Wingnuts Must Be Wingnuts!

Wingnuts Must Be Wingnuts!

Last year a couple of close friends of ours told us about an anarchist’s house in Richmond called the Wingnut House. As one might imagine, I was curious. I had to see it. The more we learned about the house the more I wanted to see it.news30_wingnut

The Wingnut house was a large home in the Barton Heights area of Richmond. It was an anarchist collective. The folks there believed in a variety of things… such as mutual aid, anti-authoritarianism, and direct action. The house was generally open to the public, it was a drug-free/ alcohol-free place where food, live music, community,  and, I’m sure, spirited debate were in ample supply.

At the core of anarchism is the belief that the governments of mankind are illegitimate and bring mostly oppression, poverty, and violence. There are actually a few tenets of anarchism that, I think, have a ring of truth about them. But anyway on with the story… you’re gonna love this.

So our friends got in the church van with us and began showing us the way to the Wingnut House. I was excited! So as we pulled alongside the house what struck us was that large portions of the house were covered in expertly painted murals containing various themes and messages relating to the care of humanity and anti-authoritarianism. On the front of the house there was said to be a mural dedicated to people killed by the State and I wanted to see it but there was a one-way street in front of the house and I didn’t want to drive all the way around the block so… yep you guessed it.

I thought, “What the heck, it’s an anarchy house so we’ll “stick it to the man” and drive the wrong way down the one-way street. (Since there was nothing coming in this quiet neighborhood) So picture it, we’re in the Richmond Grace church van, going the wrong way down a one-way street just to see a mural painted on an Anarchist Collective house called- The Wingnut. It is one of my favorite memories.

What happened next shocked me. (No we didn’t get pulled over by the police, that would not have shocked me) There were about a dozen or so people sitting on the front porch and steps of the house and as we passed by some began to shout at us that we were going the wrong way!

Can you believe it? The anarchists were upset that we were going against the signs put up by man-made governments. I began to laugh and then it hit me and I thought, “Be what you are.”

I must confess as we passed by the house going against the designated flow of traffic I was eager to receive accolades from the anarchists. I awaited my fist pumps and upward turned thumbs but… it didn’t happen. I’m not sure why my “anarchy” wasn’t celebrated but it got me thinking.

Do we, as believers, sometimes find ourselves unwilling to celebrate the achievements and freedoms of those who might not think and believe as we do? I catch myself sometimes grumbling to the Father, Son, and Spirit about the blessings and successes of those around me who don’t give nearly as much time, energy, and resources to the life of the Church, who perhaps don’t give God a second thought, and maybe don’t even believe there is a God.

As a Gospel preacher I know that “Jesus gives life and breath and all things to all mortals” (Acts 17:25) Notice that Paul distinguishes life from breath. The Greek word for life is zoe, meaning spiritual life. Yes Trinity and Humanity reader… Jesus gives you life with His Father in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit and he gives it to your Buddhist, Atheist, Agnostic, or Muslim neighbor. The difference is, that when we begin to see and believe, our minds are transformed and we begin to recognize that Jesus is truly at the center of everything we do. It’s a Gospel fact, but much of the prevailing thought in our day would have us believe otherwise. Believing the Gospel in the world might just be a little like going the wrong way on a one-way street.

So our mission, as those who believe and especially at Trinity and Humanity, is to inform and educate every person in the world that they have been included in the Triune Life of the Father, Son, and Spirit. Whether that message is popular or widely accepted is only an indication of how much work there is for us to do as “Gospel educators.” Sometimes, to get the message out, it’s okay to go against the flow of traffic or be called a nut… I’ve been called worse.

 

~Bill Winn

The Godly Meaning Of The Bronze Serpent

Numbers 21 Serpent - Jesus

Part 1, 25 mins :https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/16-10-23-the-godly-meaning-of-the-bronze-serpent-part-1-numbers-21-tah.mp3”

Part 2, 25 mins :https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/16-10-23-the-godly-meaning-of-the-bronze-serpent-part-2-numbers-21-tah.mp3”

Full Message:https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/16-10-23-the-godly-meaning-of-the-bronze-serpent-numbers-21-tah.mp3”

Theological Theme: God our Father sent His Son Jesus to become sin in order to conquer sin.

Christ Connection: Just as the Israelites looked upon the bronze serpent lifted high on the pole and were healed, so also we look with faith upon Jesus Christ, who was lifted high on the cross, and experience Salvation from our sin.

