I became a Christian during the Jesus Movement of the early 1970’s. I look back with a fond nostalgia to that time. It was an exciting time to be alive, to be a believer in Jesus. Yes, there were many troubling things happening in our country, in the world. Yet despite the troubles God was moving in mighty and dramatic ways. How many thousands, if not millions, of young people came to Christ during that time? Some of the excitement of that era is captured in the film Woodlawn. (If you haven’t seen it, you should check it out.) At the climax of the movie emphasis is placed on an iconic image from the Jesus Movement—the “One Way” symbol. It was a common emblem in those days. Young believers would hold up their hand with the index finger extended. You would see posters emblazoned with a picture of a hand with one finger raised, boldly proclaiming “One Way.” (I used to draw that symbol on the back of my school notebooks.) It was a simple yet effective statement of faith in Jesus. We all were declaring, “Jesus is the only way!” Continue reading
“Axiom 1: SURVIVE!” Thus declared L. Ron Hubbard, delineating the Primary Axioms of Dianetics in 1948. A few years later, in 1951, he described the Eight Dynamics which are foundational for Dianetics and Scientology. Here he stated, “The FIRST DYNAMIC is SELF. This is the effort to survive as an individual, to be an individual. It includes one’s own body and one’s own mind. It is the effort to attain the highest level of survival for the longest possible time for self.”*
Lately I have been studying Scientology in preparation for a seminar on the group coming up next week. Scientology is a complex system, with a very convoluted process of advancement and an equally complicated belief structure. But wading through books by Hubbard and books about Scientology I have come to see that Hubbard’s declaration in 1948 is a fundamental, if not the fundamental, concept of the entire system of Scientology. It is all about SURVIVAL. Continue reading
First light. A new day is just beginning. But for the Son of God, it will be his last day of natural life on this earth.
He sighs. He has been through so much in just the past few hours. Betrayal by a friend; betrayal with a kiss. Arrest. Mocking. The sham of a trial. False accusers and false charges. Utter rejection and feigned horror at the truth He spoke. “Blasphemy!” Now, he has been brought to the Roman governor, to face yet another inquisition, to be charged and found guilty for speaking God’s own truth.
He can hear the city beginning to stir. This is a big day. Passover. In the Temple morning worship is beginning. Incense and prayers and songs. Right now the morning sacrifice is being prepared to be slain, made ready to be offered up to God. An innocent lamb. Right now the eternal sacrifice is being prepared to be crucified, made ready to be offered to God for the people. The Lamb of God. Continue reading