Disciple James log: Discipleship - mastery... practice... way of being........ finally, direct confrontation with empire which is likely to be terminal for them.


Note: James here. It may be that I've been born and kept alive to give birth to the following messy baby, if you will. I didn't see it coming, and I was used to dictate it. Word by word almost as it came through to me this morning. I can see my life almost, what I learned 10 years ago, 30 years ago, 27 years ago, bits and pieces that have come together in the following. It may not be as important and consequential as I think. I may realize that by this afternoon or tomorrow. But my current thought is, it may be what I was born to be the conduit for..... This is some sort of capstone on my life as an instrument of delivery, that's way bigger than me. Uncharacteristically I've spent an hour going through and proofreading before sending it to you. It's still probably 10 posts in one, but I need you to take time with it, my work needs for you to take time with it, and to give me some specific thoughts, reactions, disagreements, agreements. Disciple James

Discipleship - mastery... practice... way of being........ finally, direct confrontation with empire which is likely to be terminal for them.

Evil is pretty much synonymous with empire. Empire is pretty much synonymous with evil in Jesus vision, in his kingdom, which is not of this world, which is not of empire. Which is instead of, existentially the only alternative to, empire.

Empire is pretty much the human constructed material world in all its aspects. The material world is pretty much empire, in all its aspects. That is, the cultural and material human-made stuff. Primarily the culture which is the culture of empire, only secondarily the material stuff.

His kingdom is the kingdom where Humanity, being humane, is the one and only way of being. By whatever name or none, it is the alternative culture to empire. And to whatever degree it is material, versus spiritual, it is not of jesus, it is not the father's kingdom.

The father's Kingdom: Do unto others all things whatsoever you would have them do unto you. Humanity, Humane being, is the kingdom. For virtually every individual it is possible within them. It is the kingdom into which they were born. And most likely with true discipleship, to which they can be reborn. For behold, the Kingdom of Heaven is within you. 

Satan's kingdom, empire: Do unto others all things you can possibly get away with, before they do it unto you. Empire is the kingdom where being humane is tolerated only when it interferes not at all, zero, with the exploitation of our fellow creatures, especially not interfering with the enslavement by empire and by we as subjects of empire of all but the elites at the top. Slavement of their bodies' heads minds and of course material resources.

Jesus' way, his instruction and example, is the death of empire wherever it penetrates. And to whatever degree it penetrates. I did not say christianity, I said Jesus instruction, example. Christianity is the masterful co-opting of Jesus revolutionary instruction and example. That's what empire does. It co-ops budding revolutions and turns them to their advantage. That's christianity. Whether Christianity is also a device used by original true disciples to carry Jesus poison pill to Future generations, is another matter. Maybe so. But only when that pill which is poison to empire (including being poisoned to christianity, the church) is taken by an individual full strength, straight up, every breath, do they become rehabilitated, reborn, after hundreds and thousands and tens of thousands of study and practice hours, and move toward discipleship. At which point they become a potent threat to empire whether they think of it in those terms or not. A walking talking antidote.

Be wise as serpents, and peaceful as doves. 

James, the one writing here, this is certainly conjecture but he would be irresponsible in his work if he forgets the following. 

Regardless of how he thought of it, Jesus was a brilliant strategist to bring down empire. And this is to be seen in how he lived his life. 

1. He made of himself the poison pill, the antidote, the cure for empire, within himself. He waged internal war against the aspects of empire within him, the spirits of head and flesh, The temptations of tribulations, cares of this world, deceitfulness of riches. And his Central way of doing so was to completely addict himself to the joy, the delight, of living to the delight of his heavenly father as he imagined him. The father never leaves me because I always please him, he said. ...

2. He set about to infect others with that cure, with being reborn. He set about to strew the countryside with the equipment, his instructions and example, that people would have a chance of rehabilitating themselves, rehabilitating their humanity, their holy spirit, their soul, their heart, the divine within them.

3. The center of his strategy was to raise an army of disciples to do what he was doing. If you love me you will do the work that I do, and you will do greater works than these. Take up my yoke and learn from me. Take heed how he here. Multiply the talents (understanding, humanity). 

