, he's supposed to say, "Hey, everybody, Sharon777 got her ticket to Gloryland!" ??

I mean, we know you're important, Sharon, but...

-- julsmith20

I'm with sharon777.  The Good News is that Jesus died for us, and we can accept him and go to heaven.  It bothers me that this blog entry doesn't reflect that.  I'm not even sure what all the "kingdom" talk is about, but it's not the Gospel. 

-- prayerwarrior4god

Sarcasm isn't very Christian, Jesus.

-- nicole_1985

Excuse me, but my church has BIBLE studies, BIBLE preaching, BIBLE class, Vacation BIBLE School...and I have no idea what you're talking about.  So something is really wrong, and I'm just going to presume it's you.

-- liz2

So, I know this wasn't your main point, but you act like it's no big deal that stores won't say, "Merry Christmas."  I think it's time we took a stand, before it's too late to win our country back.

Didn't you tell us to "take a stand" to win our country back?

-- momof4

Right on, "momof4".  I was at Walgreen's this week, buying one of those massive inflatable lawn ornaments, and the lady behind the counter was all like, "Have a great holiday" and man, that burned me up. 

I think it totally takes the focus off of you, Baby Jesus.

-- cindysue12

I don't like the implicit message in this blog entry, here, J.  If God's "kingdom" is "good news", it means we're supposed to want him in charge of everything, like some kind of king.  Not only is this sexist/monarchist, it implies I'm merely his "subject" and I'm supposed to advance his agenda.  How's that "Good News"?

The implications for this are huge.  I like calling my own shots.   I don't serve a demanding "god" who threatens this kind of stuff.  I'm done with this website.

Does Baby Jesus have a blog?

-- goblue32

I think you guys are missing something important here.  He says in his last line that the "good news" is getting to the poor, and that's evidence he is God's chosen one. 

THAT, to me, is the offensive thing.  It shouldn't make a difference whether someone is poor or not.  Our church targets rich people in the Dallas suburbs, because -- guess what -- we're rich people in the Dallas suburbs.  We spend $14 million a year to reach ourselves, and there's nothing wrong with this at all, because God loves us, too.

Yes, poor people matter, but no more than anyone else, and it's not like God has some kind of special relationship with them.

-- howboutthemboys96

Actually, I think Jesus is saying he does have some kind of special relationship with them. 

-- annie21

Well, the God *I* worship doesn't look at people differently just because one has money and power and the other doesn't.

-- howboutthemboys96

I'm sure that's true.

-- annie21

You're a pinko lefty.

-- howboutthemboys96

You're probably so dim-witted you voted for McCain/Palin.

-- annie21

Hey, I like Sarah Palin.  She's a Christian, like Tim Tebow.  And he's super-nice, I think.

-- trish

Sarah Palin said she could see Russia from her house.  Embarrassing.  I don't vote for backward Wal-Mart shoppers.  Sorry.

-- bob239

Hey "bob239", Palin didn't say that, Tina Fey did.  Doof.

BTW, Wal-Mart employs a lot of people, and does this country a lot of good, which is more than I can say for Barack HUSSEIN Obama.

-- dwj

I agree with dwj.  We spend way too much time criticizing Wal-Mart, when we should be trying to find Barack's ACTUAL and REAL birth certificate.  Whoever voted for him is stupid.

-- mike_m

Actually...your stupid.

-- carrieanddave2002

Actually...YOU'RE stupid, because you "actually" don't know how to use apostrophes.

-- mike_m

ddear jesus

i hope you are king here soon like you r in heaven

-- horsegurl9

Dec 07 2011
The Big Objection: Our Culture, the Bible and Sex

(Okay, here's another adult-level blog entry.  Not for kids...)

In our culture, it's the Big But.

"I like Jesus, BUT..." and the "but" is usually followed, one way or the other, with an objection about the Bible and... sex.  People think something's deeply messed-up with a belief system that says two consenting, unmarried adults should refrain from sex.  Something's amiss.  Something's backward.  Maybe you think that, too.  If so, let me suggest something you may not like:

You may need to expand your horizons a little bit.

No, seriously.  The moralistic Bible-thumpers may be more broad-minded than you are on this one.  Perhaps you're offended by the Bible's philosophy on sex not because you're so thoughtful on the issue, but because you haven't thought that much about it.  (Of course, you could rule this argument out-of-bounds from the start, but that might just confirm it.  I do expect some people have already stopped reading, by the way.)

Every culture has its objections to the Bible.  The Bible is an equal-opportunity offender.  Thing is, cultures are different, and so we find different things to be deeply offended by.  For us, here, and now, it's about sex, or sexual autonomy, to put it more simply.   We just hate the idea that a loving God would put sexual limits on us.  The Bible says sex outside of marriage -- all sex -- is a sin.  The Bible says homosexual behavior is sinful.  The Bible says lust, itself, is sinful.  The Bible has offended our sensibilities. 

The Bible even embarrasses some Christians, who are desperate to make what it says conform to our culture, here and now.

Author Tim Keller makes a great argument:  In the middle-east, they're not offended by the Bible's teachings about sexuality.  It's the whole forgiveness thing that rankles them.  It's not that they don't "get it".  They get it, all right.  They just don't want it, and find it impossible, ridiculous, and even morally repugnant. 

