Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Whole Means Healthy: The Results in My Own Physical Health

It is said: "In public, be private".  This is sound advice.  A blog is very very public.  So I am going to keep private my own health details, while still detailing the difference focusing on "Whole Means Healthy" can make, because it functions like a map in guiding you.  In the next 6 months, I hope to celebrate the end of long journey on one health front in my life.  Its major effects have been felt off and on since 1985.   The end of 2004 is when I began to look more at health as wholeness.  It has made a difference.

Since that time in 2004, I changed my approach, when it came to seeking advice from health practioners of various kinds.  I didn't get trapped by some of their supposed expert advice, because I held then a map for the journey.  In the process, I also learned what the most important questions were.  As I sit writing this entry, I am feeling great physically.  It is hard to imagine myself on this side of pain.

Besides the problem of physical pain, there can also be the problem of effects on your career.  I am cetainly not alone on this one, because I see it all the time in television and internet news. 

If I can share any advice with others, it is this.  When you have pain, it is because some part yourself or your whole self is not whole.  That is THE major cause of pain and so working on being whole or adapting to not being whole in some cases, is the most important thing to keep in  mind. 

This advice works because it changes the map you are using to find answers.  It also keeps you level headed, when some people tell you that your approach to health is not going to work.  You just have to recall that some people including experts may lack an accurate map, while you have one. 

So pick up the map that says at the top: "whole means healthy".  And in my other blog, please examine with me the possibility that holy means healthy that could lead to further breakthroughs in physical health way beyond my own personal breakthrough. 

Once I broke from using an old map that was taking me in the wrong direction, no matter how fast I traveled, to a new map that is when things took off in the right direction for me and my physical health!   Praise God.

In Christ,

Pastor Jon

Whole Means Healthy: It Means a Major Shift in Implications

If holy means whole in the Bible, then the shift in the implications for our lives is like a shift in the earth's crust.   I like this description: "when the infrastructure shifts, everything rumbles" (Stan Davis).   But also it is not really practical to describe this massive shift in a short blog entry, when much of the work is already done in a book of nearly 500 pages, a DVD of films to go with the book, and CDs to listen to in your car or anywhere.  Without question Stephen R. Covey's The 8th Habit largely outlines the implications of wholeness, before I even lift my fingers to put them on a keyboard. 

While at some minor points, I see some refinement would be valuable, as a whole he and I are largely saying the same thing when it comes to the implication of a whole person map or paradigm.  The only major difference is that his evidence is largely from his own speciality or specialities and mine is from tools I use to read the Bible more effectively.  He earned his fame from The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, yet I regard his addition of the 8th habit as his greatest contribution.

So in summary, rather than restate all that he has to say, I going to recommend his book to you.  Borrow it from your library, buy a copy, or get the CDs.   Read portions of it on line.  Get a copy for the Nook, your iPad, etc.  In some way, get hold of his materials.  It is as close as the internet or as little as a few days wait for Covey's things to arrive. 

Here is all the information, used in a typical footnote form, so you an look up his book.  It is:

Covey, Stephen R., The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness.  (New York: Free Press, 2004).

Please take a look.  Right now, most people are operating out of an interpretation that says holy means set apart.  So we generally understand already its implications, through life experience in life as it now is.  Covey gives you and others a chance to see the implications of a new whole person map or paradigm.

 Above all reading, read your Bible.  But also read good books that help you be healthy in your heart, your soul, your strength and your mind.   In other words, in your whole self! 

In Christ,

Pastor Jon

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Whole Means Healthy: No Amount of Application is Helpful Without it.

Steven Covey, A. Roger Merrill, and Rebecca R. Merrill write: "If the basic paradigm is flawed or incomplete, no amount of effective application or implementation is going to bring optimum results."  (First Things First Everyday, p. 363).   This is a major possibility with regard to Christian teaching, if in fact holy does mean whole rather than set apart. 

Holy is so fundamental as a character trait that it is the A1 on the list of character priorities.  It is also the only character trait that is substituted for God's name of Yahweh.  It is part of Yahweh's basic character, which then also implies it must be part of Jesus' as well, since his name literally means "Yahweh saves".  It is also part of the third person of the Trinity's designation as "Holy Spirit."  There is no other moral term that equals it in importance, unless you also include its forgiving sequel of "Steadfast Kindness". 

