Monday, June 30, 2014

GUEST BLOG: Two-Sides To The Cross by Brandon Chase

The Path of Jesus led Him up a hill with a Cross on His back. Ultimately, He would be nailed to this Cross, and breathe His last upon it.

Those who seek to come after Him will assuredly encounter the same.
“Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps
Most Christians are only familiar with one side of the Cross, that being of the side of Christ bearing the weight of the world’s sins, ultimately to death, for our atonement and Salvation. Thank God for this finished work that makes us one with Him.
But Christ was not only on the Cross, suffering for us; He was on the Cross as an example for us. The first side of the Cross is for the sinner; the second side for the follower, the disciple. The Gate was for the sinner; The Path is for the follower.
Jesus said the way to The Path, The Gate, was narrow. He is the only Way. But as The Gate is narrow, so too is The Path, and few find it.
But Jesus said that Life was at the end of The Path, not at the beginning, just inside The Gate. Again, He was speaking of something much richer than an ending destination of Heaven versus Hell. He was speaking of an Eternal reality of Divine Abundance in Life in the Kingdom now.
This is a process. This Life, while promised at the end of The Path, is realized little by little along the Way – as He is increased, and we are decreased. This is the Law of Life. He will become more; we will become less. Life and Freedom are manifested in the process.
Jesus is both Substitute and Example; both Savior and Lord; both Author and Perfecter; both the Narrow Gate and the Difficult Path.
If there is any doubt as to the reason for a lack of Freedom in our lives as Christians, we need only examine our ultimate posture towards the Cross. Is the Cross something that Jesus saved us from, or something that Jesus saved us for? The fruit, or the lack thereof, will bear witness either way. The fruit of Freedom cannot be ripe and abundant without the full, two-sided work of the Cross.
So we may ask: Can we enter the Gate but not walk the Path? Can we be saved and go to heaven and not follow? Can Jesus be Savior and not Lord? I believe, as I’ve said, that these can, by His Grace. But this forfeits so much, and is most assuredly not Freedom. So my question to the question is then:
How free do we want to be?
Freedom is not merely embracing one side of the Cross, the side for Salvation, or simply Jesus as The Gate, as Savior. We must “continue” in His Word. We must put what we say we believe into action. We must make our faith seen in works. Jesus said make disciples, not simply believers. He wants a people who will follow Him in The Path, not just step through The Gate.

Jesus’ side of the Cross was done for us, 2000 years ago, once and for all, for our Salvation, the forgiveness of our sins – The Gate. Our side of the Cross is required of us daily, a continual following in discipleship, for our Spiritual Growth, maturity and Freedom – The Path.

Jesus came to announce a new King and a new Kingdom. This is the full Gospel. When we die, we then are raised – new species as citizens of this new, upside-down Kingdom, where:

*Wisdom is foolishness
Winning is losing
Lower is higher
* Servants are leaders
* Power is weakness
Life is through death
The Kingdom Way, the Way of Freedom, is not to be delivered from death, but to be delivered by death, and through death, as resurrected into a new Life, one that is no longer ours. An acorn must fall to the ground and die to fulfill its purpose – that not only a new tree would grow in its place, but an entire forest of trees!

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” –Jesus Christ

-Brandon Chase


Go check out Brandon's blog, Zōē Perissos (, and make sure and subscribe ( to receive all of his blog posts, as well as the FREE eBook The Path of Freedom: Few find it. Fewer walk it. Be one of the few."



Monday, June 23, 2014

[SUBVERSIVE PODCAST] Casting My Cares On Him

We all know that scripture tells us to cast our cares upon the Lord because He cares for us, but what about when we do that and nothing happens? We still have our pain, our sadness, our despair and our loneliness. What good is that?

In this podcast, Keith shares some intimate and honest reflection on what the Lord has been showing him about how to actually receive the peace and joy that God intends us to take away when we actually cast our cares upon the One who loves us.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

The Gospel According to Philip K. Dick

In case you don’t know, Philip K. Dick (PKD) is one of the most prolific and unique science fiction authors of the 20th century. He's also one of my favorite authors of all time. His novels (36 of them) and short stories (121 of those) explore philosophical themes and metaphysical concepts including the nature of reality, and the questions of sanity, perception, identity and spirituality.

Several of his novels have been made into films since his death in 1982. Most notably, “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?”, (which became the basis for the film “Blade Runner”), and “Minority Report”, as well as “A Scanner Darkly”, "Adjustment Bureau" and “Total Recall”. However, his body of work has yet to be fully discovered by Hollywood just yet, and that is fine with me seeing as most of his ideas have been ruined by film and not particularly enhanced by it.

As a resident of Orange County, California, I am also interested in the fact that PKD lived and died here. His novels include streets and restaurants that I am familiar with. The library near my house includes several first editions of his books with authographs on the inside front cover. This is the very place that PKD lived his life and wrote most of his stories.

I recently read (and reviewed) his book “Radio Free Albemuth” which was discovered and published after his death. In the book, Dick incorporates many of his own spiritual, political and philosophical views into the story, even going so far as to include his own personal experiences as well.

The book is about PKD himself as a main character and also a fictitious person named Nicholas Brady who begins receiving messages and visions from a being who may, or may not, be God Himself.

At one point near the end of the book, PKD encounters a former pastor while he is imprisoned for crimes against the fascist dictator of America. The pastor, Leon, and PKD engage in a dialog about several of their friends who have died and entered a better, spiritual reality.

“Did believing that, about a heavenly father, get them anywhere?” Leon asked presently.

