A Good News Manifesto

Also titled as: Simple Suggestions for Those Who Call Themselves ‘followers of Jesus’ as Well as All People of Any Faith & People of Conscience & Good Will

Live closely to God, as a Friend.  For God is the Vine and we are branches, the deeper our connection to God, the more life is abundantly full.  And be with God as you are with a friend, sharing all of life’s ups and downs, living together as one.

Follow the Nazarene closely (Jesus set a pretty good example on how to live).

Pray Often.  Pray for the people you love, pray for the people you don’t love.

Don’t build a big church (or religious structure) Because if we do, then we will need to protect it and use up time, taxes, and treasure to maintain it.  Instead of a building try Being Church – and rather than building a new building, start by sharing your life with people as they are, where they are and they will undoubtedly see Jesus.

Share the Good News.  For what Jesus did is, indeed, Good and truly Newsworthy.

Make serving the poor the Gospel mandate it is (instead of treating it like a superfluous add-on)…make charity and justice for the poor a personal, close-up thing and not a ‘program’ in the church.

Give Relief to those who are suffering around you and those far away (for we are all in this together).

Visit the Sick, the locked up, those in prison, and the shut in.

Sit with the dying…just be with them as they transition into the next part of life.

Comfort the Broken, the bruised and the bereaved.

Be Generous & Lavish with those in need and do so with your time, your talents, your money, and your stuff.  Share your house with someone in need like a teenager in a bad situation or a person coming out of the system.  Share your car, your tools, your garage, your apartment, your books, etc., because we are merely stewards of what God has given us.

Be Reckless in giving and receiving God’s grace, love, mercy, and forgiveness.

Practice Kindness...to animals, the Earth, and all living creatures.  God is the loving Creator so all of creation is divine and worthy of kindness.  And when we are kind to all of creation, we are being kind to God.

Practice Hospitality and be hospitable to strangers and those different from you (not just your friends and family).

Love Your Neighborand yes, I do mean the one right next door, as well as the one down the street, across the country and across the world.

Live your life as a fully alive, self-aware human being Practice being real and transparent and watch people see Jesus in and through your unique personality.  No stuffed shirts, smug piousness or the need to be superior over people. Just Be Real.

Love ‘sinners’ (because all of us are wounded)…and love all of them, not just the ones you feel most comfortable around.  Befriend people not like you, people of other faiths, and people of no ‘faith’ and don’t do it just for the sake of converting them. Jesus loved all people – truly, madly and deeply – with no motive other than to reveal to them how loved they are by God. Jesus passionately loved those who walked away from, betrayed and even killed him.  Jesus had no other motive but to love people into the Kingdom, so put away your “Four Spiritual Laws”, your missals, and your Bibles and just start being real (i.e., human) around people for you’ll be amazed at how much God’s love will flow from you to them and vice versa!

Practice Common Grace (whether you’re a Calvinist, Catholic or Atheist).  For all people are made in the image of God and God sustains everyone regardless of their faith or lack thereof (Matt. 5:45; Acts 17:25-28; James 1:17)

Practice Common Graciousness as well. Don’t be a spiritual bully, smug, self-righteous or mean-spirited.  Just because we think we have found the Truth does NOT mean we are the truth or always right.  So, stop being an ass about your faith. Only Jesus is Lord and only God has the ‘right’ to judge, so save the judging for God and God alone.

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