I find it fulfilling to connect to meet and interact with Christians on this board. I am not a "go to church" kind of Christian. The Spirit leads me to hold that part of the meaning behind Mark 1:1, "Begins the Good News of Jesus Christ" (Minority Reading) is that the "Good News" is Jesus took mandatory pagan rituals to the cross with him. I could spend a full day quoting scriptures that point to that. To cut to it, "Did God make man for the sabbath, or did God make the Sabbath for man? That is why the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbeth. Remember when John baptized Jesus? Remember that, "baptism for the forgiveness of sins." In other words, no, you do not have to make "animal sacrefices, grain sacrifices, or ritual sacrifices" for the forgiveness of sins, and after that, Jesus gives us "The Spirit." I find there are two kinds of Christians, ones who get that, and ones who don't.
To the former, I'll share something that happened to me last Sunday.
It is a long story, but I have been recently hired by a motorcycle touring magazine to write for them. It is a real blessing. They needed a photograph to go with my column. Well, - I have always found that Philip 1-2 is a clear guide on how God really wants us to live. When I take Philip 2 and put it next to Matthew 23 I see a faith that stresses humity and servitude in a very, very literal sense. How far I carry this is this. Any speaker, Bible teacher, Christian professor, pastor, who introduces themselves with their honorific, I ... turn .... them .... off. Matthew 23 is crystal clear, maybe you have to be able to see through the mud to see without a pair of Greek diving goggles, but the Pragmatics are right there.
I work for a living in the most grueling of circumstances. However, I have recently been hired to write, lol! I told the chief editor that I had a real challenge. It is a motorcycle touring magazine, but I don't own a motorcycle, lol! I gave mine to a charity. He said, "Hum, - I'll work with you on that." He asked for a photograph. But, I don't own a motorcycle to sit on, stand by, or have a picture of me riding on.
"Sunday" morning was the day I had time to get that photo for him. I got down on my knees that morning and had to offer a very odd prayer. I cannot afford to buy a church building, and my house isn't big enough for even two cats. That is okay. I have listed my home as a "House Church," in Redding, CA, but one where we read from the Greek New Testament as our primary source for the Word of God when in the New Testament. Not one Christian has expressed an interest in that kind of Fellowship.
So I prayed, "God, let me take a Fellowship to the road." Within a month, lol, I was hired as Motorcycle Journalist, lol. But, I don't currently own one. I am working on another MA related to NT studies, and they are sucking the blood out of me.
I got on my knees last Sunday and my prayer went like this, "Lord, I need you to provide a motorcycle that I can sit on (not in a shop) for a photograph."
Then we went for a location hunt.
My wife had an idea, a funky, old brick wall as a background with me in a motorcycle jacket. We found one, I got out, and we did our shoot. That was it. The photos communicated the idea of "Motorcycle tourer on a break."
I stepped back onto the road to walk over to my truck. My wife called me back asking, "Are you sure that is good enough?" I turned around with my back to the road for my reply, "I have to use what God supplies."
The very, very moment the word "supplies" came out of my mouth the ground started to shake. I could feel it in my feet. Then there was a sound, a rumble, then another, then another.
I turned to look and the Hells Angels with about 50 gang members began rolling up to where I was standing, with the "boss" stopping his bike 6 feet from where I was standing. People don't believe that when John baptized Jesus, when Jesus came out of the water the heavens opened up and a dove desended on him. I think that is both literally and a cultural allusion.
One of the leaders of the Hells Angels in California parked his motorcycle 6 feet away from where I was standing on the only Sunday I had to get a photo of me standing by a tough looking bike when I don't own one.
I waited. The biker got off his ride. I smiled and said, "Sir, may my wife take a picture of me standing by your motorcycle? I promise not to touch it." He replied, "Sure, just don't take any pictures of us, not one." After the shot I thanked the man, then asked him if I could ask some questions about his ride and why he liked it? He said, "Ya, sure."
I cannot share what we talked about. The Hells Angels have a hard rule. They never talk to the media. It is one of their biggest rules. Still, Sunday morning, there I was, my first interview was with a Hells Angels rider and we talked about his motorcycle.
In case there are those who haven't heard. God did not make man for the sabbath, but he made the sabbeth for man, and thus he made the Son of Man the Lord of the sabbeth. That suggests to me that every day is "Sunday." The Good News frees me from ritualistic faith, that is part of what the "Water" is about, yet that also puts me in service (Philip 2) every single day.
I offer that Jesus rejected both orthodoxy (correct theology) and orthopraxy (correct rituals), and turned his eyes towards "ortho" + "direct-action love," "agape."