By Bradley Tucker:
It’s Friday and Jonathan is answering questions from Bradley, talks about his Easter Sunday Experience, The Sense of the Sacred and more.
Q: So, after last Monday’s article on the Fruit of Joshua Feuerstein’s ministry there was a comment left by Josh that suggested you were a liar, what are your thoughts on this?
A: First of all, I want to make it clear that Joshua is not always wrong, there are some points where he does hold to essential doctrine. But the 55% truth does not negate the 45% lie and you do not have to read the article to figure out that we were not off-base, just watch the comment sections of his videos and posts. Many of his followers agreed with us and some even shared the article. It’s a very divided group and a very angry one. That’s far from the fruit of the spirit and Josh does nothing to intervene. Instead he openly insults other pastors and tears them down. Participates in Link-Baiting and Fearmongering, stirring up the people to anger against their own brothers and sisters in Christ and trolls people who do not agree with him. That is not the mark of a Christian Pastor, based on these observations we can make a logical conclusion, this is bad fruit. If making such an observation makes me a liar then that’s fine. I will continue to try to address this issue in as loving and compassionate way as possible. He is still my brother and I can forgive him for the implication. In the end, Joshua needs grace as much as the rest of us, I am no better than he in that category.
Q: But that was not the biggest issue with the comment?
A: No, the biggest issue was that the commenter promoted an Anti-Trinitarian viewpoint, saying we do not need “Father, Son and Holy Ghost cannot save we must call on the name of Jesus.” You can call me a liar all you want, but the moment you profess a heretical and blasphemous doctrine, that is, it is directly in opposition to the teachings of Scripture and thousands of years of Orthodox, Trinitarian Teaching, you are going to spark in me anger. Especially if you then use that doctrine to oppress viewpoints that might disagree with yours or to promote oppression. We would not have the son without the father and we would not have true and genuine Christian Freedom without the death of the Son. The Holy Spirit confirms these truths for us and comes and dwells within us. They are three in one and one in three. It’s a divine mystery. What we do have now is free access to the father, sonship, freedom from sin, total washing and purifying by the blood of Christ and the ongoing work of Sanctification. We do have joy and love.
Q: What does Church History teach us about our response to Authoritarianism in the Church?
A: Yesterday we talked about Julian of Norwich in our Medieval Spirituality Class. She was an Anchoress at the little parish church in Norwich during the late Medieval Period (1360’s-1416). This was the time right before the Reformation where a similar kind of authoritarianism as to what we have in America today had popped up. Julian was a mystic who one day had 16 visions in 24 hours and recorded them in her memoir. Each vision focused on the deep love of God for the people which was and is quite opposite to the Hellfire and Brimstone of Authoritarianism. I could go on for hours, but I will not for the sake of the reader and your hands. The Bottom line is, God shows Perfect Love, Love is at the very center of God’s Heart for His people, it is out of love that we can even exist and the bible tells us that it was out of love that God sent His one and only son (John 3:16). That is, God loves sinners because we are all sinners and fall short of God’s standard and glory (Romans 3:23). God also desires that the whole world come to salvation in Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 2:5). And that we are instruments to take that message to the world and make disciples of all nations. So the solution to Authoritarianism then is to daily show a Gospel centered love for everyone we encounter. Acknowledging that person’s identity and potential identity as created by God, son or daughter and loving and encouraging that so they might come to know Christ more deeply, or come to know Him as Lord and Savior.
Q: I have heard you talk a lot about Rediscovering the Arts, and we have talked about Art and the Church before here, but what is the idea behind rediscovery of the Arts in the Church?
A: As I said last time this came up, we have done ourselves a huge disservice by rejecting the use of any art form that is not music. In the Medieval Church art was a discussion starter, the Laity did not have Scripture and so their way of expressing the Doctrines they were being taught by the Clergy was to create art or to consider it. The Medieval Church was covered in Art, depictions and Icons lined the walls. It was impossible to walk into a church and not see an image of the crucified savior, the risen savior, The Apostles, the Church Fathers, The Saints. Now, it did become abused, to the point that people were worshiping the artwork itself and even worshiping the Saints depicted in the art. And we have to guard against that, but art can be a means of discussion, a way to start a conversation with an unbeliever or even stir up the religious affections of young and older believers. I heard a story once of someone showing a Medieval Painting that showed all of the things Jesus went through on his way to the Cross. All of it biblically sound, the person leading the study said that Christians who had read the story a million times were saying “I had no idea that he went through that, and I’ve read the story a thousand times.” It puts an image to the words we read and can help us understand Theology.
Q: What did you do for Easter?
Well, woke up at about 4:30 and got ready for the Sunrise service my church did here on the Hill, then we headed over to Gordon College for a combined service with both services (our church would not fit that many people in one service). Then my sister and I headed over to a church members house for Lunch and then we hiked up to one of the many points looking out at the Ocean down in Glouster. It was a beautiful and relaxing day of celebrating the Risen Lord. I felt energized for the rest of the week!
Bradley Taylor is the Content Editor for God’s Heart for Those
Have a question for Jonathan? Send it in!