#0037 Jesus is the Chief Cornerstone; but who are the other foundation stones lined up next to Him upon whom the Kingdom will build? 3
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?
At the close of the last posting I left you with a clip from the Oprah Show. My reason for doing this wasn’t as an attempt to parallel God’s nature with that of a carnival barker or game show host; but rather to point out two things about His nature which tend to get lost in the salvation narrative: 1) His capacity to provide blessings for everybody in the studio audience (in the world) and 2) His desire to do so. Notice in the Oprah clip how she starts out by bringing up on the stage 10 people who didn’t know each other. She explained to them that they are all teachers, by profession who had written in as part of an earlier program she ran called the Wildest Dream Come True contest. At that point she tells them they each had put on their contest forms that they needed a new car; so they were all getting new cars as a result. This is when the pandemonium begins; but this giving away cars to 10 deserving people still falls within the realm of relative believable behavior especially for Oprah. When she explains: “You all know how I love teachers.” she adds more credence to the deal. In addition, this explanation enables her to push the giveaway a bit further and she tells everybody there is one more car she is going to give away to one additional lucky audience member. With this she has the gift-wrapped boxes distributed to the rest of the audience members lying about the fact there is only one box which contains a car key. As the audience members start opening the boxes, they quickly realize there are too many keys—in fact there is a key to a car in every box. “We all get a car?” “But I’m not even a teacher!” There must be some mistake!” I don’t deserve this!” “I’m a sinner…” “I was taught to believe that in life, nothing is for free” “I don’t get it!”
The salvation narrative is responsible for this specific human collective point of view and the incredulity that it sparks. It comes from the belief that we enter this world as undeserving and rotten sinners who need to be saved from this condition. Jesus is this savior. Oh praise Him! And good Christian people aren’t incentivized to question the arrangement because they see it as a good deal for themselves. After all, they have found and accepted God—how could it get things be better and Christians don’t wish to upset the applecart so they don’t generally tend to investigate any further. What if this weren’t actually the case? What if God the Father has always looked favorably upon us as His children? What if He has always loved us unconditionally and His plan was always to give us a free car—no strings attached. Jesus once made this statement: Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. (John 14:9 NIV). What if Jesus’s purpose for living and dying on the cross wasn’t to save mankind from (Original) Sin; but rather to defeat Evil (capital E) with Love (capital L)?
13 There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
John 15:13 (NLT)
The following is an excerpt from The Jesus Clone. I am presenting it here as a valid foundation for a new, non-salvation Christian narrative. If it seems familiar to some it’s because it appeared in the posting several weeks ago entitled: Donald Trump and Evangelical Christians IV.
As a loving God who created us out of love, who created us for the end purpose of love, He would have nothing to do with this kind of nonsense [the revenge theme of the rapture]. In God’s divine reality, retaliation, revenge, comeuppance, justice perpetrated with violence, has no part with Him and we had seen this repeatedly modeled in the life and times of Jesus.
Using this very tactic, Armageddon is going to be a different kind of a battle. It’s not going to be fought with weapons nor is it going to be fought for the purpose of revenge or vindication or any of these other lesser, human mandates. The purpose of Armageddon the last battle of good versus evil is going to be a battle of good over evil but it’s going to be fought like Jesus fought that battle from the cross. The way you defeat evil is by surrender not by a demonstration of physical strength! The way you take the power away from evil is to not resist! The way you take the power away from evil is by adopting a giving and forgiving attitude; is to be open and loving and to be so even in the face of trouble, in the face of evil, in the face of hardship and personal sacrifice. This is by definition unconditional love. The Godly unconditional response to life is: “I will be who I am no matter what is happening around me!” This is God’s mode of operation. God is who He is and He will not respond nor react based on external forces or devices or anything that is in opposition to His nature. He is who He is always and this will be His weapon of choice in the Battle of Armageddon. The way evil will be defeated is that the weapons of evil will be simply rendered powerless in the blinding brightness of God’s unconditional love. The Battle of Armageddon will be Calvary on a global scale! (To read the whole article: The Battle of Armageddon see the 10/07/15 posting: Donald Trump and Evangelical Christians IV or The Jesus Clone Chapter Twenty-nine iii p. 265-268)
Until (conservative) Christians can find a way to rally around a narrative that doesn’t incorporate lesser human qualities in its message (e.g.: the win-lose scenario: competitive and combative imperatives which exist between denominations and factions; etc.) they are destined to continue along their same road. They will continue missing out on the Kingdom of God cues which have been offered to them over and over again. God is calling them to get involved with the work, to roll up their sleeves and to integrate themselves into focus areas that will put them shoulder to shoulder with the very ones they’ve believed till now were damaged goods in God’s eyes. If they fail to make this transition and continue to hold the hard line of their doctrinal, self-righteous views, they are destined to find themselves on the receiving end of this warning in Matthew. The cornerstone of the Kingdom is Jesus and it’s the actual Jesus, not the conservative interpretation of Him I refer to as the Jesus Clone. The standout quality of the real Jesus is His capacity to love unconditionally which features forgiveness. All who wish to associate with this Jesus must align themselves and their beliefs with these reference cues—love and forgiveness. Jesus warns, “Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.” (Matt. 21: 44). In this seeming brutal reference, what Jesus means by anyone symbolizes an archetype, belief system, philosophy or theology. The statement indicates that these will not stand against the divine principles that make up this cornerstone. They didn’t in Jesus’s time when the Pharisees tried to incorporate them and they won’t today as the conservative narratives continually try to incorporate them.
Watch for the next installment in this series on Wednesday, Nov, 11, 2015 = Veteran’s Day.