What I find that many people don't seem to understand, like Covey, Merrill, and Merrill do seem to understand, is that increasing our capacity of application or implementation does not remedy the problem of an overall decline in church goers in the United States.  Many churches that I have visited and many especially among church planters see the key church growth to be in application or implementation, when in fact the basic paradigm might be flawed. 

If holy does not mean "set apart", then that will be the case.  This could explain the meager overall results from megachurches, when you look at the whole picture in the United States.  They have increased their own numbers in the their limited convtext, but they have not changed the overall picture of the decline in church numbers in the United States nor in the larger Western world. 

The question must be asked: Could this be because the basic paradigm for God's character is flawed or incomplete?  Could this then explain how such a massive and well-intentioned effort on the part of many church planters has made such a meager impact on the larger picture?  Can we face such questions?  To face it will required courage over timidtiy. 

In Christ,

Pastor Jon

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Whole Means Healthy so Stop the Opposite

Sometimes Christians behave badly unknowingly. There is a lot on the line when I say that holy means either whole or set apart. They point in diametrically opposed directions for action.

Let me illustrate. This morning on my cutting board, I began with a whole carrot. Because I want to eat the carrot with greater ease later today, I quartered the carrot. In the one case, I was dealing with a whole carrot. In the other case, following my action of cutting the carrot, I was dealing with a carrot that was quartered rather than whole. This is how stark the contrast is between these two ideas, when it comes to taking or choosing a course of action.

The root idea of set apart comes from the action of cutting. The root idea of wholeness is reflected in the opposite action of the leaving the carrot whole. It is seen in the action of uncut. One biblical scholar even uses the analogy of an uncut stone in Deuteronomy to express wholeness.

Allow me to mention one piece of history to reflect how much your course of action can effect others. Then I will return to the present and your decisions.

One very important event in the history of the church in the late 1800s was set off by a course of action that may have been effected by understanding holy as set apart. Charles Haddon Spurgeon, a great British preacher, left the Baptist Union over what he called the Downgrade. This whole episode became known as the Downgrade Controversy. What is important is that one of his themes was from the verse that says: "come out from among them and be ye separate" (KJV). Now while this verse does not have holy directly in it. You can see the likely connection that Spurgeon may have made in his mind, if he understood holy as set apart.

Spurgeon had said many times in his sermons that holy means moral wholeness. Yet he also said in other sermons that holy means separateness or being set apart . He also may have brought in the idea of purity in relationship to this word, because of his extensive reading of the English Puritans.

I have a strong sense that when push came to shove for Spurgeon, he made his decision to leave the Baptist Union partly because of his understanding of holiness as separation or being set apart. It was not uncommon from the time of Martin Luther until his day for Christians to recognize both of these meanings for this word.

His action was not just his own. He influenced an entire movement and gave energy at least indirectly to the fundamentalist movement later. Could his course of action been different, if he understood holy as only moral wholeness? It is possible.

Our courses of action will be different, if we understand holy as meaning either as cut or uncut. Holy is a major word for giving us lifestyle instructions in the Bible. It is even on many of its published bindings. It influences courses of action.

I pray that we have not behaved badly as Christians, because we have misunderstood this word. I fear that I did for many years behave badly, because I misunderstood it. I grew up with only the meaning of set apart. I may then have behaved even more extremely than Spurgeon.

I pray that you will be cautious in deciding whether to cut the carrots apart in your life. You may find the strong possibility that you should have left the carrot whole. That could be a little hard to swallow later. As one person puts it, "Be prudent ... when dealing with the unknown or the unpredictable."

Spurgeon did not have some of the scholarly resources we have today to influence his understanding of holy. We do have them. We will be held responsible for our course of action in a way that he was not. We will be judged more harshly, if we choose the wrong course of action.

Please show due caution in cutting yourself off from others. Remember, you could be taking precisely the opposite course of action to what God would have you do.