Like we said:  Every culture has its objections to the Bible.  And our culture worships sex and romance.  WE are the ones who've decided a life without having sex is somehow a life devoid of meaning, a nightmare, and impossible.  The Bible has the audacity to say our culture is wrong on that one.  It suggests that sex is a gift of God, to be celebrated, to be sure, but not what defines The Good Life.  That good life can be lived -- and has been lived -- by millions, who've gone without sex.

I feel strangely guilty for even typing that last sentence, like I just denied the moon landing, or spat on the flag.  It's kind of like -- no, EXACTLY like -- I've committed some sort of heresy, this time against my very culture.  But Christians have always been heretics this way.  From the very outset, in the Roman world, they challenged the idols of their culture, and were even called "atheists" for doing so.  And idols are often something good, made into an Ultimate Thing, and in our culture, that good-turned-Ultimate is sexual autonomy and romance. 

The Bible challenges that idol, just like all idols.  Our culture doesn't like it, and can't imagine how it could do that.  In the West, we don't burn the Bible.  Oh, we're much craftier than that. 

We just try to make it fit us.

Oh yes, we're offended.  But -- and here's the big question -- if it were true, wouldn't it do just that?  Wouldn't it offend every culture at some point, even the ones who think they've just evolved higher than the others?

And isn't it possible that the reason we find it so backward, so strange, is that we can't imagine stepping out of our own cultural biases?  To us, of course, the mere idea that we would be restricted expressing our individual sexuality is ludicrous!  -- but we're creatures of a certain time and place.

So here's another Big But:  Sure, the Bible offends us on sexual matters, BUT... is it possible -- just possible -- we might see things differently, if we took off our cultural glasses?

Dec 04 2011
Quit Spending Money You Don't Have Just Because It's Christmas. Sheesh.


(Look, I have no idea [cough] who this guy is, but he's just...so...krusty.  I'm certainly offended at his straight-talking.  But I thought I'd re-post it here, anyway, because he has an awesome chair and hat and stuff. Send angry emails to him, not me. Unless you like it.)


The Krusty Sage:  Quit Spending Money You Don't Have Just Because It's Christmas. Sheesh.


"Oh, but it's Christmas!  It's a special time of the year!  I know, we're in debt, overall, but it's Christmas, and that's only once a year, and -- "

"And..." you're a doofus.

Seriously.

------

The Krusty Sage says it in love.  The Sage also says, in love, that if you spend $300 on your kid for Christmas when you don't HAVE $300, you're not only giving your kid a nifty 360, you're giving your kid a gift that keeps on giving: The gift of foolishness, surrounded by beautiful lights, the scent of pine, on display, and etched in memory.  Ah.

Yes, Target and Apple and Best Buy don't advertise many $30 gifts, and they've ratcheted up the expectation level for Christmas.  But -- last time I checked -- your will remains free.  This means you don't have to be an idiot.

Yes, your parents may have overspent every year as you grew up.  Yes, they may have been Baby Boomers, seeking to atone for parental guilt, for one or another reason.  Yes, there may have been stacks of presents under your tree.  Yes, you think this is way Christmas "is supposed to be."

Yep! -- and so what.  We all make mistakes.  But if we're wise, we change.  

So try it.

------

Christmas is not "supposed to be" you, buying stuff you don't have money for.  Sorry.  If you're a dad, and feel bad because you can't spend hundreds on everybody, tell them you don't have the money for it, and you'll still have a great Christmas.  If that makes you feel bad, man up, bro.  You're being bullied by a bunch of advertising majors. 

Gee, you're in debt?  How'd that happen?  This is a mystery.  Someone call a C.S.I. unit.  Maybe they can figure out what happened.  Maybe they can piece it together.

Or maybe you bought a bunch of garbage.  Maybe you should stop it.   Maybe Christmas isn't special at all.  Maybe it's just the latest excuse to overspend.  Gee.  Huh.  Wow.  Gosh.  You think?

"Okay, we're in debt, and yeah, we did buy a $1,200 TV, but it's not that simple, because sometimes --"

No, it is that simple.  Sorry.  Next?

"But everyone at my kids' school gets tons of expensive gifts like 360s and Wiis and stuff and -- "  

Are you in debt?  

"Well, yes, but it's not that simple, and -- "

Nope.  It's that simple. 

"But it's not realistic to spend only $20 per person in this day and age, and -- "  

Why?  

"It's just not that simple, and -- "

Waah. 

-----

If you don't have the money for it, you don't buy it.  Don't act like your kid "needs" an iPad, either.  It has nothing to do with "needs", or even your kid, really.  It has everything to do with you:  Your desire to have some kind of "perfect Christmas", your guilt, your insecurities, your conflict-avoidance, your expectations, and you know, just generally...you

Bottom line:  You wish you a merry Christmas.

"But didn't the 'wise men' bring GOLD to baby Jesus? And fancy myrrh and stuff?  That was extravagant, and -- "  

They were royalty.  You think they used a Discover Card?

"But isn't 'Christmas' in the Bible, and -- "

Nope.

Sheesh.