Introduction then Indoctrination

launch

On February 25, 2007 an advertisement aired on ABC introducing Apple’s first iPhone.  In June 2007 the iPhone was released and the indoctrination was launched.

At that time, 10 years ago, I was not using apple technology, although I had been around it since my early days in computer retail selling Apple II’s.  This Apple product sold for $1298 with only 4K of ram in 1983.

The Apple iPhone 8 base unit with 64GB (34 years later) was introduced at $999.  Predictions of iPhone 8 unit volume for the first 12 months is 241.5 million.  This is what I call an introduction and indoctrination plan that worked.  I realize there are people reading this right now who do not purchase Apple products, and never intend to do so.  That’s ok, I’m not endorsing them, each to his own I say.  I’m sure Samsung, Motorola, Nokia all make a good product, but can we all just agree that Apple (at least according to the latest Gartner data) is leading the industry in market share (as of Q4 2016).

Introducing a new idea is one thing.  Indoctrination of this new idea in such a way that it impacts the entire world, is a whole other thing altogether.

The Old idea in the first century had been around for a about 1400 years, first given to Moses while he lead God’s people out of bondage in Egypt to the Promised Land.  We call it by different names:  The Law,  The Torah, etc.  Made up of the first five books of the Old Testament, the Old idea was God’s role as Creator, God establishing a Nation, and God’s Laws for that Nation.  The initial instruction set was only 10 Commandments, encompassing everything a person would need to relate to God and to his fellow human.

  • No other gods before Me
  • No idols
  • No using my name in vain
  • Keep the Sabbath day
  • Honor mom and dad
  • Do not murder
  • Do not commit adultery
  • Do not steal
  • Do not lie about your neighbor
  • Do not covet your neighbor’s stuff

It just seems to me that even now, after 3500 years since this stuff was written down [Exodus 20:1-17] we still don’t do any of these things very well.  I realize that these original DOCTRINES were given to a specific group of people (the Hebrews), but God’s intention was that the Hebrews be a light to the world about God’s blessings.  By now we should be so convinced of God’s blessings that the world would look different than it does.

Here’s the thing, after 1400 years of indoctrination the Hebrew people were not only NOT a light to the world, they had been so cut off from God that the last prophet to arrive, announced the coming of God’s Kingdom and the arrival of Messiah, the NEW IDEA.  So steeped in the Old idea were the leaders of Israel, that they had no clue God was doing something New.  The arrival of Jesus is Good NEWS!  The introduction of Messiah should have been the pinnacle of Jewish existence.  Instead it became infamous for the actions of the Sanhedrin, orchestrating the death of the Son of God.

Here we are, 2000+ years removed from this event.  And while there is much indoctrination among the many different beliefs about who Jesus was, or is, or will be, when I look around our world I’m a little sad that we don’t seem to have made the same impact today as the first apostles did when it all started.  Peter preached on two separate occasions and 3,000 and 5,000 men respectively, came to be first time Christ-followers.  Where is that kind of preaching today?

When the church gathered for prayer, because two of their own were chained to the wall in a prison cell, God heard their prayers and the chains fell off, while an angel of God lead them out of that jail.  Where is that kind of praying today?

Have our hearts grow so cold?  Have our wills become so weak?  If we can’t get folks to just stand up and hold their hand over their hearts for the singing of a national anthem, how could we ever expect them to stand and do battle against the spiritual forces of evil at work in this world today?

We’ve lost sight of what Jesus said about His church.  Do you remember?

Matthew 16:18
I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.

Jesus wasn’t talking about Peter building a church.  Jesus was talking about the faith statement Peter has just uttered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.

If this is the faith statement, and the Church is living this out in truth and power, then why does it seem Satan and Hell are winning so many battles today?  … in the media, in politics, in our school systems, in almost every entertainment venue, including the NFL?

We’ve fallen prey to his deceptive ways.  Tolerance was introduced as the Prime Directive.  Now it seems the indoctrination of “tolerance” has led us to the point of no return.