Missional Application: Because Christ has become sin for us, getting rid of it, God the Holy Spirit empowers us to share with others that they, too, can and should look upon Jesus, receiving his love shown deepest on the cross, and receive spiritual healing.

*picture courtesy of markglogg.eu

 

When Faith In God Fails

Numbers 13-14 When Faith Fails 1

Part 1, 25 mins :https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/16-10-09-what-happens-when-faith-in-god-fails-part-1-numbers-13-14-tah.mp3”

Part 2, 25 mins :https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/16-10-09-what-happens-when-faith-in-god-fails-part-2-numbers-13-14-tah.mp3”%5D%5B/audio%5D

Full Message: “https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/16-10-09-what-happens-when-faith-in-god-fails-numbers-13-14-tah.mp3”

 

Theological Theme: Our Lord Father disciplines and redeems the faithless for the glory of His name.

Christ Connection: When Israel was tempted in the wilderness, the people failed to trust the Lord and faced 40 years of wandering. When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness for 40 days, He remained faithful. Through His obedience, He became the representative who pleads for all humanity before the Lord.

Missional Application: God the Holy Spirit calls us not to conquer the nations but to take the gospel to them no matter the obstacles, knowing that His power and wisdom is greater than our own.

*photo courtesy of tbjfansuk.wordpress.com

The Law’s Blessing and Curse

Deut 10-11 Jesus redeemed us from the curse of the law

Part 1, 24 mins :https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/16-10-02-the-laws-blessing-and-curse-part-a-deuteronomy-10-11-tah-guest-andrews.mp3”

Part 2, 24 mins :https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/16-10-02-the-laws-blessing-and-curse-part-b-deuteronomy-10-11-tah-guest-andrews.mp3”

Full Sermon:https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/16-10-02-the-laws-blessing-and-curse-deuteronomy-10-11-tah-guest-andrews.mp3”

 

Theological Theme: The law is God the Father’s good gift [holy, just and good], but it cannot save us from the penalty of disobedience.

Christ Connection: Obedience to God-Father, Son and Spirit’s law brings a blessing. Breaking God’s law brings a curse. Jesus is the One who took the curse of our law-breaking humanity in order that we might experience the blessing of His law-keeping humanity, all of Grace!

Missional ApplicationIn response to the awesome works He has accomplished for us Jesus sends us His Holy Spirit, conforming us to Himself as we participate in and reflect His character toward others.

*picture courtesy of knowing-jesus.com

Jesus is the Ultimate Atonement and Sacrifice, Part 2

Jesus is the ultimate Atonement

Part 1: “https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/16-09-23-jesus-is-the-ultimate-atonement-and-sacrifice-part-a-leviticus-5-hebrews-9-13-tah-guest-marra.mp3”

Part 2: “https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/16-09-23-jesus-is-the-ultimate-atonement-and-sacrifice-part-b-leviticus-5-hebrews-9-13-tah-guest-marra.mp3”

Full Sermon: “https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/03/16-09-23-jesus-is-the-ultimate-atonement-and-sacrifice-part-2-leviticus-5-hebrews-9-13-tah-guest-marra.mp3”

Theological Theme: The sin offering represented the purification of the people before Our Father. The restitution offering addressed the damage of depriving others of their rightful due, and it served to cleanse the offender’s conscience.

Christ Connection: These offerings point forward to Christ, whose work purifies our hearts, cleanses our consciences, and frees us to do good deeds for His glory.

Missional Application: God the Holy Spirit calls us to offer others the hope of purification and cleansing that comes only through trusting in Jesus Christ.

*picture courtesy of velocity.net

Colorblind? How Do We See?

I recently watched a short video about a new product that allows people, who suffer with the most common form of colorblindness to see a fuller color spectrum.  There are a good many “sciencey” words that describe what’s gone wrong in a person’s eyes to cause colorblindness and I don’t understand them but the problem is very real for almost 8% of humanity.ebu_colorbars-768x576

What if there were a new set of lenses through which a colorblind person could see  in full color HD like the other 92%? Would you want the colorblind to know? Wouldn’t we tell anyone in our lives who suffers from colorblindness about this amazing way to see? Of course we would.

