• So yeah, I’m giving away half of my personal possessions (stuff that also belongs to my wife is exempt so she won’t divorce me), and (surprise!) I’ve gotten offers from loads of “friends” offering to take various items off my hands. Now, most of them are kidding – I think – but people are laying claim on everything form my laptop to my iPhone, and…[Read more]

  • (Sorry, posted this as its own comment rather than a reply!)

    Hi Mike:
    A very good question. Part of it simply is inspired by John the Baptist’s call to “Give half of our possessions away to the poor.” In addition, it’s part of an ascetic practice to be mindful of everything I have, and to assess the difference between wants and needs. Third,…[Read more]

  • ThumbnailI felt like I was preparing to punish myself for the month of March, the focus of which is “Jesus the Ascetic” during My Jesus Project, my year-long effort to more deeply understand what we really mean when we […]

    • I lost a lot of what I owned after a divorce so I don’t have a whole lot to begin with, but I am impressed with your efforts. My question is, how do you know what to give away and what to keep ? what I mean is, do you just keep the minimum to survive ? and if so, what is that ? a car to get to work ? how much clothes is necessary to get through a week ? Maybe I’m missing the point, and if I am, enlighten me on what your final goal is.

      • (Sorry, posted this as its own comment rather than a reply!)

        Hi Mike:
        A very good question. Part of it simply is inspired by John the Baptist’s call to “Give half of our possessions away to the poor.” In addition, it’s part of an ascetic practice to be mindful of everything I have, and to assess the difference between wants and needs. Third, I’ve found that giving things away actually reminds me of my own abundance far more than getting more stuff. So I’m exploring that as a month-long practice.
        And finally, my hope is that it will cause other folks pause and maybe inspire them to try something similar. As I’ve noted in some of my posts, determining exactly what “half” is is kind of impossible, but the point is to look deeply, give deeply and be very present to the power my possessions have over me in my life.
        Hope this helps.
        Christian

    • Hi Christian, your answer did help, thanks. I don’t consider myself a selfish man and as I’ve said before, I don’t have a whole lot in terms of personal possessions, but I have been a police officer for 27 years and have worked hard for the few possessions I have. I don’t mean to be cynical but it has been my experience that there are a lot of people in this society that CHOOSE to receive government assistance instead of going out, looking for a job, and working to support a family or making an honest living, so when you say to give half your possessions to the poor, I kind of have a hard time accepting that concept. I know there are good honest people out there that have just fallen on hard times, but there are very few left and they are hard to find.

      • Hey Mike, I agree this is a struggle, and is problematic, both individually and systemically. However, do consider the idea that live, by nature, is a wide-open gate. To paraphrase Paul, love doesn’t ask if the recipient is deserving or not, or if they should or shouldn’t get public support, if they’re going to use the generosity to buy alcohol, etc…

        However it’s also a bigger mandate than just giving a handout. There are cases when “handouts” by themselves actually serve to keep people in poverty. However, really loving someone challenges us into real relationship. In my most recent book, “postChristian,” I talk about the very important difference between charity and a charitable heart. It might be helpful.

        CDP

    • Anika, I think mysticism has so much to teach us about ways to approach and engage faith independent of the kinds of propositional claims that some religious institutions require of us, but that ultimately suffocate the growth of our faith.

  • ThumbnailI thought Jesus the Radical was hard. At least I didn’t fast from solid food and alcohol, give away half of my stuff or sit in the lotus position until my legs fell asleep.

    In March I’m working with mentor Reba […]

  • One of the most famous miracles in the Bible is the “feeding the multitudes,” in which he takes a little bit of fish and bread and feeds 5,000 people, not counting the women and children, according to scripture. D’oh!. So in reality, it could have been way, way more than that. But then Jesus says later on in the gospels that we will do even…[Read more]

  • March is my month in which I’ll be studying and practicing those ascetic principles that help reconnect me with my own body, with the rest of creation, and help me connect more deeply with a sense of mysticism and spirituality.

    Consider it like a spiritual workout regimen.

    As for myself, I’ll be taking on the following challenges this…[Read more]

  • Let’s set aside beliefs for a moment. Let’s set aside claims, orthodoxy and just talk specific ways in which we, both individually and collectively, following Jesus.

    Not talking so much about tithing or giving to charity.

    Not talking about just taking part in worship.

    But what spiritual practices are you engaging in to deepen your understanding…[Read more]

  • I’m intrigued by the fact that, in spite of my explanation that this project is more about delving into who we are and what we do, rather than focusing as much on what we think or believe, many people are eager to distill the “Jesus journey” down to making a specific set of claims for beliefs: end of story.

