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Page photoJim's Manifesto

December 30, 2016

We’re coming up on 2017, and rather than employ the usual word “resolution,” for describing our “good intentions” for the New Year, I would rather use the word “manifesto” in the sense of describing what I intend to do for whatever time I have left on this earth. It would go something like this: to proclaim the gospel, specifically the preaching of the cross of Christ Jesus as the best, the highest, and the centrality of God’s self-expression and mind toward all of humankind, and, in the context of “all”, the affirmation and non-negation of other religions including Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Taoism, and Hinduism and their variants and off-shoots. I will not agree with, nor give place to, assessments that other faiths and faith systems are evil and counterfeit representations of spirituality. That means not only the major religions, but Catholicism and all its forms including Traditional, Roman (western), Orthodox, (eastern) and Coptic. I will not regard Protestantism, Pentecostalism, Fundamentalism, and Revivalism or any of its denominational manifestations, in “triumphalist” or in any other exclusive terms, but will confirm what I believe to be the truest and most appealing features in all of them. I will champion neither Calvinism nor Arminianism, but will uphold both. I will, however, repudiate cessationism, the belief that manifestations of healing, spiritual giftedness including the speaking in tongues are no longer relevant or existent in today’s world; or Sadducism, the denial of resurrection, immortality, and, in general, the rejection of the supra-rational and supernatural. But, and make no mistake about this, I intend to lift the Name of Jesus, not as another religion, and absolutely not as the “first among equals,” but rather as the essence of Truth itself and the rightful ruler and Lord of all creation and perfect and complete representation of the Image, Mind, and Heart of God. Furthermore, I will not speak condemnation to atheism and agnosticism. However, I will want to point out that in a naturalistic, materialistic, and mechanistic universe, the existence of values, universals, and absolutes makes no coherent sense in a God-less world. Lastly, I will call all, especially myself, to forgiveness (the covering of the faults, weaknesses, and sins, of others), repentance (the intention to change course, direction, and behavior), and confession (the self-disclosure of the true story/narrative no matter how painful). I will strive to heed the Christian call, in 1 Peter 3:15, to “in your hearts reverence Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to make a defense to anyone who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence.” I hereby resolve to “press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14.) And I will pray without ceasing for the Grace of God and for the help of His countenance, which is His abiding presence.




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