So how do we see God? How do we see ourselves? How do we see each other? I would venture to say that way more than 8% of us see God, each other, and ourselves in unhealthy ways.

Can we be honest and confess that we see… oh… how shall I put it… “dimly”? I certainly can tell you I am no different than the Apostle Paul. I, too, see through the glass dimly. None of us are immune to this condition. I am a GCI Pastor preaching Trinitarian theology as clearly as I can, I am mentored by some of the finest theologians alive today, and I even write for a blog called Trinity and Humanity but I still see through the glass dimly. I still struggle with the latent mythologies about God that hold over from my youth.

In spite of what I know about the Father, Son, and Spirit I sometimes catch myself fearing the wrath of an angry judge instead of resting in the embrace of a loving Father.

So what do we do about it? We simply change the lens through which we see God. Easier said than done, I know, but this is where prayer enters in. So what’s the cure? What lens are we looking for? We need only ask John who (not what) that lens is… John the beloved disciple recorded for us these words of Jesus, “If you have seen me you have seen my Father.” ( Jn 14:9) Saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay what? Yes, Jesus- the totally chill, inviting, accepting, forgiving, providing, and healing God/Man is exactly like his Papa.

Jesus is the only lens through which we accurately see God. He is the only lens through which we best see others and the only lens through which we see our true selves.  Seeing is believing, so they say, and when we join the saints and the great cloud of witnesses and begin to look at everything through Jesus we will see our fellow man as ones worthy of love, we will see ourselves worthy of love, and we will will see the Father, Son, and Spirit as the source of worth and love.

The new EnChroma (TM) lenses allow the colorblind to see a more colorful world but the lens of Jesus Christ helps us see Love as we could only dare to dream!

Let’s pray, “Father, we want to see you through the eyes of Jesus, we want to see others the way he does, and we want to see ourselves with the same love and acceptance that is made known to us only in our Savior! In Jesus’ name… Amen.”

you may view the EnChroma video here

video used under Fair Use for educational purposes.

~Bill Winn

Fixing Our Eyes on Jesus

Recently my daughter, Abby, and I have been golfing together. She’s eleven and very new to the game so I am careful not to give her much instruction or set her expectations too high. Right now she just starts each hole at 50 yards and works her way in. She is making par on some holes already and seems to enjoy going with me.golf-course

For Abby and I, the chance to be together outdoors is what makes our golf outings most enjoyable. But… there is another thing that excites her. Once we get out to a flat area of the course I move over and let her drive the cart. Now I know what Harvey Penick said, “In my opinion, no young player can develop his or her game to its highest potential if he or she rides around the course in a golf cart.” But… renting a cart and letting her drive it is another way to keep my younger daughter interested in the game and, if all goes well, maybe she’ll fall in love with golf and go to college on an athletic scholarship.

So the first time Abby ever drove the cart she made me seasick!! She was literally swerving from one edge of the cart path to the other. Thankfully she wasn’t going very fast but in any case we were driving twice as far as we were going, if you catch my drift. (see what I did there)

Finally, I asked her a question, “Abby, are you looking at the cart path right in front of the cart or are you looking out ahead a few yards?” She responded by telling me that, indeed, she was focused on what was immediately in front of her.

I made the recommendation that she keep her focus a short distance ahead of the cart and after that she did well. She drove the whole back 9 and only bumped the curb once. I was highly impressed with her hand-eye coordination, timing, and skill… and that was just in handling the cart, not to mention the half dozen times she made bogey or par.

Arriving home, I told my wife that there was surely a spiritual lesson in the cart driving experience Abby had that day. Well, I think there is and I think this is it:

Too often in our walk with the Father, Son, and Spirit we are tempted to focus too much on what is right in front of us. We get focused on our doubts, our financial situation, our politics, or the latest “ism” or “schism” the Christian Church is talking about. What we may find helpful is to keep our eye on the Big Picture… his name is Jesus. Sure we must keep watch for what is right in front of us but our main focus should always be on Jesus, as he relates to our Father, in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, and our inclusion in that life of love.

Yes, rather than bump and weave our way through life from one side of things to another, perhaps we’d be a lot better off paying heed to these words found in Hebrews 12:

Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, (emphasis mine) the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

FORE!!!