In Christ,


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Great Expectations and Implications from Micah 3:5

The Gettysburg Address lasted all of 5 minutes, I believe. The speaker before Lincoln spoke for 1 ½ hours, if I recall correctly. That speaker, who no one remembers, wrote to Lincoln and told him that he said more than him during his 5 minutes. I am going to keep this short and still try to say more than a longer discussion. I want to show you an example of how holy means whole has implications for a wonderful renewed meaning.

I’ll let you look at the larger context yourself, yet in Micah 3:5d, we read in a literal translation: “they even sanctify a war against him.” Today the assumed meaning would be: “they even set apart a war against him.” To get more meaning the assumed meaning might be translated to: “they even make a special war effort against him. “

In Micah 3:5d, we could instead see the meaning of sanctify (an action word for holy) as made whole. The translation here then would be: “they even put together all the parts of a war against him.” To get even more meaning you might say that this means: “they made a very significant war effort against him.” Rather than just a partial war against him, they were going to make a whole war effort against him. They were not going to leave anything out in their arsenal of war.

To me, this translation or meaning has more meaning than the first. To literally put together all the parts of a war effort against an enemy means you are giving your all which fits with the context of using the word “even.” “Even” means something goes against expectation. In this context, you might expect their anger resulting in some insignificant efforts, yet you would not expect an all out war effort.

So they are not just giving a half-baked effort, they are fully giving their all by leaving no part of a war effort out. So holy means whole has very big significance even in small places. I think this is: “a wonderful new meaning.” This quote is Luther’s words for his new understanding of righteousness.

The other thing to realize is that this meaning is not so much “a wonderful new meaning” as a wonderful renewed meaning going back to the original text and going back also to the understanding of reformers like Luther, who also understood holy this way in its broad definition.

In Christ,


Saturday, May 1, 2010

Whole Means Healthy So Stop the Insanity.

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Albert Einstein, (attributed)US (German-born) physicist (1879 - 1955)

In many ways this describes Christianity in its current state, if you see what I see. I am not looking at the many different things that churches and leaders have done. I am looking at the one thing that has stayed the same since the beginning of the 20th century. It is the church’s view of what it means to be holy. That has stayed the same despite any differences elsewhere with disastrous results. You might still ask: “So what?” My point is that you can make a massive google load of differences and changes and yet if you leave the key thing the same and continuous, those differences make no difference in reality.

That is why in my view church planting and many other movements within Evangelicalism to make things different really in the end make one thing still the same. It has not changed. It is the same whether you go to a conservative church, a liberal church or an evangelical church. It is all the same when it comes to the issue of holy or to put it another way, their view of what is whole and healthy is the same as well.

Allow me to try to make what some see as boring history interesting history. I think it is interesting, because the same thing is happening to us that happened to this people before. It is boring only if it has nothing to do with us. See my point? This pattern has very much to do with us!

Let me use a chart of history to try to simplify things down to the most significant things that are the same and different. Even the names that are different are not as significant as the same pattern that has shown itself in the present. I will try to use only the most significant names of people and groups to show a real pattern that has remained the same for some time. (As time passes and I am able to talk to more experts I will update this chart with improvements.)

The chart of what has remained much the same is this:

Different view of justification and mercy– Martin Luther and the Lutherans
Split over Luther’s view of justification – Martin Chemnitz and Philip Melancthon
Then peacemakers over the split – Philip Spener and the Pietists

Different view of humility and grace – John Calvin and the Calvinists (Reformed)
Split over Calvin’s view of humility – Gomarus and Arminius
Then peacemakers over the split – Richard Baxter and the Puritans

Different view of wholesome and kindness – Thomas Cranmer and the Anglicans (Episcopalians)
Split over Cranmer’s view of wholesome – Laud and Donne
Then peacemakers over the split – ? and the Brethren Movement

Different view of love and compassion– John Wesley and the Methodists
Split over Wesley’s view of love – Fletcher and ?
Then peacemakers over the split - ? and the Holiness Movement

Different view of goodness and longsuffering – Charles Spurgeon and the Baptists
Split over Spurgeon’s view of goodness – Torrey and Fosdick
Then peacemakers over the split – Billy Graham and the Evangelicals

(Present) Different view of ___________and _____________ -____________________
(Future) Split over ____________view of__________________ -__________________
(Further future) Then peacemakers over the split –_______________________________

My basic plea after seeing this chart is let us “stop the insanity.” Let’s move forward in fill in the next set of blanks. We are now at a time in history, when we need a “different view” of a specific biblical concept and we need to move beyond the next two stages following the Baptists, which lead to a deadness and then survival rather than revival from the first stage.