“Not in this world, maybe,” I said.

“Then I’m going to tell you something you maybe don’t want to hear. If your friends were here I’d tell them too. It’s not worth it, Phil. It has to be in this world.” Leon nodded firmly, his lined face hard. Hard with experience.

“They gained immortality,” I said. “It was conferred on them, for what they did, or even what they tried to do, and failed to do. They exist now, my friends do. They always will.”

“Even though you can’t see them.”

“Yes,” I said. “Right.”

Leon said, “There has to be something here first, Phil. The other world is not enough.”

I could think of nothing to say: I felt broken and feeble, my arguments used up during all that had happened to me. I was unable to answer.

“Because,” Leon continued, “this is where the suffering is. This is where the injustice and imprisonment is. Like the two of us. We need it here. Now.”
I had no answer.

“It may be fine for them,” Leon said, “but what about us?”

“I—“ I began. He was right and I knew it.

Later on Leon concludes this conversation by saying:

“I’m sorry,” Leon said. “I can see you loved your two friends and you miss them, and maybe they’re flying around somewhere in the sky, zipping here and there and being spirits, and happy. But you and I and three billion other people are not, and until it changes here it won’t be enough, Phil; not enough. Despite the supreme heavenly father. He has to do something for us here, and that’s the truth. If you believe in the truth…well, Phil, that’s the truth. The harsh, unpleasant truth.”

While the rest of the novel is anything but an endorsement of Biblical Christianity, I read this section above and marveled at how close PKD came to the Kingdom. This is exactly what Jesus was proclaiming when he preached the Gospel of the Kingdom – “the Kingdom of God is at hand”, “the Kingdom of God is within”.

If even a sci-fi writer in Orange County, California can see the Kingdom and understand that it must happen here or it doesn’t matter, then perhaps there’s hope for the people of God to get it too?

“…thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven..”

The Church, the Body of Christ, the ambassadors of Jesus, the citizens of the Kingdom, must become agents of change in this world, in their own neighborhoods, in their actual workplace, so that people can see the love that defies logic and the peace that passes understanding. The followers of Jesus must not only proclaim the Gospel of the Kingdom, they must (like Jesus) demonstrate the compassion of God for the poor, the broken, the outcast, the lonely, and the marginalized.

“Blessed are the drugged out, poverty-level science fiction writers in Orange County, California, for they shall see the Kingdom of God and publish it in their writings for people to read long after they are dead.” – kg

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The Mechanics of Grace

The other day I spent some time with someone who has been through the meat grinder of life. He's endured the loss of a family member, the abandonment of his closest friends, and experienced a loss of passion in his career. That's only the beginning.

As he shared his heart with me I found I could identify with a lot of his pain. Not all of it, obviously, but much of what he confessed to me resonated with what I have been feeling lately.

Then he asked me to pray for him. So, as I began to lift him up in prayer to God I found that I was really praying for myself as well. I began to ask God for the same measure of blessing, and hope, and comfort, that I required in my own empty heart.

During the prayer I confessed to God, and to my friend, that I really don't know how to give God my burdens. Too often when I am depressed or discouraged I find something to distract myself from the pain. Rather than going to God with my problems, I turn to entertainment, or activities, or food, or other people, to help me forget the pain and dull the sorrow.

I know that we are told to "cast your cares upon Him, for He cares for you", and I really believe that all of that is true, but to be very honest, I'm not very good at doing that. Not at all.

So, as I prayed for this brother in Christ, I began to ask God to teach me, and to help my friend, to learn how to actually take our burdens, our pain, our suffering, our disappointments, and cast them at the feet of Jesus.

Again, I do not know how to do this. I know that God's word instructs me to do it. I know how to pray those words. I know how to say, "Jesus, I give you my pain. Please take this burden away." But I do not know how to actually leave my burden with Jesus. I don't know how to come to Him with my pain and walk away with hope. I don't know how to come to Him with defeat and walk away with joy. That is what I want to learn how to do. That's what I need to do.

Maybe you know what this feels like? Maybe you're struggling with some of the same issues of doubt, of defeat, of apathy, of sadness, of pain. Maybe you also tend to look for relief in places other than the presence of God. Maybe you turn to food, or television, or video games, or film, or sex, or drugs, or other people. If so, maybe you've already started to realize that those things do not work. They only delay the pain, at best, and accentuate the sensation of emptiness at worse.

Maybe, like me, you're ready to learn how to put these words of hope into practice. Maybe you're ready, out nothing more than desperation, to discover how to actually turn to Jesus with your pain and surrender your burden to Him, and walk away filled with hope and life and, yes, perhaps even joy.

How does it work? What are the magic words? How many steps are involved? Do I need to attend a seminar or purchase a book to make it click?

Here's what I believe: God knows that we are weak. He remembers that we are made from dust. If there were six steps then He would have told us what those were. Since He told us to simply "cast our cares upon Him because He cares" then, by faith, I think we need to start there.

By faith. That's the secret. We stop trying to map everything out and we just do what He says. We believe. We put our hope - all of it - in His power to heal us, and change us, and restore us.

We turn away from all of those other distractions that we have tried and failed to receive our hope and life and joy from, and we instead turn straight for Jesus with our pain. We come to Him first. We make turning to Him our first, and our immediate, act when the pain and the sorrow begins to wash over us.

This is what I have decided to do. I put my hope in Him. I trust in Him. I am calling His bluff because I am convinced it might not be a bluff at all.

"Why are you so downcast, oh my soul? I will yet praise Him, my savior and king."