~Bill Winn

Jesus is the Ultimate Atonement and Sacrifice, Part 1

leviticus-1-atonement

Part 1:https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/02/16-09-18-jesus-is-the-ultimate-atonement-and-sacrifice-part-1a-leviticus-1-e28093-3-i-john-2-1-2-tah.mp3”

Part 2:https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/02/16-09-18-jesus-is-the-ultimate-atonement-and-sacrifice-part-1b-leviticus-1-e28093-3-i-john-2-1-2-tah.mp3”

Full Sermon:https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/02/16-09-18-jesus-is-the-ultimate-atonement-and-sacrifice-part-1-leviticus-1-e28093-3-i-john-2-1-2-tah.mp3”

Theological Theme: The burnt offering was for the removal of the people’s guilt before God; the grain offering restored Israel to serve God and neighbor, and the fellowship offering was for the reconciliation between God the Father and His people.

Christ Connection: Because of Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice, we celebrate the removal of our guilt before God, the freedom to serve God on His mission, and the restoration of our relationship with God – Father, Son and Spirit.

Missional Application: Because we who share in Christ’s life have been freed from our guilt, God the Holy Spirit calls us to serve Him by serving others.

*photo courtesy of pinterest.com

What Surprised Me About PATMOS

One expects certain things from a Baxter Kruger book, such as really good theology, stories about fish, the phrase “truth of all truths,” and references to Cajun cooking. In this, PATMOS delivers as expected.  Add to that some SHACK-like trini-magical realism, and the result is an edifying and enjoyable book full of Baxter’s familiar blend of God-talk and fart jokes.

What I didn’t expect was the Holy Spirit.

In PATMOS I found a Baxter Kruger book packed with pneumatology.  For years I’ve heard him mention that he’s been doing some thinking on the Holy Spirit, but I never heard him say much more than that.  Well now we can definitely say his thinking here has arrived at where it’s been going all these years.

This is welcome news for me, because I’ve had like a couple dozen pneumatologies through the years, and I’m tired of being so flaky about it. relationshipwithinnerpentecostal

Baxter has a knack for casting his line to people like me who live in theologically flaky clouds, and reeling us in to land us on something solid, something like Rock. He’s done this to me a couple times now, and this could be Number Three.

As I now flop about, gasping, on this new ground, what I see is a sort of Krugerian thumbs-up to my Inner Pentecostal.  That part of me who thinks I may have 1). Heard God talk to me a few times, 2). Healed a friend’s damaged kneecap, and 3). Spoke in tongues once.  I’m hearing from Baxter that maybe that part of me is theologically legitimate, that this part of me fits in the real world of the Triune God.

That said, I’m not certain I agree with Baxter here. I’ve grown a lot less Pentecostal in recent years, and that has its benefits.  For example, I spend a lot less time worrying about being crazy.  But Kruger has steered me in good directions before, so I plan to give him a big fat benefit of the doubt.

There is such a thing as infantile greedy swindling Pentecostalism with big hair and small brains.  I’m not going back to that.

But what I see in PATMOS is not that.  I see the Apostle John live in easy rhythm with the Holy Spirit as his constant, real, practical connection to the Incarnate Son in face-to-face union with the Father.  And it wasn’t smarmy or weird.  It was kind of cool.

So yeah, I’m not done thinking about this.  Give PATMOS a read, and tell me what you think.

—————————–

Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from SpeakEasy in exchange for an honest review.

Jesus Is The Tabernacle Of God The Trinity

jesus-the-tabernacle-2

Part 1:https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/16-09-04-jesus-is-the-tabernacle-of-god-the-trinity-part-a-exodus-25-40-tah.mp3”

Part 2:https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/16-09-04-jesus-is-the-tabernacle-of-god-the-trinity-part-b-exodus-25-40-tah.mp3”

Full Sermon:https://trinityandhumanity.files.wordpress.com/2017/01/16-09-04-jesus-is-the-tabernacle-of-god-the-trinity-exodus-25-40-tah.mp3”

 

Theological Theme: The tabernacle was built so it would be possible for our holy, unique and one-of-a-kind relational God to dwell among a sinful people.

Christ Connection: God instructed the Israelites to build a tabernacle so that He could dwell with them. God wants to be with His people. For this reason, God the Father later sent His Son, Jesus, to “tabernacle,” or dwell, with us.

Missional Application: As the people in whom God, Father, Son and Spirit dwells, we are called to manifest His glorious presence in the world in which we live.

*photo courtesy of slideshare.net

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