The irony, in the last stage dealing with Spurgeon, is that we are still trapped in the insanity following his death in Great Britain and the death of D.L. Moody in the United States. Those who brought the split and then the peacemakers hold to the same worldview. The only difference between them is that of an “either-or” stance on an issue or a “both-and” stance on an issue that is really relevant more to restoring the past revival than either their present or someone else’s future. That is what makes history boring, not history itself. It is a loss of relevance.

As an example of holding the same worldview, in the case of holy, all three camps agree that holy means separate or set apart. The irony is that this is different from Spurgeon, Wesley, Cranmer, Calvin and Luther. They saw that holy and healthy had to do with being whole in a broad and primary sense. They sometimes where a little hazy on this point, but this remained the same over time.

The difference in views that I believe needs to happen for us to again experience reformation and revival and health, is for Christians and their leaders to recognize that holy means whole and that kindness is the remedy for our lack of wholeness.

So you ask: “So what?” It is that insanity is by its very nature doing the same thing and expecting different results. The evangelicals are doing the same things as the conservatives and the liberals. Or at least they have the same worldview as the liberals and conservatives, when it comes to their view of holiness. There is no difference. This I believe is why they are as insane as the liberals or conservatives in believing that their worldview will produce reformation or revival.

I know that I must keep in mind that there is a difference between some who hold these views and others. Some are sane despite the insanity. Let’s make it so that some are insane despite the sanity. Let’s shift the majority position.

Let’s go back to Einstein. “ Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. I am not looking at the many different things that churches and leaders have done. I acknowledge the multitude of things done differently. I am looking at the one thing that has stayed the same since the beginning of the 20th century. It is the church’s view of what it means to be holy. Since that time, not prior, it has not changed. So someone, please stop the insanity! I want to be whole and healthy!

In Christ,


Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Whole Means Healthy So That Means Use Your Whole Brain

The people involved with the Emotional Intelligence literature and with Plutchik's Wheel of Emotions deserve a lot of credit for really understanding the whole brain or mind, rather than just a part of the brain or mind. From the Emotional Intelligence people, I learned that the emotions are a part of the mind or the intellect. They are not primarily in contrast to intelligence. From the Plutchik's writings or diagrams, I learned the different dimensions of emotions and how the mind processes work. What I have done in this piece of writing is apply the concept of the whole and its parts to this literature and below is what I got. Please do not blame the authors for my organization of things. You will have to blame me for that, but without their work, I would have had nothing to organize and little understanding of emotions.

The basic four positive emotions and the basic four negative emotions are:

Anticipation versus Anger (Amount Focused)

Joy versus Disgust (Relationship Focused)

Trust versus Fear (Action Focused)

Surprise versus Sadness (Thing Focused)

The process using the whole brain, rather than just the one part of the emotional center looks like the following diagrams:

Amount processing:
Anticipation Anger (amount stage)
Interested Annoyance (relationship stage)
Vigilance Rage (action stage)
Postive Amount Negative Amount (thing stage)

Relationship Processing:
Joy Disgust (amount stage)
Estasy Boredom (relationship stage)
Serenity Loathing (action stage)
Positive Relationship Negative Relationship (thing stage)

Action Processing:
Trust Fear (amount stage)
Acceptance Apprehension (relationship stage)
Admiration Terror (action stage)
Positive Action Negative Action (thing stage)

Thing Processing:
Surprise Sadness (amount stage)
Distraction Pensiveness (relationship stage)
Amazement Grief (action stage)
Positive Thing Negative Thing (thing stage)

Originally, when I put this all together I used some features in Microsoft Word to make some beautiful pictures of the processes of the mind. Unfortunately, my mind was not able to figure out a way to transfer those documents to this blog.

If you would like some colorful copies, I can send you hard copies, if you call me. For now I will say I can do it for a dollar a copy, so I at least cover postage and paper. If I get too busy I may have to charge something for my time, but I will post any change in price here first. You can call me at: 920-803-8623. Thank you.