The Gospel of John Annihilates Religious Legalism by Rocket Kirchner


Image by timchallies via Flickr

by Rocket Kirchner
Writer, Dandelion Salad
Rocket Kirchner (blog)
Rocket Kirchner (youtube channel)
originally posted Sept. 10, 2013
July 21, 2016

As strange as it sounds, the Gospel of John annihilates religious legalism not by confronting it, but rather by ignoring it. It begins by stating, “In the beginning was the Word.”

Well, there goes the Genesis account as the beginning. Creationist beware. Then you got water turning into wine. Got to keep the party going. So belly up to the bar boys, the drinks are on Him.

It speaks of those born of the Spirit being like the wind not knowing where it is coming from, and not knowing where it is going. Those reborn are not subject to religious restraint. My oh my, this is starting to get a bit subversive and we have not even gotten out of chapter three. Sheesh. Then there is the encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well who is convinced that there is a certain geographical location where one should practice divine worship, only to have Jesus shatter that in one fell swoop, “He who worships God does so in Spirit and Truth.” Kaboom! It ain’t a place, baby.

“I am the living Bread that came down from Heaven,” Christ says to the Jewish religious authorities. No time to debate. Onward. “I am the Good Shepherd,” the Master says. Mmm. Good, but not religious. Take a memo. Have you ever noticed that most religious people from most religions just dig the death penalty? To which Christ fires back, “He who is without sin, cast the first stone.” He does not even look up to engage those that are seeking to entrap him. Just lays it out cold. Slam poetry. Done. Beautiful.

Big Debate: Sadducees don’t believe in Resurrection. Pharisees do. Christ clears it up, “I am the Resurrection.” Where is He going with this one? There are many “I am’s” streaking through this gospel. A lot. And while we are at it, what is all this talk about love? It is everywhere. Religious legalists hate that one. “Love one another just as I have loved you.” “No greater love has one for another, than to lay down his life for his friend.” Friendship, love, and self-sacrifice served up from the jewels that drip from the Master’s lips. These jewels annihilate religious legalism just by ignoring it.

Grand finale. Pilate wants to know why this dreamy rabble-rouser claims to know “THE” truth. So he asks Him, “What is Truth?” But Jesus refuses to answer. Kaboom again! The silence that was heard around the world. Again, got no time to engage. So Pilate gave the kill-order and then went to lunch.

Newsflash: Back from the dead. Excuse me John, did you say back from the dead? Yep. In the Beginning begats in the Beginning. It all comes around, fully orbed. So here it is: The perfect geometric Euclidean circle, leaving religious legalism in a pile of ashes as Grace triumphs.

Most people in this world are religious, even if they are secular. It is an attitude. It is made up of walls and barriers. The construction of a self-righteous mask we all have. Screening John’s gospel leaves one the inspiration to just take a deep breathe and let it all go.

Why, because God really does love us, after all He proved it. So go ahead, give your heart to strangers, it’s OK. You and the world will change and be a better place right before your very eyes. Begin at the beginning. Lighten up. Emerge. Then get on your boots, there is work to be done.


Barry McGuire: Love Song

Rightzilla on Feb 7, 2011


U2: Get On Your Boots

U2VEVO  on Jun 26, 2009

from the archives:

Why Unbelievers Love Christian Hypocrites by Rocket Kirchner

The Gospel Of Mark VS The Imperial Mindset by Rocket Kirchner

From Cover to Cover The Bible is Anti-Empire by Rocket Kirchner

Progressives That Became More Progressive After Their Conversion To Christ by Rocket Kirchner

Setting the Record Straight About the Apostle Paul by Rocket Kirchner

American Christianity Versus Jesus by Rocket Kirchner

The Visual Bible – The Gospel of John

Wisdom From Ephesus: The Gospel of John

see also:

The Bible is not a Rule Book: Overcoming Legalism


7 thoughts on “The Gospel of John Annihilates Religious Legalism by Rocket Kirchner

  1. Pingback: American Christianity Versus Jesus – Dandelion Salad

  2. Thank you fro this contribution, Rocket! John always recognized the Spiritual Dimension of Christ in Jesus.and tries to convey Spirit as much as possible by the letter.

    I want to add another aspect of Jesus conversation with the woman at the well. Obviously she was not sexually chaste as demanded by the religion. She may have been chased having her 5th husband and living with a 6th man who was not her husband. Jesus doesn’t chastise her lifestyle, like he did not chastise the past life of ‘the good thief’

    But what the woman said to Jesus is interesting, “Then said the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that you, being a Jew, asks drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans.

    And so it is to this very Day in occupied Palestine!

    Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and you say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.
    Jesus said to her, Woman, believe me, the hour comes, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.
    You worship you know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.
    But the hour comes, and NOW IS, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth: for the Father seeks such to worship him.
    God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in Spirit and in Truth.

    As the Israeli government provides grants to the various Jewish Temple Groups that want to see the Dome of The Rock destroyed and a 3rd Jewish Temple built in it’s place to restore animal blood sacrifice as the Atonement for sin.

    There’s no other spin to put on it. This is essentially giving the finger to Christianity and the fundamental Christian belief the blood sacrifice of Christ Jesus has satisfied God’s requirement for the Atonement of sin.for ALL people for ALL Time.

    It is John, recognizing the Spirit of Christ in Jesus who wrote, But as many as received him, to them gave he POWER TO BECOME the Sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
    Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

    It is John, continuing in that Spirit, who wrote, These things say the Amen, the Faithful and True witness, the Beginning of the Creation of God;
    I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot: I would you were cold or hot.
    So then because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of my mouth.
    Because you say, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and don’t know that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
    I counsel you to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich; and white raiment, that you may be clothed, and that the shame of your nakedness do not appear; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.
    As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
    Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

    To him that overcomes will I grant to SIT WITH ME IN MY THRONE, even as I ALSO OVERCAME, and AM set down with my Father in his throne.
    He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.

    Christ Alpha in Jesus returns as Christ Omega. Being one and the same, scripture records the question in Jesus’ mind, “Nevertheless when the Son of man comes, shall he find faith on the earth?”

    You hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,
    This people draws nigh unto me with their mouth, and honours me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.
    But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

    • Thanks for your comment Ray ! there is a lot going on with Christ and the Woman at the Well . it operates on so many levels .
      1. Jew talking to Samaritan
      2. Man talking to married woman
      3. Single her out to be the first person to preach to Samaritans the same way that the women at the empty tomb were the first Apostles
      4. The worship of God not being in a place but a space – the Spirit .
      5. Only he can bring inner fulfillment

      this dialogue is breaking every legalistic and religious and social convention of its day .

  3. “Thanks for this and the “laying down of life for a friend” is not at all about war. It is about standing between, protecting friends from abuse of all kinds. It is about a non-violent way of getting between family, friends, beloveds and even strangers, to die if necessary instead of them. Not about war at all. We are, after all, to love all others in the very same way that we would want others to love us – and to care for ourselves.”

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