Part Two: THE WAY IT COULD BE
So glad you made it this far. Was Part One painful? Or liberating, perhaps? A touch of both? Again, I am so glad you made it this far. You hung in there while others let go; you have real spunk. You now know more than most about the devastation always accompanying religion. And now I have a favour to ask of you….
I want to speak to you directly. What I mean is, I want to talk to you as if you’re the only one reading Part Two: THE WAY IT COULD BE. As if you and I were seated face to face in a cafe slurping a coffee or whatever. Doesn’t matter if you are old as dirt or young as the fledgling too nervous to leave the nest. You may be brainy or mediocre (like me), either a brother or sister-in-Christ, charismatic or mundane (like me). Doesn’t matter if you are Canadian, American, Spanish, German, Asian, whatever. Your name might be John or Mary, Vladimir or Natalia, Ahmed or Vanna. You may reside in Europe, Africa, Asia, North or South America. It just doesn’t matter. You are my Blood-bought brother/sister-in-Christ and I am requesting to speak to you personally, candidly, directly, sincerely. Okay?
Again, my name is Larry Jones. I am a follower of Jesus Christ and have been for many years. I consider myself to be a serious disciple of the Lord Jesus. That’s not to say I’m a nice guy or anything like that. No, no no. I am only saying, after many inspections of my heart, our Lord Jesus Christ is “first love” and has been for several decades. I worship Him spontaneously. I am simple enough to believe, sincerely believe, that I can add good to your life…. no matter who or where or what you are, no matter your history. My heart is to point you to Jesus…. precious Jesus, loving and tender Jesus.
My wife and I have a family of seventeen, this including children and grandchildren. What I strongly desire for my seventeen I strongly desire for you. I don’t care if my kids become wealthy, educated or popular. I only want each of my seventeen to love Jesus more than anything or anybody. I want that so much. And I only want you to love Jesus more than anything or anyone. I want that so much. Seems like Jesus is loving you through me. Like really. Perhaps I see more clearly than you your awesome potential, The Way It Could Be. And I know your potential can become your reality…. if only.
If only, if only, if only….
If only you would love Jesus, not only supremely, but radically. Like Paul and John and Stephen and Peter. Loving Jesus brings every good thing. Loving Jesus supremely magnetizes every good thing. Loving Jesus radically guarantees you to be an overcomer. You want to be an overcomer. I can help you be an overcomer by sharing what Christ has taught me over almost five decades of christianity. I can help you get onto the path of pursuit, the pursuit of the great “I Am”. And if you are already on this walkway my words will strengthen and quicken your steps.
And I have a second motive, even more compelling. I know by reaching you for Christ I will reach many. By blessing you I bless those you influence. I bless you by exalting Christ. Many of the people you influence will be drawn much closer to Jesus, your “first love”. That’s why I write. To brighten your light. (“You are the light of the world.”) If you come to love Jesus supremely you will bring many to Christ. Should you love Jesus radically your collective catch will be abundant. (“They caught a great number of fish, and their net was breaking.”)
The words I bring you are not my words; they are the words of your Jesus. You have read them before. They lie silent in your Bible awaiting rediscovery. I merely accentuate the truths of Christ’s precious words. I will make His words alive to you. You will see what you have yet to see. You will be different. Changed. Bigger. That’s why I humbly ask permission to speak to you personally. Sibling to sibling. Brother to brother. Brother to sister.
I want you to know Part Two is a complete rewrite. I first wrote Part Two in 2001. I titled it “The Way It Should Be”. This revision, renamed “The Way It Could Be”, is written in 2020. I have learned so much in nineteen years. In 2001 I imagined a vastly improved way of doing church. “There is a better way of gathering in the name of Jesus, and serving Him”, I wrote. “When I would see something isn’t right I would muse and reason and speculate and fuss and hunt through Scripture for the way it should be.” But now I realize the very premise was wrong. You were converted to a Person, a very special Person, not a church. Evangelicals (and other religions) have switched the conversation from Christ to christianity.From Him to them. This has been so very destructive. The theme of one’s life-on-earth should be none other than Jesus Christ. Christ refuses second place. Christ-plus is insulting.
Your christianity cannot be centred on church. Sure, you most certainly are part of Christ’s universal church, His body. But much more relevant is the Christ-and-you relationship. Relationship, relationship, relationship. Christ saved you because He wants to relate to you. He wants to commune with you. He doesn’t see you as part of a group…. He doesn’t relate to groups…. He relates to individuals. You are only as fruitful and joyful as you are enamoured, captivated, devoted.
So let’s get going, shall we? Just you and me.