    Of course, there’s another (more…[Read more]

  • Christian Piatt changed their profile picture 2 years, 8 months ago

  • Christian Piatt changed their profile picture 2 years, 8 months ago

  • ThumbnailFour out of five Americans claim to be Christians. That’s more than a quarter billion people in the United states alone who claim, in one way or another, to follow Jesus. But what does that really mean?

    Is it […]

    • If I were there when Jesus walked this earth, I would likely follow him.
      My parents separated when I was nine years old. Through the years, I became familiar with the phrase “He needs a male role model”. At some point I asked myself, Who would I pick, if I were to choose a “Male role model”? The answer I came up with was Jesus, as I did not know, or know of, anyone that would be more suitable. I did not make the decision to follow him, but to be like him. (Needless to say, I have fallen quite short of that goal, but I’m still trying.)
      My mothers father was a Baptist minister, and through the years have contemplated following in his footsteps, but I always run into the idea of taking money from people for giving them my interpretation of someone else’s interpretation of a book written in a language that I don’t understand. (I have often wandered if there was a reason for my mother giving me my middle name, Thomas.)
      I believe in the idea of “Jesus”. I believe “The truth is the truth” and can not be changed by perspective. My definition of God is, “That which is, was, and shall always be”. I believe that I can not be disproved, but I may yet be enlightened. I believe that if I were crucified for my belief, I would have to say, “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
      Good luck on your journey!
      The truth is found at the source, may your perspective be infinite.

    • Dear Christian Piatt,

      I agree with Vic. I think God loves us all regardless and he will forgive if you just accept his grace and trust in him and his salvation. However, I think that means being responsible, owning up to your mistake, keep moving forward. Repenting.

    • Dearest Christian, I have struggled and continue to struggle with many things regarding the Christian faith, not in Jesus, I don’t think, but with GOD, yes they are one, but.. I have a very difficult time understanding the need for absolute bloodshed in redemption. The sacrificing of animals in particular as they have no choice in the matter. I do not mean to be blasphemous at all, I just don’t understand it!! Jesus was given a choice, they simply are not and this breaks my heart for them.

    • Also, I wonder since he created them that he does not seem to protect them enough. It is we who are ruining our planet, not them!!

    • Salvation is just the starting point. I think this blog deals with the question, “Once I’m ‘saved,’ what’s next?”

    • I agree with Jim that Salvation, faith alone in Christ alone, is the starting point of the Christian life. If we receive his free gift of salvation, he becomes our Lord and Saviour! However, I not so sure that we shouldn’t be asking “what does it mean to live the Christian life”, as opposed to “What does it mean to follow Jesus”. Maybe it’s one and the same to some people, but I’m not so sure myself. I have my doubts that anyone can “follow Jesus”. I mean, as hard as Christian Piatt may try, or want to, to turn water into wine, it “ain’t” going to happen. As hard as someone else may try to feed 5000 people with a few loaves and fishes, it “ain’t” going to happen. Why? Because they were both extraordinary miracles that no human could accomplish. Try to walk on water…let me know what happens! Jesus Christ clearly demostrated his deity in these miracles. I believe his entire earthly ministry was to prove his deity, and he used miracles that only he could perform to make his point. I am a member of the “one and done” club when it comes to salvation, but living the Christian life is a life long experience.

  • I still have some time to explore the lesser-known discipline of Christian anarchism,, which ain’t as wild as you may think. Far from being violent or destructive, it’s mainly focused on living out the Sermon on the Mount (Jesus’ biggest single block of teaching in the Gospels) and confronting systems of power, oppression and injustice in…[Read more]

  • I still have some time to explore the lesser-known discipline of Christian anarchism,, which ain’t as wild as you may think. Far from being violent or destructive, it’s mainly focused on living out the Sermon on the Mount (Jesus’ biggest single block of teaching in the Gospels) and confronting systems of power, oppression and injustice in…[Read more]

  • I still have some time to explore the lesser-known discipline of Christian anarchism,, which ain’t as wild as you may think. Far from being violent or destructive, it’s mainly focused on living out the Sermon on the Mount (Jesus’ biggest single block of teaching in the Gospels) and confronting systems of power, oppression and injustice in…[Read more]

  • I still have some time to explore the lesser-known discipline of Christian anarchism,, which ain’t as wild as you may think. Far from being violent or destructive, it’s mainly focused on living out the Sermon on the Mount (Jesus’ biggest single block of teaching in the Gospels) and confronting systems of power, oppression and injustice in…[Read more]

  • I still have some time to explore the lesser-known discipline of Christian anarchism,, which ain’t as wild as you may think. Far from being violent or destructive, it’s mainly focused on living out the Sermon on the Mount (Jesus’ biggest single block of teaching in the Gospels) and confronting systems of power, oppression and injustice in…[Read more]