Friday, 25 September 2009

Conversation between Andrew Bindon (me) and James Prescott

James Prescott
What we have to remember is we are not
called either to be rebels or to be conformists. We are called to
follow Jesus, whatever the implications of that. If we appear
non-conformist or conformist, or rebels, as a result of this then
so be it. But ultimately its finding the real Jesus and being
obedient to Him and His calls on our lives which really matters. I
am currently reading 'The Orthodox Heretic' at the moment and
finding it quite interesting, and have just bought 'How Not to
Speak of God', which I am looking forward to even more now.
Interesting post.

Andrew Bindon
The example of Jesus's life was not to be a
follower of anyone... he wasn't.

James Prescott
Jesus showed us that the best way to live
was the way He lived - the way of God. He was obedient to God
and lived the way God always wanted us to live, and made it
possible for us to live that life.
4 hours ago

Andrew Bindon
In the same way that Mohamed was not a
follower of Mohamed, and Moses was not a follower of Moses,
Jesus was not a follower of Jesus. The example these great
spiritual leaders set was to live lives of radical spiritual
leadership. They engaged in their relationship with the eternal
to such a degree that their engagement became a blessing to all
of us.

James Prescott
Jesus wasn't a follower of Jesus, of course
not. But He was the Son Of God, and was at once 100% man
and 100% God - as complex as that sounds (and its probably
even more complex to explain and understand). He showed us
in His life how God wants us to live as human beings, and made
it possible for us to live that life. Jesus engaged with God in a
way none of us could, and through His sacrifice allowed us all to
engage with God in that way. Whether we do and how much we
do this is ultimately our choice.

Andrew Bindon
What I'm suggesting is that Jesus engaged
with God in a way that all of us could. If we could not then all
our spiritual endeavours would be futile. That we do engage
with God in that way is the direction where the hope of
humanity for a better world lies. If we are to learn from his
example, we should not be a follower of anyone, we should
especially not be a follower of Jesus - that would be to exactly
miss the point of his life and turn his ministry into a false idol.

James Prescott
Jesus asked his disciples to follow Him, and in
Gesthemene he prayed for all his followers, and all who 'would
believe in me through their message'. Jesus engaged fully with
God because while he was 100% human he was also 100% God.
He showed us that this type of life is possible, and that God
wants to be fully engaged in our lives, in the everyday. The
point of Jesus life was to show us how God wants to live and
that following the way of God, and God's original intention for humanity, as embodied by Jesus, is the best way to live, and
furthermore to open us up to a full relationship with Him through
His death and resurrection. Jesus showed us that we could fully
engage with God and made it possible. Jesus wants us to follow
Him in as much as He wants us to engage with God in the way
He did, and be obedient to God as He was. Jesus was obedient
to and submitted to God's plan. Jesus and his ministry is no false
idol though, Jesus is the Son of God.

James Prescott
Jesus had a special anointing and gifting from
God, and was the Son of God, both at once fully man - in terms
of temptations, expereiences and emotions - but also fully God -
totally without sin. He was tempted how we are all tempted, but
didn't give into temptation once. Because of that He was able to
make the sacrifice for the rest of us, which not only made a
relationship with God fully available, but also set in motion the
restoration of all things in heaven and earth, so that heaven
and earth are once again the same place. Jesus showed us a
'new humanity', which in reality is the 'original humanity' God
always intended for us.

Andrew Bindon
I think there is a misunderstanding around the
idea Jesus "wants us to follow him". Wittgenstein pointed out
how once you have climbed the ladder of understanding you
must throw the ladder away. The ladder is not the point. The
ladder only gets you to where you are going, like a signpost that
points you the way. Otherwise life becomes about the signpost,
rather than the direction it is pointing in. It is a mistake to think
that life is about Jesus, in the same way that it is a mistake to
think that a signpost pointing towards London is itself London.

James Prescott
You're talking about Jesus as just some minor
prophet from 2000 years ago, when I don't believe that. I
believe He was different to any man before or since, fully God
while at the same time sharing all the expereinces and
temptations we have. Jesus wants us to live the life God always
intended for us, and He showed us how to do this on a very
basic level and also made it fully possible through the cross. I
call myself a follower of Jesus, because I try to live my life
around the values and lifestyle he stood for, and by His
teachings about God and life. Obviously I am not him and never
will be. But Jesus embodied an atttiude, a way of life, a way of
living and seeing the world and other people, and a basic set of
principles, and He asks us all to follow those and make those
part of our everyday. In that sense He does want us to be His
followers. Jesus makes sense of our lives, and points us in a
direction different that maybe we would want or expect, of
course He does. He helps us see our true identity and is a
guide, freind and teacher along the road to discovering our true
selves and the role God wants for us in the world, and ultimately
in discovering the reality of God in our everyday lives, and
making it more of a reality.

Andrew Bindon
Thank you very much for our conversation
today James, I have enjoyed discussing this with you. (In
between trying to get some work done!) Clearly we don't agree
about some things, but I think that on the whole we agree
about more than we disagree.
I wonder if you would permit me to reproduce our conversation
on my blog, EcstaticUnion.blogspot.com . I think that the
wider community might be interested in what we each have to
say about this.

James Prescott
Feel free to reproduce this on your
blog..though would be great if you allowed me to put it on mine
as well, jamespressgang.wordpress.com , if that's
okay. It has been an interesting conversation to be sure.

James Prescott
One thing I ask, is that you don't misinterpret
what I say and to allow me to correct your interpretation of my
words if I feel its been miscommunicated.

Andrew Bindon
Hooray, everybody is happy! Those are the kinds endings I like. 8-)

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