#0036 Jesus is the Chief Cornerstone; but who are the other foundation stones lined up next to Him upon whom the Kingdom will build? 2
42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures: “‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes’?
43 “Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.
44 Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.”
45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard Jesus’ parables, they knew he was talking about them.
46 They looked for a way to arrest him, but they were afraid of the crowd because the people held that he was a prophet.
Matt: 21 42-46 (NIV)
- The cornerstone is the reference point for building the Kingdom of God. Jesus is that cornerstone.
- What qualities is He looking for in a foundation stone?
- Are these qualities found in the religious imperative of salvation or does there exist a dilemma—disqualifier made up of conflicting interests emanating from the denominational religions world?
- Are there non-religious persons or groups that fit the profile of a foundation stone?
- Are there persons/groups out of history that fit the profile?
- What might religious persons do differently in order to get a piece of this action?
Jesus is the Chief Cornerstone of the structure we have been referring to as the Kingdom of God. His request of people who wish to have a relationship with Him is to simply consider the concept of this Kingdom. Salvation, on the other hand, is the idea that as a believer in Jesus we are supposed to do specific things in order to qualify for it and if we fail to qualify for this salvation we will not only miss out on our eternal reward in heaven; we will suffer eternal damnation to boot. The concepts of the Kingdom and salvation are like oil and water, they don’t mix well together. The fact is, they are antithetical to one another; they’re opposites, let me tell you why. The salvation narrative is based in twisted logic that is, it says one thing—Jesus died for you—then almost immediately takes it back—if you don’t accept this gift you will burn forever. To begin with, the Christians who believe in salvation are among the first to claim that Jesus died for their sins. They reinforce this idea by saying that this salvation gift was freely given to them because there is no way they could earn this gift. Then they claim they only had to accept Jesus as their personal savior to claim this gift. Wasn’t their act of accepting Him, in effect, a method of earning this gift? Yes, it was and it is. If it was necessary for Jesus to do that I would agree with them on the matter; but to make my point let’s assume that it was necessary and Jesus’s death on the cross was for the purpose of atoning for the sins of all mankind. So He did in fact make this huge sacrifice for us; what else would possibly be necessary? What can we possibly do to enhance this act of divine sacrifice and love on the part of Jesus? In the Churches’ insistence that this other step is necessary they are acting as a kind of middleman in the deal. Accepting Jesus as our personal savior is done in one of two ways: 1) by making an altar call (a kind of public semi-ceremonial statement saying as much; or 2) by getting baptized (sprinkled with holy water or submerged in a body of regular water). Once you have performed one of these acts—which one depends on your particular faith—then you are good to go literally forever. Even though these tasks seem insignificant, failure to do so will get you condemned forever. The unwritten clause in the deal is that once you are saved you will continue going to church and supporting it with your unwavering dedication, your time, energy and your money. It’s the least you can do in exchange for the eternal salvation of your soul!
What has been developing over the centuries with organized religion is the salvation narrative has gotten to be synonymous with being Christian—synonymous with Jesus. This was okay for the first 2000 years or so; but nowadays what with the advent of the digital age and the outcropping of the internets with ready access to it by virtually anyone via smartphone and/or computer, this narrative is becoming less sustainable by the minute. The dilemma we’ve got going at full throttle is this: there are two kinds of people in our culture: the ones who are intimidated by computers and the internets and the ones who aren’t. Those who are intimidated by computers and similar technologies get irritated when having to figure things out for themselves. These are L-Directed thinkers; thinking is a chore for them. They very much dislike being bothered with facts and numbers and generally try to avoid having to think things over. These folks are very comfortable listening to and believing what someone else has figured out for them and what they have to say about it, especially if what they are saying isn’t too complicated. They view people who say things they already understand and already agree with in a positive light. Often they look upon them as authority figures and when one such as these is a Christian or a minister, they are prone to line up behind him/her, the beliefs they exhort and, undoubtedly, their salvation narrative. There isn’t too much thinking and doing associated with it; they just have to get themselves saved and be done with it.
So getting down to the question of what qualities Jesus is looking for in a foundation stone; we can begin with this other group of people who aren’t intimidated by computers and the internets. Based on the fact they aren’t intimidated by these things tells us they aren’t afraid to think, and question things and do so because they want to and they enjoy the challenges they find there. They don’t want to be told what the one right thing is; they want to find it out for themselves and in the process perhaps find that there isn’t just one right thing, but several! They are R-Directed thinkers. Being free-thinkers often times leads them into acting as free-doers as well. They think and act outside the box. There’re lots of them around, but they don’t generally congregate in great numbers; but when they do they tend to create a stir. These individuals and groups are what I am identifying for the purpose of this series, as foundation stones. Whether they are aware of it or not, these individual people and groups of people are in the process of constructing a foundation on which the Kingdom of God will be built. Jesus is the cornerstone. These others are lining up off of Him and cuing off of His example. They are creating a new narrative. They are busy building for the change they want to see in the world rather than sitting back in the security of the salvation narrative. Lean forward. As we’ve been discussing, the God who is the author of the salvation narrative is fraught with conditions and qualification protocols. His son is the Jesus Clone. The God who is the author of the Kingdom narrative offers this kingdom without conditions, without strings. His son is Jesus Christ the exemplar of Oprah Winfrey…
Look for the next installment to this series on Sunday Nov. 8, 2015. See you then.