Saturday, October 4, 2008

Intensive Gospel Study: John 13

Reading Sheet
JOHN – Chapter 13

What/who was important to Jesus?

Love, Cleanliness And Oneness

What needs did Jesus meet?

He cleanses the stain of iniquity

What did Jesus ask or require of his followers?

He wills for us to serve one another in love and to receive those, whom Jesus has called (no matter what---whether they are homosexual, persist in premarital sex or are divorced and remarried, etc. for the Holy Spirit wills whom the Holy Spirit wills to call and we, the church, the bible and pastors are not the Holy Spirit

What issues did Jesus address (relationships, work, money, character, religious practice, etc.)?
His betrayal and how the church needs love, service and oneness

What is compelling to you about Jesus in this section?

Jesus models love in action for us---for His loving service is partaken with grace and humility

How do followers respond to Jesus?
We must practice the orthopraxis of agape and filial love

What in this section challenges us to respond/ imitate/obey?

The unconditional loving service of others

How did Jesus change the world (for an individual or for a community)? He cleanses us of the crud that gets in the way of our serving God and others

What vision of being missional do you glimpse for yourself? For the church? To stand in the unconditional loving service of God and others, the church must first stop acting as if it or bible translations are the Holy Spirit---as if any human, human cultural biases or human institution can restrict and regulate, whom the Holy Spirit wills to call to ministry or in general---for a lot of people (mainly Fundamentalists and bible literalists) actually believe that they can usurp the authority of the Holy Spirit from willing, whom the Holy Spirit wills to call to the ministry or in general and/or that it is their task to determine whom can and can’t be called to the ministry or in general instead of the Holy Spirit alone---and in so telling the Holy Spirit what to do, they not only commit idolatry (ecclesiolatry as well as bibliolatry and poimenolatry/clericalism), but also worse than that it grieves the Holy Spirit (the only unforgivable sin). As Christ is the True pillar of the church for us and in giving the Great Commission, Christ excluded no one from ministering the Gospel, serving and being served including gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgenders and both women and men of every culture, climate, race, type and personality. Secondly, in the Bible, the unfolding of God’s will and self-disclosure of God’s self-revelation, in the Person and work of Christ---we find that God was most fully revealed as being Love itself---for Christ is Love---as Robinson (influenced by Paul Tillich) wrote: "For it is in making himself nothing, in his utter self-surrender to others in love, that [Jesus] discloses and lays bare the Ground of man's being as Love" (ibid., p. 75, italics added). He also wrote: "For assertions about God are in the last analysis assertions about Love" (ibid., p. 105)--- (Honest To God). When we divinely encounter Christ as Love for us, in the advent of the proclamation of scripture---we see all of Christian ethics is contingent upon the moral axioms of the Higher Law of Righteousness, Love, Grace, Mercy and Forgiveness---the Golden Rule and to love God completely and to love one’s neighbor as one’s self. If the sum and substance of Christian morality and ethics then is this---then why should we read Christian morality out of a vacuum with no insight, inquiry and reference to the Higher Law, on which the line of all Christian morality is drawn? For what profits one to have morality without love? For all of Christianity is rooted in loving service---just as Brennan Manning says*---quoting from Barbara Doherty: "Love is service. ‘There is no point in getting into an argument about this question of loving. It is what Christianity is all about---take it or leave it. Christianity is not about ritual or moral living except insofar as these two express the love that causes both of them. We must at least pray for the grace to become love.’" (*-pg. 29 of A Glimpse Of Jesus: The Stranger To Self-Hatred)

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