J Walking

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Meet Brian

posted by David Kuo

Brian Horan has been walking with us for a while now. Here’s a bit about him and the bonus pic too. Thanks Brian.

I am 33 and am changing careers from public school teaching to nursing. The politics of public education were too much to bear, but like a moth to the flame I follow local and national politics.
I grew up in the Evangelical Republican Right. I was soured my first year of my undergraduate in ’92 when Bush the elder made it much more difficult for middle class kids to get financial aid. Plus, I never understood how supply-side economics coincided with the Gospel preference for the poor.
Still, my first year of university I was involved in Campus Crusade. On a mission trip after my freshman year my faith fell apart because I was surrounded by biblical literalists; but I could no longer in good conscience take the Bible literally.
I maintained friendships but dropped the dogma. I still keep in touch with the Campus Crusade director who is a genuinely awesome person.
Since I have investigated Buddhism and New Thought (as espoused by Religious Science, A Course In Miracles, Eckhart Tolle, Neale Donald Walsch, etc.) Eckhart Tolle in particular brought Jesus into a new focus for me.
Even though I may bitterly disagree with you on some issues, I consider you a thoughtful brother in God. I first saw a news item about your book a few years ago and have followed you with avid interest since.

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Donny

posted May 8, 2008 at 9:42 am


The Apostles and Disciples knew people “in the Church” that came and went. This from John:
Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.
But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth. Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist—he denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also.
See that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. And this is what he promised us—even eternal life.
I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray. As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.



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Linda Sue

posted May 8, 2008 at 9:52 am


David I’m confused which isn’t unusual for me. Are you introducing Brian so we can “know” an obviously thoughtful and pleasant man or to introduce the topic of his beliefs? I hesitate to comment on his beliefs – not my area of specialty. My biblical literalism includes the idea that to those who are not believing – all gospel is foolishness. If you don’t “get it” you won’t “get it” – all the lectures, condemnation and witness doesn’t change until you desire that change. IMHO the idea of castigating those who don’t agree gets me in an uncomfortable area of those without sin and their supply of stones- I’ve been there and done that. Thought I figured out a better way – I was wrong.



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Doug

posted May 8, 2008 at 9:59 am


Nice to meet you, Brian. My give my regards to your wife.
Looks cold there.



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isit2009yet

posted May 8, 2008 at 10:19 am


Bet you’re glad you were first, Brian…



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Brian Horan

posted May 8, 2008 at 10:41 am


Linda Sue,
I wouldn’t mind if we discuss beliefs. That would allow me to learn about the community. I can even elaborate on my own.
All the Jews I’ve ever met (it’s not a wide sample) believe the Old Testament is full of midrash (i.e., allegory/metaphor). Being that the Jews are the forefathers of our Monotheistic faith, it’s very worthwhile to consider what they think.
I believe the Bible was inspired. I also believe the official Biblical New Testament cannon was politically motivated by the Romans. Unfortunately we can see how nasty politics is in our own time.
I firmly believe the Gospel of Thomas should’ve been included.
As I don’t fully accept the Holy Roman Church today, it seems like a leap of faith to believe Constantine wasn’t just trying to unify the Empire via creeds and an official Biblical cannon that is lacking.
I’ve heard people say the Bible’s been changed significantly. I disagree because the Gospel narratives have several contradictory points the Church fathers left in. They deserve credit for keeping the integrity of the document.
Most importantly for me, the underlying Spirit of the Bible is consistent throughout. Jesus implored us in Mathew 22 to love, and said that Love fulfills all requirements of the Law.
2 Cor. 3:6 states “The Spirit gives life, but the Law Kills.” I believe that Spirit is Unconditional Love Given and Received regardless of background, opinion, race, etc. Any requisite to give or receive Love cancels it’s Unconditional aspect.
I also believe Love is the only thing that motivates correct action. As the apostle Paul states, “We love because we are first loved.”
We’ve had the written Law, which preceded Christ, for thousands of years now and it’s never solved anything.
Other Scriptures
My favorite books like the Bible – Science of Mind and A Course In Miracles – are uncompromising in that God is the only reality there is. Illusions decay and change.
I’ve heard that this may have been a current of thought in Saint Augustine, but I’ll have to study it further.
A Course In Miracles teaches the psychology and actions of forgiveness. I think that’s the best we can do in this ambivalent experience on earth. I also think that was the primary mission of Jesus.