4. If you love me, you will do the works that I do, and greater works than these. What is the reference to greater works than these? James here, suspects that he was referring to the fourth aspect of everyone that serves the father's Kingdom, starting with himself, the work of the disciple. At the right time and place in their discipleship, to turn and directly confront empire so forcefully, so strategically, so potently, that in all likelihood it will result in their physical termination. 

  • The disciple, for most of their time, most of their days, are undercover revolutionaries. 
  • Borderline double agents. Detrick Bonhoeffer would be a graphic example of that. He actually worked within the Nazi organization as I recall, exactly for the purpose of infiltration and ultimately to attempt to assassinate hitler. (Absolutely I am not saying that Dietrich is the example of the termination phase of a disciple, physical violence. No.) How excruciating for the disciple,  they want to take more decisive action, less covert action, as Jesus ultimately did in flipping the tables. Was there ever a time in his life when Jesus didn't want to flip the tables? I can't imagine so. How excruciating to witness the unspeakable evil of empire, and by its nature everything that empire does, everything, everything, everything by its nature is to destroy life, to destroy soul, to destroy humanity. It exists by doing that, as cancer does. 
So if the disciple does not live in agony, writhing in pain at the Carnage of empire with which they are surrounded, they are not a disciple. 

But if the disciple is not wise as a serpent and peaceful as a dove, that they can live long enough before being murdered by empire, to do the work of being and spreading the ultimate cure, people that regain their pure humanity, then they are not a disciple. 

The disciple is condemned to live 99.999% of their days as an undercover agent, working behind the lines. And only at the right final moment confronting empire more directly.

James, the one writing here, revere's Martin Luther King jr. James so reveres Martin Luther King Jr that he does not dismiss him as some saint, but as a rare disciple or nearly so. And therefore tries to understand his work, his contributions, his mistakes. 

Point being, it may be that Martin Luther King Jr was correctly called to live as he did. That he was not called to follow the model of jesus. This is entirely possible. 

But he is not a model of the disciple that Jesus was and led others to be. 

Jesus did not lead a Justice movement. He did not lead a change-empire -materially movement. People wanted him to do that! And he refused to categorically. Turn the other cheek. Pay the tax. Walk with the centurion carrying his stuff 2 miles if he demands you walk one..... His kingdom was not of this world. And to a large degree the kingdom of Martin Luther King Jr was of this world. 

So Martin Luther King Jr's life violated Jesus strategy. Martin Luther King Jr was not clandestine, behind the lines, working as a rehabilitator of nervous systems, rebuilder of souls. Go his life did have some impact along those lines for sure.

James, the one writing here revere's Martin Luther King Jr. But there have been more people, minuscule sliver of the population, but more people following the example of Martin Luther King jr, and the Gandhi's of this world, than following the example, the brilliant strategy, of jesus. And this is a  mistake of historic importance. Jesus is the model. Martin Luther King Jr would agree to this I'm quite sure, if only in hindsight. As would Gandhi as he wrote at the end of his life. Would agree that in a way he was mistaken, and led people off the path, to try and fix the material kingdom, rather than come out of the material kingdom, into the kingdom of god. It's a strategic mistake for 99.99% of the true disciples.

Discipleship is giving constant rebirth to your true self, your humanity, being humane. If it is not constant labor pains, if it is not constantly giving birth, If it is not constantly excruciating, if it is not excruciatingly joyful, it is not discipleship. And if it is not excruciating to do so as opposed to running and flipping tables, it is not discipleship.

In the photograph above, note, it shows Jesus walking as he's talking. Jesus is a, a disciple is a, rehabilitator of souls. Literally rebuilding the circuitry of the nervous system. This doesn't happen with words. This happens with work. Words being worked with. Ideas being worked with. It's agonizing work. It's hard work. It is excruciating work for the disciple, and for the individual attempting rehabilitation. If it isn't exhausting, if it isn't excruciating, if it isn't painful, if it isn't extremely prolonged, and if it isn't joyful, it isn't discipleship, it isn't jesus, it isn't rehabilitation. It isn't giving birth, it isn't giving life. It isn't co-creating with creator, with jesus.

Working with jesus, working with a disciple, their words, their instructions, their example, is intense rehabilitation with nothing less as a goal than total transformation. The caterpillar becoming a butterfly. Or it is not working with jesus. And you are not working with a disciple and their material.