No, I’m not talking about following Jesus (Yeshua) on Twitter, LOL!
I’m encouraging you to start a group called “Follow Jesus (Yeshua) Without Following the Church” or “Messianic Liberationists of (whatever your place’s name is)” or whatever you like. The point, you REALLY follow the Scriptures. And the first step is to purposely NOT follow what Evangelicals, Pentecostals, Catholics, Orthodox, Liberal or other Protestants, or sects such as Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, Seventh Day Adventists, Local Church, etc say and do.
If you live near Vancouver, BC, Canada, contact me at dimitri.pravdinATmail.ru to start a group. I would love to see groups popping up everywhere. As in the book The Spider and the Starfish, true Starfish organisations don’t need a charismatic leader or a centralised system. The movement, or series of movements is an IDEA which can never be defeated or swept away by Fascists.
Here is a description I have used about the potential group. Yes, it’s rather wordy. If you can improve on it, please e-mail me. I tried this on Meetup.com, but I realise that over the next few months, the best way to attract people is to go out face-to-face and meet people all over the local community. Here goes:
Group name: Follow Jesus (Yeshua) Without Following the Church
Group headline: Welcome!
Group description (What is this Meetup’s purpose? Who should join? Why?):
Gandhi is reported to have said: “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ. The materialism of affluent Christian countries appears to contradict the claims of Jesus Christ that says it’s not possible to worship both Mammon and God at the same time.”
When I first read Sacred Scriptures (the Bible) many years ago, I was very interested in Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ). I began to “follow” Him. But when I began attending a local church, I noticed a huge gap between what I had been reading in Scriptures for a couple years on my own, and what I saw in the church. Indeed, it was 2 different things altogether. But I ignored my alarm and discomfort, and went on to spending several years in the churches. Until recently. After much historical research and comparing reality with the Bible, I finally concluded that the faith Yeshua taught has nothing to do with the Christian religion, which early on in the game became mixed with politics and several non-Biblical philosophies. Indeed, you could say that the spiritual movement Yeshua initiated has been hijacked over many centuries by less-than-sincere people, and unquestioningly followed as “The Way”.
I say that the faith has been “hijacked”, meaning that it taken and twisted by politicians, turned into the POLAR OPPOSITE of what Yeshua intended. Where He says, “Love Yahweh (the Creator) with all your heart, soul, mind and strength”, those claiming Yeshua’s name love money, fame and power. As Gandhi noticed, Christianity became one of the most materialist religions on the planet. And where Yeshua commands us to “love our neighbours as we love ourselves”, sure, we love ourselves, no problem. But we despise neighbours such as Muslims, First Nations, Europeans, gays, atheists, Buddhists, Sikhs, Hindus, etc. One could say that those who have claimed Christ’s name over the centuries have been some of the most intolerant people on Planet Earth.
I aim to set up a small group seeking to follow the Sacred Scriptures and Yeshua OUTSIDE OF Christianity, a religion I believe has disqualified itself as representing the Messiah due to its warlike, genocidal nature, i.e., robbing First Nations of the land here in the “Americas”, fighting Muslims & others, its materialism and greed, and generally the way it has handled issues such as homosexuality, abortion, evolution, climate change, politics, social change, etc.
No wonder First Nations, modern Europeans, Turtle Island (North American) Youth, Muslims, atheists, Buddhists, Sikhs, Hindus, etc. don’t want to have anything to do with Yeshua (Jesus). It’s because the CHURCHES have discredited His name! I once met a First Nations man near Whistler, BC, who told me when I mentioned Yeshua: “Oh Jesus, THAT ***#%&*!” During my state of utter shock, the man told me how a Roman Catholic priest had raped him as a small boy. Then I realised it: Christians have not been representing Yeshua, the Prince of Peace and Light of the World at all. They have been working for the Other Side, often unconsciously, if you know what I mean!
The top priority of our group is to love Yahweh wholeheartedly and our neighbours as ourselves. To live out the Core Values of “doing to others as you’d like them to do to you”, which are the values of Yah’s Kingdom. We take the Sacred Scriptures as our main text for living, but there are myriads of other great books and purveyors of truth that guide us into surviving in the Matrix.
As in the 1999 film called The Matrix, I believe that our society has been getting further and further from reality. We deny that the environment is getting alarmingly worse. We pretend that our federal, provincial and local governments are becoming more Fascist (see the characteristics of Fascism at http://www.secularhumanism.org/index.php?section=library&page=britt_23_2, where “Fascism” tendencies we see now in our Western countries can be described in the following (remember the books1984 and Brave New World?):
1. Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism. 2. Disdain for the importance of human rights. 3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause. 4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism. 5. Rampant sexism. 6. A controlled mass media. 7. Obsession with national security. 8. Religion and ruling elite tied together. 9. Power of corporations protected.10. Power of labor suppressed or eliminated. 11. Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts.12. Obsession with crime and punishment. 13. Rampant cronyism and corruption. 14. Fraudulent elections.
