Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A business commentary of the Gospels?

Entrepeneurs show great vision, faith in their conviction, persuasiveness and are prepared to sacrifice everything for their cause.  Jesus is an entrepeneur who was able to create an organisation to get his message out. He was so successful in his start-up that not only was it immediately explosive in growth but it is still in existence today.  In fact so successful has he been that Jesus can be regarded as the ultimate entrepeneur, as discussed in more detail in this podcast episode.

Jesus Christ started out his ministry by doing market research in the towns of Galillee.  He used them as a series of focus groups honing his message.  He then recruited a team of apprentices to be trained to do the work.  He sent out 72 of them following his directions once they had had an extended period observing him work. They reported back to him and he gave them feedback on their performance. He praised them for the good work they had done and encouraged them After this he cast his vision for the future of the outfit.

 At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do.  Luke 10:21

Jesus Christ was not selling a product as such but he was trying to sell or promote an ideology.  People who are successful in business have an air of enterprise about them, the show initiative.  They are sometimes willing to take a risk by going against the aceepted way of doing things, just as Jesus did when he went against the grain of the contemporary religious culture. The entreprenerial skills of Jesus certainly demand further study. A full commentary on the Gospels teasing out the business methods of the Christ would make an excellent research project.  Any takers?

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Happiness and the science of forgiveness

“Forgiveness is the trait most strongly linked to happiness.”
(Elias, Marilyn: U.S.A. Today, December 10, 2002  “Psychologists Now Know What Makes You Happy”)

The psychologist's view of  happiness, reported above, ties in with the Biblical view, but goes against the grain of much in contemporary culture. If forgiveness is tied that strongly to happiness, perhaps some of the ideas we have grown up with need to be thrown away. We tend to associate happiness with education, success, good health, and so forth. Not that those things are unimportant, but forgiveness is the single most important trait that leads to happiness.

There's a story told in the Gospel of  Mark chapter 2 that tells of four men who bring their paralytic friend to Jesus on a mattress. But they can’t get their friend to Jesus. So what do they do? They go up to the roof of the little house and tear it apart.

I've never noticed before but this was probably Jesus' own house.  He had moved to Capernaum from Nazareth; the point of the first two verses is that when Jesus returned from his short preaching trip around the neighbouring villages, he found crowds pressing around the door as though he were a movie star of well-know footballer.   Jesus himself was the unlucky householder  who had his roof ruined that day.  This opens up quite a new possibility for understanding what Jesus said to the paralysed man  How would you feel if someone made a hole in your roof? But Jesus looks down  and says, with a rueful smile, "“Your sins are forgiven.”

Some legal experts were sitting there, muttering among themselves, “Why does he speak this way? He’s insulting God. Only the one God can forgive sins.”

"Jesus immediately recognized what they were discussing, and he said to them, “Why do you fill your minds with these questions? Which is easier—to say to a paralyzed person, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take up your bed, and walk’? But so you will know that the Human One has authority on the earth to forgive sins”—he said to the man who was paralyzed, “Get up, take your mat, and go home.”

Jesus raised him up, and right away he picked up his mat and walked out in front of everybody. They were all amazed and praised God, saying, “We’ve never seen anything like this!”" (Mark 2:8-12)

What is the relationship among sin, sickness, and forgiveness?  Forgiveness from God, removes sin and allows healing from sickness.

United Traits of America (satirical video poem)

America was ready to explode even before George Floyd was killed by the Minneapolis police. The twin tragedies of 40 million people — one-q...