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Donny

posted May 8, 2008 at 12:23 pm


Cafeteria Christianity (though “Christianity” is not what Jesus talked about) is where to find corruption and corrupt people desiring to harm the brethren. Picking and eliminating what you do not like about Jesus is not an option presented in the Gospal for believers. Orthodoxy (truth is truth) is a solid foundation on which to find security and it is so for that reason. Doubting is fair and natural, but when it crosses into literally promoting “anything goes” (which of course is new age, liberal and progressive to a tee) it is anti-Christ. Jesus was not a wimp. He was not a hippy, effeminate sop. He was sure and confident and spoke to people in absolutes. Only one road led to Him, per Him. There is no compromise with that except FROM evil or very confused (perhaps) and untrustworthy people. It appears that evil people desire more than anything else to shake the faith of believers. Of course that is the definition of evil. This was common in anti-Christ’s at the beginning of the Church and indeed was what Satan tried to do TO Jesus, and nothing has changed in the actions of evil people now. “Test all things and hold fast to the truth.” That means there is truth and there is false teachings. In fact, what is consistent IN the New Testament witness, is the voice for combatting false teachers, false teaching and its path toward and in the Church. The witness of the New Testament (the efforts of the martyrs) stands as solid now as it ever did, and still faces the exact same attack now as when it was first penned by the believers “in” Christ. To be found in Him is to be in Him.



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maxcat06

posted May 8, 2008 at 12:35 pm


Donny……..what if YOUR interpretation is wrong? After all, you are putting a human interpretation on divine word.



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jestrfyl

posted May 8, 2008 at 2:08 pm


There is a Peanuts comic strip that I have given every Confiormation Class member over several years. In it Linus and Charlie Brown are in Sunday School. Linus says, “May I ask a question? I don’t really wish to interrupt…” Charlie brown runs from the room, saying, “I think I’ll leave…” as Linus continues saying, “I also don’t wish to be rude (next panel) just as a matter of curiosity, Sir; ( final panel) Has it occurred to you that you might be wrong?”
Schulz reused this theme in another strip. Snoopy is atop his doghouse, with his typwriter at his feet. Charlie Brown says, “I hear you are writing a book of theology (next panel) I hope you have a good title.” Snoopy looks up in the third panel and says (I have the perfect title). The fnal panel has him typing, “Has It Ever Occured That You Might Be Wrong?”
My final strip on the page I hand out shows only Charlie Brown’s sister, Sally – a soliloquoy in four panels, “My topic is the purpose of theology. / When discussing theology we must always keep our purpose in mind. / Our purpose as students is understandibly selfish.” The to the teacher she says, “There is nothing better than being in a class where no one knows the answer”.
So saith the Prophet Schulz. Go and do the same.



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John E.

posted May 8, 2008 at 4:21 pm


I like this new feature – not only do we get to learn about our fellow J-Walking readers, we get to learn just exactly what Donny thinks is wrong with their beliefs.



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hootie1fan

posted May 8, 2008 at 5:15 pm


I am 33 and am changing careers from public school teaching to nursing. The politics of public education were too much to bear, but like a moth to the flame I follow local and national politics.
————————–
I mad the change at 29 from public school teaching to the military. I’ve been back in the civilian world a briefly thought about going back into teach, but only briefly.
Having been a lifelong Catholic, I’ve had problems dealing with the prevailing holy-roller, pseudo Christian that dominated the area of the Deep South where I now live.



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Brian Horan

posted May 8, 2008 at 6:29 pm


hootie1fan,
It’s not always easy dealin’ with holy-roller-pseudo-Christian types. It’s even harder dealing with mean people.
Eckhart Tolle and Course In Miracle Teachers point out the Biblical account of Jesus on the cross saying, “Forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
I particularly like Tolle’s notion that it’s simply unconscious (thoughtless/zombie) behavior.
Sometimes I’m unconcious myself. But, every time I find that I’m unconscious – I can celebrate that as a moment to choose again and do the right thing.
Teaching is very honorable. I miss it, but got burned by district politics. I realized I need more than 30K a year to go through what I did.
I’ve never had any regrets about the kids I taught. It’s the politics with the adults that gave me the burn. And I’m not claiming that I was perfect either.
My mother has been an RN. I’m very proud of her and want to follow in her footsteps. RNs are getting treated much better than teachers now in the Denver Metro area.



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canucklehead

posted May 8, 2008 at 8:16 pm


Hey Dave, my wife says that if I submit my bio and a picture, it can’t be a picture of me in my Speedo.
Isn’t there some New Testament (you know, Apostles-type stuff) passage I can leverage to my advantage so that she will repent of her insubordination?



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Brian Horan

posted May 8, 2008 at 8:38 pm


canucklehead,
Just show off that beautiful body and she won’t be insubordinate anymore.



