Friday, August 26, 2016

Being Challenged To Be More Like Jesus, St. Nicholas Cabasailas
This one may be a little long so unless you are willing to seriously contemplate the thought expressed in this, the questions asked, don't waste your time, but, if you, like I, like to be challenged, this is a must read.

Last night I attended The Eighth Day Institute's Hall of Men.  A meeting that reminds me a lot of  J.R. Tolkien and CS Lewis regular gatherings to discuss theology among other things while enjoying their pipe and a cold pint, or two.  The event is largely attended by primarily Orthodox Groups. Catholic, Episcopalian, Anglican, etc..., so it can be understandably confusing that an unapologetic Anabaptist like myself would attend this gathering, yet, I find there is so much to learn, and I like to be theologically challenged at times, which this group does in a friendly, loving way.

Last night Fr. Benedict Armitage,the headmaster of Christ the Savior Academy, lead the discussion and provided some teaching on St Nicholas Cabasilas, a fourteenth-century Byzantine mystic.  There were several points that challenged me through the night, including into my dreams and still compel me to think aloud this morning as I discussed a couple of those issues and points taught/or written about by St. Nicholas Cabasailas and the natural conclusions those trains of thoughts can take one if they process it thoroughly.
Point one I am contemplating this morning: The Scripture is clear in numerous places on concepts of putting on the full image of Christ, to chase after holiness, and that it is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me, yet, so many like to follow the natural progression of man to areas of conflict, without love and regard of respect for their fellow human being. I find this especially so in today's political climate, there seems to be an attitude that we find it appropriate to behave, act, speak in manners other than the one which provides a representation of Christ. If it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me, or if I am to be a representative of Jesus, am I really contemplating the relationship I have with my fellow human being I am commanded to love, even my enemies?  If I refuse to make this attempt then do I in reality have a loving relationship and respect for Jesus the Christ? This is not to devalue the concept of WWJD but it is much more than that, it isn't so much about asking the question of What Would Jesus Do, but going further and attempting to be an represent who Jesus was.

There was another interesting concept though touched on by St. Nicholas Cabasailas and as was discussed last night at the Hall of Men meeting, that is this, did you ever stop to think about the reality of why is it that Jesus after the resurrection kept the wounds of the cross, and as is presented in Revelation, carries those marks into eternity?  After all, He is God He could easily remove those and provide Himself a new body, yet, He keeps those marks of the crucifixion, as brutal as they are, even in Revelation appearing as a Lamb led to slaughter?  St. Nicholas Cabasailas, believed it provided two purposes, one is an eternal reminder that the Son of God, God Himself, chose to show us his love for us by being one of us. Dying is a concept not natural to God it isn't possible for God, yet it was through becoming part man, while fully God that Christ gave Himself up to be crucified on the cross. He keeps those scars for an eternity to remind us, just like he did Thomas shortly after the resurrection, that He did indeed die, yet He also conquered death. They are an eternal reminder of His sacrifice to become one of us, to die like one of us, and ultimately to show His eternal love for all of us. It will be an eternal reminder that was culminated on the cross, for prior to His coming to this earth, Christ had a Heavenly body, and was an eternal spirit, yet now, even though He is in Heaven at the right hand of God, He carries the marks of His earthly body and the sacrifice and punishment He took to show us His ultimate love and sacrifice provided for our salvation.

I can't help but reflect on these things today, they challenge me, they challenge me to seek perfection and holiness although I know I won't obtain it until I reach Heaven, but that does not negate the love of all people, even my enemies that I am commanded to have. It doesn't negate me treating Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton or their supporters the way Christ Himself would treat them if he had a one on one sit down with them.  Of course, some are still so driven by the politics of the day that they forget the Savior, King they say they are committed to. Today, I challenge you, be like Jesus, and in the attempt to be like Him, remember, He carries the marks of the cross for an eternity to show us how much He loved us.  Oh yeah, another thing I can't help but think of this morning, "If you are to be my disciple, you must take up your cross, and follow me daily."  ~ Jesus

The Virtual Pew and our other work is supported solely by the kind contributions of others. You can click on the donate button below to give any amount to this work that does so much more than just post articles on the net; I draw no ongoing salary from the church I pastor, Mosaic Wichita which is predominantly a homeless church; I am grateful for any small amount you can contribute to help with this ministry.  Believe me, there is much more going on than most realize. I will also provide information to verify the ministry and income that comes into this ministry and work.  Thanks and feel free to share any material from The Virtual Pew, I only ask that appropriate credit is given and a link to the original site with the materials provided.

Click here to read about, and order the book, The Keystone Kid

You can also order the book at all major retailers, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble and so forth. It is available via e-book for .99 Cents or if having a way to download, can download the full audiobook at and simply going to Mike Furches / The Keystone Kid. The audio version of the book is available for a free download.!store
Click here to visit the web page The Virtual Pew

Click here to follow The Virtual Pew on Twitter

Mike Furches on Faceboook.

Click here to visit Mosaic Church where Mike is Pastor

The Keystone Kid/Virtual Pew Message Boards

Click to subscribe to my blog

There are hundreds of postings so make sure to check out the archives. You can also contact me for a free audio book link of The Keystone Kid at You can visit

Hopefully, you will consider a gift to The Virtual Pew.

Now I get asked this quite often, Can we repost your blogs or articles? The short answer to that is, what an honor that you would ask, and by all means, spread the word. Here is our contact information

The Virtual Pew
1249 N. St. Francis
Wichita Kansas, 67214

Click on the following links to learn more about The Virtual Pew

Donations to The Virtual Pew

The Virtual Pew Blog

Personal Furches Web Site

Hollywood Jesus

Reviews With Mike

The Virtual Pew Sermons

The Virtual Pew News