Sound like the Matrix to you? Here are a couple quotes from The Matrix movie:
“Morpheus: The Matrix is everywhere. It’s all around us, even in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work, when you go to church, when you pay your taxes. The Matrix is the world that has been pulled over your eyes, to blind you from the truth . . . that you are a slave . . . Like everyone else, you were born into bondage, born into a prison that you cannot smell or taste or touch. A prison…for your mind….Unfortunately, no one can be . . . told what the Matrix is . . . you have to see it for yourself.
The Matrix is a system . . . That system is our enemy. But when you’re inside, you look around. What do you see? Business people, teachers, lawyers, carpenters. The very minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are still a part of that system . . . You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged [set free from the System]. And many of them are so inert, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it.
Agent Smith: [Humans] are not actually mammals. Every mammal on this planet instinctively develops a natural equilibrium with the surrounding environment, but you humans do not. You move to an area, and you multiply, and multiply, until every natural resource is consumed. The only way you can survive is to spread to another area. There is another organism on this planet that follows the same pattern. A virus. Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet, you are a plague . . .”
On the one hand, we have the Matrix, a System where governments and corporations are controlling our lives more and more every day. Then we have humanity spreading like a virus, destroying the environment and ourselves. And yet, unlike the film, WE built the Matrix. Call it the Anglo-American Empire, call it globalisation, call it the New World Order, can it whatever you like. It’s a System that does not have our best interests at heart. It’s Fascist, and it often uses Yeshua’s name to prop itself up.
Unlike the Matrix movie, there is no Neo to save us. But there is the Messiah – Yeshua, the One who has been “kidnapped” by others for centuries. Christians and others have hijacked the true faith as revealed in the Old and New Testaments of the Scriptures. It’s time to, as Rage Against The Machine once sang, TAKE THE POWER BACK, and to follow the REAL Messiah. And in a sense, this means that Yeshua the Messiah makes us get off our backsides and save ourselves rather than being a passive pawn in the game.
Our group, which we call Messianic Liberationists of Turtle Island (MLTI), welcomes anyone interested in finding out more about the Messiah, whom we see as the Light in a dark world. Anyone who wants to put His words into practice.
We are social justice activists for both people and the environment, and stand on the side of the poor and oppressed, giving a hand UP not just handOUTS, all while contributing to our communities, Turtle Island (North America) and the globe.
And NO, we’re not Messianic Jews or Nazarenes or Liberation Theologians. We are something utterly new, while being . . . a bit familiar . . .
My ultimate goal is to be like the examples of the book The Starfish and the Spider: The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations, a leaderless movement that spreads globally, bring people to the REAL MESSIAH who doesn’t just provide a Ticket to Heaven, but changes us spiritually in our self-knowledge, relationships, finances, health, values, ideology, attitudes and actions.
I would like to see multiple groups spread all over Turtle Island, with our own strong identity, and yet without relying on charismatic leaders. It’s like the P2P pirating websites: no matter which site gets taken out by the record labels, it still keeps popping up. Or the Apaches who fought off the Spanish in the southern US for 200 years. Other examples include the British abolitionist movement against slavery, the women’s suffrage movement, craigslist, youtube, eBay, wikipedia, AA, etc. What’s the secret to their success? Because it’s an IDEA, not an organised religion/company/group. As Rage Against The Machine (along with Tool) sang: “You can kill the Revolutionary, but you can’t kill the Revolution!”
What will we do when we meet? Play with our smart phones! Jes’ joking 🙂 No, we will follow 1 Corinthians 15:26 (CJB):
“What is our conclusion, brothers & sisters? Whenever you come together, let everyone be ready with a psalm or a teaching or a revelation, or ready to use his gift of tongues or give an interpretation; but let everything be for edification.”
In others words, we all share. Remember your Kindergarten class’ “Show & Tell” time? Similar idea. No pastor, no priest or father, no guru. Sure, we could use people with leadership characteristics, but the ultimate is to train every individual to develop the leader within themselves.
We meet in restaurants, coffee shops, parks, houses, office buildings, etc. Anywhere except a religious building such as a church or temple. No, we are common people meeting in common places.
Contact dimitri.pravdin(*a*)mail.ru for more info on gathering times and places.
Check out http://sleeplessinturtleisland.blogspot.ca/2012/04/new-spiritual-movement-from.html and other Sleepless In Turtle Island blogposts for a more thorough description of my vision for worldwide revolution(s). Hope to hear from you!
What are members called? (This phrase is used in emails and throughout this group’s pages. For example, an email might say “37 Messiah-Followers or Wannabes have RSVPed for tomorrow’s Meetup.”): Messiah-Followers or Wannabes