HE IS RISEN!!! PRAISE GOD!!! 


The question’s been on my mind all day, and returns on a regular basis even when it’s not the easter season.  What does the resurrection mean to me?  Where is the power of the resurrection in my life?  It’s been observed that the resurrection is the most offensive thing about the Gospel to the unbelieving world.  The world can accept that Christ was a good man, a teacher, a martyr, even a miracle worker.  But to say that he rose from the dead and now sits on the right hand of God, that’s what they can’t stand to hear.  Like Marcellus (sp?) in “The Robe”.  His belief in Christ as a good teacher, here to offer a better way of life, was completely acceptable to him.  The idea that the divine power of God had raised Christ from the dead, ruined the whole story for him.  This attitude is reflected in all of society today, even as an article in Newsweek attempts to explain how the story of Jesus was misconstrued in an attempt to deify a beloved martyr.  My mind jumps to a story I read a long time ago in the “Voice of the Martyrs” magazine (a great publication, and an organization very worthy of our support.  We have brothers and sisters suffering and dying for their faith all over the world.) The story told of a gathering held by the communists shortly after they took over Romania at the close of WWII. The communists called all the christians to the cities and held conventions with some of the best atheistic thinkers, to disprove the story of Christ and weaken the church.  One famous atheist got up and gave a long presentation disproving the story of Christ with all the evidence available from modern history and science.  After he finished, he asked for questions.  There was a hesitation, as everyone considered the cost of dissent.  Then an old minister hobbled up from the back of the auditorium and stepped up to the microphone.  He spoke only three simple words, the essence of the believer’s hope:  “He is risen.”  And the Spirit moved.  Knowing the price they might pay, the auditorium stood as one man and raised their voices in response, “He is risen indeed!” 


What does the resurrection mean to me?  Purpose and power.  To will and to do.  It is the purpose of my life, a new direction, the hope of life.  As Paul sums it up, without the resurrection, “your faith is vain.”  If Christ were still in the grave, we would still have his teachings of morality, his example of love, but without the power to effect change in our lives or the world.  The POWER of the resurrection, though, is the motor behind the plan of salvation.  That’s why the world hates it so.  It is the believer’s boldness, it is the assurance that allows us to let the Spirit work in our lives, even when He makes no sense to us.  It is what allows us to stand and look death in the face and have no fear.  And nothing in this world can stop a man that has no fear.  “For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God”  That means that to get to us, one must go through Christ and God!  What an awesome thought!  What place could be safer than that?  And the promise of that security, that hope, is the resurrection of Christ.  His resurrection is my only reason to live.  Without the risen Lord, I have no reason to continue in this life, and I am “of all men most miserable.”  Perhaps no greater truth has been put to tune than this:


“Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.  Because He lives, all fear is gone.  Because I know He holds the future.  And life is worth the living, just because He lives.”


In the same token, because Christ arose, we have access to the power that raised Him, and can do “all things through Christ”.  So no matter what you’re going through this spring, or even if you’ve just entered a period of ignorant contentedness with your walk, remember you have access to the greatest power in the universe through Christ and His resurrection.  Careful, though.  This power is accessed by faith, and those who ask for this power must be prepared for change.  The power of the resurrection is the power to ACT for God.  It isn’t a remedy for what ails us, not a crutch for the weak, not the vain hope of a race desperate to escape their mortality. Just look at what the realization of the resurrection, coupled with the infilling of the Spirit, did for the disciples and the early church.  Know that the power of the resurrection is there to embolden us to lead a life on the edge for God, ready to face whatever the world has to throw at us, a life of hardship and persecution, but never a life of apathy.  The power is only to accompany the purpose.  And if you seek them both… you will find them.


