Jared Witt l January 25, 2018
Read Exodus 2:23-25.
After a long time, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned under their slavery, and cried out. Out of the slavery their cry for help rose up to God. God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. God gazed upon the Israelites, and God took notice of them.
Now read it again, closely.
Is it what you expected?
This is, more or less, the origin story of the western and near-eastern world’s great monotheistic religions—a fact which should strike you as ironic, if you paid attention to how little it has to do with religion.
Jared Witt l January 18, 2018
A lot of things are different now than they were in Bible-y times. Some things aren’t.
One thing that hasn’t changed much is the range of responses people have when they encounter Jesus. I don’t mean when they encounter a certain religious spin or anti-religious spin on Christianity. I’m saying that when both religious and anti-religious people in our day see Jesus more-or-less accurately for who he is and the things he is about, their reactions break down in basically the same way as one another, and its not very different from how first century people responded.
I think everyone falls somewhere on a spectrum
Jared Witt l January 11, 2017
Four people are in a room. Three are good, upstanding family men—a pastor of a large, successful church, a politician, and a well-to-do business person—the fourth is a shoeshine who has spent a lifetime in and out of homelessness. The three have an argument about the nature of God, while the fourth shines their shoes.
Which is the Jesus figure in the story?
If you're smirking to yourself because you got it right, chill out. The question is remedial for a reason. I already know the answer. I made up the story. That's not why I ask. I ask because I'm interested in your process. How did you get to your answer? I suspect it depends on what kind of person you are. For simplicity's sake, let's say there are four types…
Jared Witt l January 4, 2017
Christians: We try to be good citizens but we pacifist a little.
Or at least we're supposed to.
Yeah, I know. Hey, I know. I get it. Pacifists are a real annoyance. Always reminding everyone of who they should kill (no one), and when they should kill them (never).
Modern societies have had a beastly time trying to figure out what to do with their pacifists. Leo Tolstoy made himself a spoke in the wheels for generations of ruling authorities in Russia when he wrote The Kingdom of God Is Within You, which had the audacity to suggest that getting exiled to Siberia with one's moral dignity in tact was preferable to dumbly pointing a gun at whoever the Tsar tells one to point it at.
How Castle Church is stirring up a new spirit in the church from a brewery in Orlando, FL.