Why do 18 inches matter?
According to human anatomy and physiology, there is an average of 18 inches (45 cm) between the brain and the human heart. It is my thesis and my goal for this website to demonstrate that faith is very much like that. There is but a short distance (18 inches) between intellectual knowledge of "religion" and Christian faith. However, that distance is a road less travelled. It is a road filled with difficulty and forks leading away from Christ instead of closer to Him. Many of those obstacles are man-maded, non-biblical religious traditions and theological non-sense.
In North America, 80% of people surveyed claim to be 'Born-Again' Christians. However, when we look at the statistics on murder and divorce among "believers", it is hard to see what difference faith is making in society. Instead of our faith being 'the salt of the earth' sanitizing and purifying everything around it, we see widespread lawlessness, social injustice, rampant greed, and hateful posts of social networks. It is difficult to see how faith in a Loving and Merciful God is affecting lives in the world.
Far from me to judge, or make other people feel inadequate in their expression of their personal faith. I have too many of my own failings that are like logs in my eyes to pass judgement on others. My goal on this site is to share my own walk in trying to discover what it really means to be a Christian.
I think that some of the ways we can express our faith and the tools we have to share our faith has changed over the past centuries. However, the core of what it means to be a Christian has not changed. Our society has changed. Some will say that it has changed for the worst. To that, I ask "Is it worse than the Roman Empire in the first century AD"? Yet, in that first century, the church grew from a dozen of believers to many thousands across the Roman Empire.
What are we missing? I think that what is missing is an understanding of who Jesus Christ is, what he said, what and who he came for and why he did so.
This website is not about a theological or denominational debate that is better done around the coffee table among friends. This website is first about understanding what the scriptures are saying to us, and what it means to us today (that is true theology in the most basic sense).
Second, this website is to help us travel between an intellectual understanding of 'theology' to a heart relationship with the Creator, the Saviour, the Christ.
Where do we start? I believe we need to start is with an open mind and a study of what Jesus said. Therefore, the best place to start is with the parables, stories Jesus used to teach people of his time. Parables were a common way for rabbis to teach. Jesus' parables were short when compared to what most rabbis would use, and he often explained what he meant in simple terms. What I will try to do here, is explain the historical context in which he spoke so that it makes the most sense today for us living in the 21st Century.
Let us try to focus the essence of the message and the simple truth Jesus taught in the parables so that we can understand the 'heavenly' meaning behind the 'earthly' stories he told. We need to remember that he told those stories to regular people of his time. He seldom spoke directly to the religious elite although he surely was conscious that they were listening to his every words. Instead he spoke plain words, used allegories that were common to his audience and often explained the true meaning of his parables with clarity.
One thing is clear, Jesus did not intend for the true meaning of the parables he told to be obscure, theologians did that. And, even today, many theologian like to think of themselves as guardians of secret truths only to be shared among the religious elite. The bible was meant to be read by anyone, nothing is really complicated in it.
I hope you will join me on this 'road less travelled' and make the trip between intellectual knowledge and faith. It is only 18 inches long.
Alain (Allan) Gauthier, RPT
“Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12-28-31