Happy Resurrection Day to all, even those of you who know that Easter is a pagan holiday, disguised by the early Catholics to combine Ishtar with Christianity. =P 

Hooray!  The Popemobile is returning!  I sent her off to a mechanic friend on Saturday and she should be all better by the end of the week!  Just a timing belt and two rear hub assemlies and she’ll be on the road again.  I absolutely can’t wait.  Okay that might seem weird to some of you, but this car was my LIFE.  I’ve gone without it and been driving crap-for-cars for like six months now cause I couldn’t afford to fix it, and now it’s alive again.  (Some of you know what I’m talking about… Naomi, Ash, Steeg, Randy…)  Yessir.  she’s got the horses, 2.0L and 5 speeds (tops out at 140, but don’t ask me how I discovered that =), a kick-butt stereo system w/ in-dash CD player, and room for four of my homies (well actually on occasion we had 8, but that was a little tight).  Ah, and for those of you who aren’t up on PHC history, my car became the popemobile after I was dubbed the pope by Czar Peter Fendrich in the first year of his most glorious reign.  It’s really a great story.  We conspired to overthrow the PHC senate and establish a monarchy under Czar Peter.  But of course some freshmen weiners decided to oppose us, so they had to be… educated.  Muwahahahahahaha.  Anybody still at PHC, just ask Chris Mangione.  I’m sure he can give you all the details you want.  Make sure he tells you how he ended up in lake Bob, too.  =) 


Peace!

ARGH!  Okay… easy, Joel….. Grace, peace.  Grace and peace.  Grace… maybe a cigarette… and peace….  MAN!  If I have to sit through one more sermon on church authority I swear I’m going to stand up in the middle of the service and start throwing out scriptures.  This guy is just too much!  Okay, Most of you know I attend a brethren church.  For the most part, they’re okay.  I like the positive peerpressure, the stress on holy living, and the emphasis on simplicity in faith and life.  However, they really get me going with this whole “church authority” mess.  It’s awful.  Whenever one of their doctrines gets questioned (in this case church structure.  My I wonder who would bring that up…?), they pull the trump card of “church authority” to override any protests.  It about makes me sick.  The authority of the church to make written standards to promote unity in Christ and separation from the world?  Scripture please?  From Matthew 18 to I Corinthians 14, the church is shown as having a type of EXECUTIVE authority (for carrying out discipline in cases of open heresy or blatant offences.  Matthew 18, II Cor. 5), but never is it shown as having been delegated LEGISLATIVE authority.  The Jerusalem decree in Acts is the main example given to support legislative church authority, and yet it is somehow overlooked that the admonition to abstain from meat offered to idols is directly negated by Paul in a later epistle.  Paul explained that the meat was a moral non issue, but for the offence to fellow believers.  The same is the problem with any across the board church application.  It ignores the leading of the Spirit in individual circumstances.  Sunday school we read Galatians 6, and it was so cool, cause this one guy that’s on my side in this whole dealiebopper is the class teacher.  He opens up and reads “Galatians 6:1.  Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye who are spiritual… write up a query, vote on it, send it to annual conference and make a new rule so it won’t happen again.”  I loved that.  Cause that’s what modern Christianity does!  Keeps us from having the personal responsibility to go to a stumbling brother or sister, risk hurting their feelings, and come alongside them bear their burden and point them back to Christ!  Instead we write a church law in order to “keep high standards for the unity of the church and separation from the world”, and use outward peerpressure and uniformity to urge members to conform to church polity.   *sigh* I can’t exhaust the issue on here, but for those who are interested, I will be posting an essay on this at my other site, the REAL heresy microphone, www.crossup.bravehost.com .  Also, I welcome questions or comments or random thoughts by email.  junior__84@hotmail.com


Blessings to all!


~J

Hehehehehehehehe….. Mom, I love you, but you can stay on vacation as long as you want.  Man I’m having such a blast.  Just in case any of you people out there are studying this fine friday night, I thought I’d let you know that I’ve got two friends over and we’re playing halo, watching Alien v Predator and eating pizza and nachos.  Tomorrow I get to head to my pseudo-recording studio and jam with my friends for most of the day.  Which will totally rule.  But get this:  I’ve been practicing non stop on my guitars and drums, working on the lyrics and music for the songs I’ve written, and waiting for the recording equipment for months now.  The day I got the recording program, I went down with pneumonia.  Was down for weeks.  I finally get back in shape, I head over to the apartment today to try it out, and behold!  My computer moniter fries.  I HATE COMPUTERS!  AND GIRLS…come to think of it.  AND ALIENS THAT POP OUT OF YOUR CHEST, by George!  AND EGGPLANT!  AND AMALEKITES!  AND FREAKING COLD WEATHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Oooo…. Guess I’m just hateful tonight.  Feel free to call me for some abuse.  “Yes, I’d like to have an argument, please.” ~Monty Python