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Lisa

posted May 8, 2008 at 10:50 pm


Hi Brian nice to meet you.
Good luck on your career change i see both professions as a great opportunity to spread love which to me Jesus is. I focus almost entirely on jesus’s teachings two things Love the Lord your god with all your heart soul and mind love your neighbor as yourself
Sound s to me like you do serve a higher power and my guess is you do a great job at it. i don’t think everything in the bible can be taken literally but I still devoted myself to Jesus. whatever you call the higher power it is indeed love and kindness,
Incredibally curious what politics go on in teaching? i am a curious type person. God bless lisa



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Brian Horan

posted May 9, 2008 at 11:33 am


Lisa,
Budgeting and ‘No Child Left Behind’ are huge political considerations in the Denver Metro Schools. I can’t say for sure that these apply the same way in every school district.
Last year when I taught I had about thirty kids with no para-professional support (like secretarial support) for most of the year. This was due to budget considerations.
Standardized testing upon which schools are graded has become paramount. However it’s just one little snapshot. Sadly, some intelligent kids just don’t test well for various reasons.
What’s most ironic about testing in Denver is that the results don’t come back till the next fall – and this makes it impossible to help your class body based on the results.
Schools are graded with the tests and purse strings can be tied. Worst case scenario for staff is that they are removed.
What supporters of these measures don’t understand at all is that there’s a teacher shortage. So, the policies don’t remove bad teachers and staff – they simply enable staff to play musical chairs.
The worst thing I encountered, and it was at more than one school, was administrators pitting themselves against teachers rather than supporting them. I think mostly it has to do with insecurity and time constraints.
I could probably go on and on about education… I became very sad about people being pitted against on another and that was what burned me. I think moving on is helping me to forgive.
Kids are incredible and deserve so much more than our society gives them in urban areas (I can’t speak for everywhere). As a teacher, once one has there class management down – then they can focus on instruction. But, class management is huge and dynamics change every year.



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The Apostles were conservative Christians

posted May 9, 2008 at 12:49 pm


Donny……..what if YOUR interpretation is wrong? After all, you are putting a human interpretation on divine word.
Posted by: maxcat06 | May 8, 2008 12:35 PM
As opposed to who or what? I am just presenting what those taught by Jesus present in the New Testament. I don’t edit or alter their words. The Apostles didn’t have a very “anything goes” approach to the Gospel. Actually it looks like they opposed “anything goes” very similar to the way Jesus did, in everything they wrote. But, like you say, one guy with an opinion. Umm, that goes for Brian, Eck, Jim, Oprah, and others right?



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Brian Horan

posted May 9, 2008 at 1:23 pm


Donny,
Why don’t you tell me what you disagree with point by point and give detailed justifications for your stances? I think most people would tell you your current approach only allows you to preach to the choir and not the unconverted.
I’ll break down some of my beliefs and you can respond point-by-point.
(*I’m really interested in knowing what the entire Kuo-Community thinks of the following points, even canucklehead in his speedos!*)
1. The primary mission of Jesus was love in this mixed up world expressed via forgiveness. Jesus didn’t follow the written law tit for tat and was persecuted by religious authorities as a result (e.g., performing miracles on the Sabbath).
2 Cor. 3:6 states “The Spirit gives life, but the law kills.” Interestingly enough the apostle Paul didn’t advocate physical circumcision nor a strictly kosher diet, both of which were in accordance with the written law.
2. My favorite books like the Bible – Science of Mind and A Course In Miracles – are uncompromising in that GOD IS THE ONLY REALITY THERE IS. Illusions decay and change.
As the book of 1 John states, “God is love and those that abide in love abide in God.” Love is the only thing that motivates correct action. As the apostle Paul states, “We love because we are first loved.” Spirit is unconditional love given and received regardless of background, opinion, race, etc. Any requisite to give or receive love cancels it’s unconditional aspect.
3. Jesus implored us in Mathew 22 to love, and said that love fulfills all requirements of the Law. We’ve had the written law, which preceded Christ, for thousands of years now and it’s never solved anything. 2 Cor. 3:6 states “The Spirit gives life, but the law kills.”
4. All the Jews I’ve ever met (it’s not a wide sample) believe the Old Testament is full of midrash (i.e., allegory/metaphor). Being that the Jews are the forefathers of our Monotheistic faith, it’s very worthwhile to consider what they think.
5. I believe the Bible was inspired. I also believe the official Biblical New Testament cannon was politically motivated by the Romans.
As I don’t fully accept the Holy Roman Church today, it seems like a leap of faith to believe Constantine wasn’t just trying to unify the Empire via creeds and an official Biblical cannon that is lacking (much like George W. Bush used people like Dobson, Robertson, Bob Jones III to get himself elected).
Unfortunately we can see how nasty politics is in our own time and what a corrupting influence it is on the Body of Christ.
6. I firmly believe the Gospel of Thomas should have been included in the Biblical Cannon.
7. I’ve heard people say the Bible’s been changed significantly. I disagree because the Gospel narratives have several contradictory points the Church fathers left in (See modern authors like John Shelby Spong, A.N. Wilson, Karen Armstrong, Paul Tillich, etc.).
The vast majority of Biblical scholars do not think that any of the Gospels were eye-witness accounts, but were handed down orally and were colored by the needs and perceptions of different people.
Church fathers deserve credit for keeping the integrity of the documents.
I go back to points 1 and 2: Even the Beatles knew that all you need is LOVE.



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