God save us from ourselves, and from those who would destroy us with agendas of hate and condescension.  God, show us the way back to you.  God, launch us back in Your direction…

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Launch

 

It’s all Greek to me

via Daily Post: Translate

Imagine living for three years with someone where you slept just feet apart; ate every meal together, walked everywhere you went, as your group of 13 traveled from Galilee to Judea and back again.  Imagine seeing the leader of your group doing miracles, hearing Him calling your name personally to follow Him, and knowing the miracles He performed clearly authenticated the claim He made of Himself to be the Promised One, the Anointed, the Messiah.  Imagine living this way among a people who’s culture was being ripped apart by Roman occupation and law.  Listening daily to the words of your leader, it would have been an easy leap of faith to want this powerful man to be the new King of Israel, and remove the pagan laws from your land.  So they did.  To a man, each of the disciples Jesus hand-picked, believed not in the pie-in-the-sky kingdom far into the future, but in an imminent establishing of a new nation of Israel in Jerusalem.  Jerusalem after all was the city of God.

Now imagine each of these men watching their leader being dragged off in chains.  Imagine their confusion for Judas kissing Jesus on the cheek in the Garden of Gethsemane, being taken by the Temple Guard, and hauled off for a mock trial in the middle of the night.  Having spent all those long hours with their Rabboni (Great Master), the huge storm clouds of doubt and despair descend on the group of 11.  Judas has gone and hung himself for his misguided attempts at forcing Jesus to act immediately.  Jesus is being taken to Caiaphas, Peter’s stands by a fire trying to get warm, John finds Mary and tries to offer comfort, and everyone else scatters, thinking they could be next.

We have no context for this life, or for even beginning to think we understand the nature of their confusion demonstrated by their actions.  You and I are not challenged today in these ways, and it was a road to be traveled by only 12 hand-picked men anyway.

So, what’s the point?  The narrative I’m trying to paint for you is one that has a few key elements.

First, when they chose to follow Him, the faith in Jesus these men exhibited is one of complete abandonment of any previous life-choices.  This would be the very definition of the Greek word κύριος (koo’-ree-os) translation: Lord or Master.  Today our closest English variation might be “Sir.”  These men forsook everything to follow Jesus; family, friends, businesses, life stability, just to sit at Jesus feet and listen to Him teach.

Second, Jesus continually was surrounded by thousands of people in crowds, all gathered as word spread of His teaching, and miracle-working ministry.  At one point, looking at the masses of people, Jesus said, “Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” [Luke 6:46]  If the 12 men who were hand-picked didn’t understand half of what Jesus said and did, after all the time they spent with Him privately, what’s to cause us to believe those on the fringes, hearing Him only one or two times, could even partly comprehend His message, purpose or intentions?

Third, we can only have context for the meaning of the word “LORD” if we step back and stop laying our 21st century interpretations on a 1st century document (the Bible).  Here’s a verse we like to quote:

Philippians 2:9-11
For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

What’s the reason?  See, that’s the real question.  What is the actual reason every knee bows, or every tongue confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord?  We do such an injustice when we translate these scriptures in 21st century contexts.

The REASON that Jesus is LORD is because:

Philippians 2:5-8
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Obedience is the best and clearest example of why Jesus is Lord.  Even to the point of death, even death on a cross.

The LAST point of my narrative is, until we see Lordship as something more than occasional church attendance, sporadic giving to ministry or charity, or passing out water at the 4th of July parade… we have completely lost the message in translation.  Jesus is Lord not because I “make” Him Lord of my life.   Jesus IS Lord.  My only choice is to serve Him or not.  My choice is to completely vacate my preconceptions of what it means to serve Him, and follow His Spirit leading me into uncharted waters.  Jesus is Lord whether I see Him walking on water or not.  My obedience, to His command of my life, will be the only determining factor for the world to see … He is my Lord.

Let me try to translate for you one more time… you can hear it if you will…

Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?