Tee Time: It’s Cool to Love Jesus

It's Cool to Love JesusFound at TheILSNetwork.com.

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The Jesus Sutras (Part 8): The Virgin “Mo Yan”

(For an introduction to this series, read Part 1.)

So God caused the Cool Breeze to come upon a chosen young woman called Mo Yan, who had no husband, and she became pregnant. The whole world saw this, and understood what God had wrought. The power of God is such that it can create a bodily spirit and lead to the clear, pure path of compassion. Mo Yan gave birth to a boy and called him Ye Su, who is the Messiah and whose father is the Cool Breeze.

Sutra of Jesus Christ 5:1-4

Chinese Madonna and Child

Tang Yin, Madonna and Child, c. 1500-23. Watercolor on silk. Housed in the Field Museum, Chicago.

Virgin and Child

Salus Populi Romani (Protectress of the Roman People), 8th-13th century (disputed). Borghese Chapel, Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome.

The scroll painting to the left is the earliest extant Madonna and Child portrait from China. It depicts the infant Jesus with a forelock knotted in the Chinese style, making a blessing gesture with his right hand. Scholars believe it is based on copies of the famous painting Salus Populi Romani, which, it is believed, Franciscan missionaries brought to China in the thirteenth century.  Continue reading

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The Jesus Sutras (Part 7): Mindfulness

(For an introduction to this series, read Part 1.)

The Sutra of Cause, Effect, and Salvation, in addition to addressing the issue of karma, exhorts people to live in continuous mindfulness of Christ’s work on the cross. Mindfulness (sati) is a key practice in Buddhism. It basically means having a pure awareness that extends to all aspects of life. It’s a way of being fully present to what you’re doing at every moment throughout the day, to really experience things directly and immediately, and with loving attention—the ground you walk on, for example, or the texture of your food, or the sensation of cold, or the rhythm of your breath. It also means seeing things exactly as they are, without distortion.

This Buddhist practice is, in most ways, very compatible with Christianity. Christians should live in constant awareness of God’s goodness and grace and should be grateful for all experiences, whether good or bad, because we know that God has allowed them for our growth and his glory. That’s mindfulness—embracing, accepting, watching, comprehending, and participating fully in the ongoing process of living.  Continue reading

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Tee Time: My God is a Gamer

video game Jesus

Found at MyGodDesigns.com.

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The Jesus Sutras (Part 6): Karma and Rebirth

(For an introduction to this series, read Part 1.)

“I am the owner of my karma. I inherit my karma. I am born of my karma. I am related to my karma. I live supported by my karma. Whatever karma I create, whether good or evil, that I shall inherit.”—The Buddha, from the Upajjhatthana Sutta (part of the Pali Canon of Theravada Buddhism)

“Not in the sky, nor in the middle of the ocean, nor in the cave of a mountain, nor anywhere else, is there a place, where one may escape from the consequences of an evil deed.”The Dhammapada, verse 127

“He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”Psalm 103:10-12

Trapped by our actions

Many Easterners, whether religious or not, believe in the doctrine of karma (Sanskrit for “deed” or “action”). This concept refers to a universal law of cause and effect in which every volitional act brings about a certain result (vipaka)—evil actions produce punishments, and good actions produce rewards. Different schools and traditions say different things about how the fruits of karma are dispensed—whether naturally, or by some divine being—and what those fruits actually are. But the main idea is that karma locks you into a continuous cycle of death and rebirth (samsara). When you die, you die with a combination of good and bad karma—merit (punya) and demerit (papa)—resulting from your actions in all previous lives. In order to uphold justice, you must be reborn into another body so that your good actions awaiting reward can receive it, as can your bad actions awaiting punishment. The souls of those with higher merit are reincarnated in higher forms.  Continue reading

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Tee Time: Like Ketchup and Fries

Jesus and I are like ketchup and friesFound at c28.com.  The product description on the website reads as follows:  “What goes together better than ketchup and fries?  Although it’d be hard to argue that anything is, Jesus’ perfect love and you absolutely go better together.  1 Peter 4:8 tells us that Jesus’ love ‘covers a multitude of sins.’  When we give our lives to Christ and let Him cover our lives with His love, we become a perfect combination.”

Wow.  Getting creative with the metaphors, there.

The scripture reference on the ketch—I mean, Perfect Love—bottle is John 14:22-24, which records Jesus speaking to his heavenly dad:  “I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one—I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity…”

So who is God the Father in this scenario?  A burger?  A tomato patch, maybe?

And what might a side of unified fries look like?

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The Jesus Sutras (Part 5): The Five Skandhas

(For an introduction to this series, read Part 1. For a full English translation of all eight Jesus Sutras, check out Martin Palmer’s book of that name.)

In the Sutra of Cause, Effect, and Salvation, Jesus is presented as the incarnate soul of God. The gospel story is told as God putting on the Five Skandhas so that he can give us his karma and thereby liberate us from the punishment that would be ours, were we to rely on our own karma.

According to Buddhism, the Five Skandhas (also known as the “five aggregates,” the “five attributes,” or the “five heaps”) are what combine in an individual to create the illusion of self:

  1. Form (matter)
  2. Sensation (physical and emotional feelings)
  3. Perception (conceptualization, cognition, reasoning)
  4. Mental formations (volitional acts and predispositions)
  5. Consciousness (awareness)  Continue reading
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Tee Time: BRB

BRB T-shirt

Found at snorgtees.com.

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The Jesus Sutras (Part 4): Orthodoxy Established

(For an introduction to this series, read Part 1.)

All parenthetical chapter/verse references in this post, unless otherwise specified, are from what is known as the “First Sutra,” or “The Sutra of the Teachings of the World-Honored One.” The translation is Martin Palmer’s and can be read in full in his book The Jesus Sutras.

The First Sutra is the most orthodox of all the Jesus Sutras. It affirms, for example, the doctrines of original sin and penal substitutionary atonement:

As a lamb goes silently to be slaughtered so he was silent, not proclaiming what he had done, for he had to bear in his body the punishment of the Law. Out of love he suffered so that what Adam had caused should be changed by this. (4:18-19)

The sutra also proclaims the resurrection of Jesus, and by virtue of that, the resurrection of the saints. Just as God raised Jesus from the dead, so will he raise us, if we trust in him: Continue reading

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Tee Time: King of the Road

Jesus is King of the RoadWhat does this even mean?  Jesus drives an 18-wheeler?  Jesus is an 18-wheeler?  He smokes old stogies and don’t pay no union dues?

He “owns” the roads, maybe?

Perhaps the T-shirt designer was inspired by this Route 66 sign in Cuba, Missouri:

Jesus King of the Road sign

T-shirt found at jesusneedsnewpr.net.

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