THE QUESTION of the DAY, YEAR, WHENEVER
BY: BRAD CULLEN
OCTOBER 1, 2012
I awakened this morning to the word “sacrifice” and knew immediately what today’s article was to be about. The several e-mails I opened later this morning were amazing; questions that relate. The following from a man in South Africa has such an obvious mindset because of the words he used …well, let’s start there.
Dear Brother Brad
Greetings in the wonderful Name of our Lord Jesus The Christ.
I just want to have your comments and views on the following subjects. There seems to be contradicting teachings about these even among the Kingdom preachers:
The church is currently teaching about eternal hell; this teaching comes from the belief that all those who do not ‘accept’ Jesus Christ as ‘personal’ Saviour will ultimately go to hell eternally. What is your view about this?
Closely linked to the above question, I just want to hear your comments about what you believe is the destiny of all mankind.
I responded basically that I felt I was supposed to take the time to get clarity before I answered his questions. He certainly asked them with complete sincerity and while that is not what dictated my answers, I do feel obliged to answer them in kind.
Ordinarily when anyone asks me what I believe or to comment on certain belief systems of others, my response is, “what difference does it make what I believe to anyone else except me?”
I was going to respond thusly to this one, but asked and was given these answers for you to do with what you may.
Let’s go down the list of words and terms in his e-mail to which I had strong reactions and the reasons for those reactions …the first one, “Lord Jesus the Christ.” People have referred to me as a “Jesus Freak” because I continually quote what Jesus purportedly said. Jesus’ words are a backdrop for much of what I write …and what Jesus said, taken from the original language placed in juxtaposition to what mainstream Christianity teaches and does with some of these words is rather amazing. Christianity, at large, IS (in my not so humble opinion) A MAJOR CONTRADICTION to what Jesus is recorded as having said in the “New Testament.”
It became clear to me that the word “Christ” as Jesus used it was referring to the SPIRIT who lived in him and which he claimed was speaking and not him, per se’ and the ONE who was performing all the so-called miracles rather than Jesus.
The context of the referenced questions was set in this man’s comment about the “contradictions in teachings even among the ‘Kingdom preachers.”
Who/what are “kingdom preachers? I haven’t a clue and somebody please tell me why I should care!
Now then, the three questions …what are my comments? The only one I feel driven to comment upon is number 2, but it equally reflects on number 1 …and away we go …and will lead into the topic I was given to write about so early this morning.
What Christianity ignores is what Jesus made so clear (again, according to the Gospels, Acts and the Revelation were where his words were recorded), in the original language and which are (to me) obscured through mistranslation into other languages and religious tradition …is what he said about the DESTINY of any individual who believes enough (the operative word) that destiny is that such individuals (who believe enough) will be who he was as a man and do what he did as a man. He also said that he came to abolish death. He also said that the same SPIRIT which lived in and spoke and did the supernatural through Jesus was available to us …those are my comments.
As to tithing? Next question.
What now? Ah yes …sacrifice. Oh my, what I was shown years ago and, before I knew better, began speaking it from behind a pulpit (“knew better”) relates to standing behind a pulpit, not the truth I was given to share.
One Sunday morning just before I was scheduled and was preparing to speak at a “Full Gospel” church just outside Columbia Tennessee …I felt driven to read the prophet Amos. The way the version I was reading (purportedly an accurate translation from the Hebrew), put it: “Away with your sacrifices, away with your hymn singing, away with your uplifted hands and your fasting …all are an abomination to me.”
Historically, the foregoing quote has been viewed by a great many people, both Christians and Jews, as “God” speaking to the nation of Israel through the prophet Amos.
“Why am I supposed to be reading this?” I asked. “Do you want to know why Jesus gave himself as a sacrifice?” was the answer that came back.
Those words scared me. I knew something was coming that was going to shatter my belief system. “Don’t be frightened, just listen.” (Well, yeah, like that really made me less frightened). I had been kneeling in a little room in the back of the church …I got up and walked out the back door and said, out loud, “I want only YOUR truth, help me with this.”
“The reason Jesus died is because everyone, including you, demanded a sacrifice. I didn’t demand it you as a people demanded it and he volunteered it as a way of ending all sacrifice.”
I felt like running through the streets laughing. All this time I had bought into the notion that God had demanded a sacrifice. Here I was being shown that I and every other human being was the cause. You may wonder why I wanted to run through the streets laughing — I mean I was just told, basically, that I was guilty of Jesus dying! …as I thought about it –and wondered too– I realized I was being freed up from bondage to a false belief system. The chains were dropping off me.
I have no idea what I said that morning to the congregation in that church and I have no recollection of the reaction of the people. I do remember that the president of the denomination had brought me there in his car and I do remember his remarks at a late lunch on the way to Chattanooga for an evening service there.
“You do realize that I’m going to get a lot of heat from what you said this morning, don’t you? He held up his hand to keep me from replying. “I just want you to know that I confirm what you got this morning is truth, but I sure don’t know what to do with it.”
Which brings up a whole different story, but that’s it for now. I hope I’ve answered the questions of my friend in South Africa in a way that cause him to go directly to the SOURCE of everything and quit worrying about what anyone else says is “right” for him in his relationship to our SPIRIT-PARENT
QUESTIONS of the DAY, YEAR, WHENEVER, THE [Brad Cullen] 10-01-12 1