Alan Miller aka ‘Jesus Christ’ living in the Qld scrub?

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Alan John Miller, 47, met Mary Luck, 32, in the lounge room of her parent’s home. The only thing unusual is that Alan makes straight-faced claims to be Jesus Christ and says Mary Luck is really Mary Magdalene who just happened to be living nearby. The Apostle John, a first century disciple of the historical Christ, is also living in Australia, according to Alan Miller.

Miller says that there are probably a million people who say they are Jesus Christ and ‘most of them are in asylums. But one of us has to be. How do I know I am? Because I remember everything about my life.’

Interviewed tonight (May 16, 2011) on A Current Affair, Miller came across as reasonable, calm and gentle (oh, there was that small thing about meeting Elvis) and several of his followers were interviewed and clearly have a strong belief in his messianic claims.

Up to 40 people have moved to the tiny town of Wilkesdale near Bundaberg and hold meetings on a 16 ha property, where they plan to build an international visitors centre. This is despite claiming Alan does not desire a following.

Of course where there is a Jesus claim, there are also miracle claims as well. News outlets are reporting that a giant cross has been inadvertently created by land clearing near the cult’s property.

‘In a bizarre coincidence, land clearing has created a giant cross on neighbouring properties that can be seen from space using Google Maps. Local residents insisted it was not carved deliberately,’ News Ltd reports.

And while Miller says that all he wants to do is communicate Divine Truth that people can choose to accept if they want, he seems to be ignoring the truth of the first century Jesus who warned his followers about false Christs.

‘At that time if anyone says to you, “Look, here is the Christ!” or, “There he is!” do not believe it. For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and miracles to deceive even the elect — if that were possible. See, I have told
you ahead of time.

‘So if anyone tells you, “There he is, out in the desert,” do not go out; or, “Here he is, in the inner rooms,” do not believe it. For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.’ Matthew 24:23-27Read More »

New Last Supper theory interesting, but not so new

Media outlets are today reporting claims from a new book that Easter celebrations are a day late in marking the celebration by Jesus of the Passover before being crucified.

Many close readers of the Bible who have studied the Gospel accounts of the last week of Jesus’ life would have already considered the possibility of the Last Supper occurring on the Wednesday, rather than Thursday, before Good Friday.

The Gospels are not motivated by a desire to inform readers of exact dates – presuming early Christians were already well aware of these,  or because they were focused on the content of Jesus life and teaching rather than chronology.

However as an historic faith, it is heartening to see scientists seeking to test accounts and find explanations for these eye-witness accounts, handed down over many centuries.

And while this latest book is unlikely to change the way Christians celebrate Easter (although perhaps we could argue for an extra Easter holiday?) it is a useful reminder that Easter is more than religious tradition, it remembers extraordinary events in the lives of real people, one in particular.

“‘One of the most famous meals in history is commemorated a day late, a new  book by a Cambridge University physicist claims,” the SMH report says.

“Professor Sir Colin Humphreys, who was knighted last year for his  contribution to science, argues that the last supper Jesus Christ shared with  his disciples occurred on Wednesday, April 1, AD33, rather than on a Thursday as  traditionally celebrated in most Christian churches.

“The theory would explain the apparent inconsistencies between the Gospels of  Matthew, Mark and Luke – which say the Last Supper was a Passover meal – and  that of John, which says Jesus was tried and executed before the Jewish  festival. It would explain another puzzle: why the Bible has not allowed enough  time for all events recorded between the Last Supper and the Crucifixion.

“Sir Colin’s book, The Mystery of the Last Supper, out this week, uses  astronomy to re-create  calendars, plus  detail drawn from texts such as the  Dead Sea Scrolls  to propose a timeline for Jesus’s final  days.”

Read more at the SMH’s New theory on date of last supper.

Check out a previous Easter Utterance post

Can we co-exist downtown and in the church

I’ve never listened to singer Patty Griffin but the title of her latest album, Downtown Church, grabbed my attention, being part of an inner city church myself.

Bernard Zuel opens his Saturday SMH review of the album with words that give us great insight into the intersection of faith and culture. Zuel, as far as I know, is not a person of religious persuasion, making his words all the more instructive:

“…this is not an album for Sunday morning coming down but for coming up. It’s a gospel record for the not-necessarily religious by a woman in the prime of her songwriting and singing life who grew up Catholic but understands that faith (held and lost) and redemption (sought but not always found) aren’t just matters of pews and pulpits.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself, Bernard. One day I hope you’ll discover for yourself that Christians aren’t (all) plastic and religious but can be real and honest and broken and hurting and alive and full of faith all at the same time.

He concluded his review, commenting on some of the tracks on the album, with further, almost prophetic, insight:

“…that special ache Griffin specialises in: neither outright sadness nor comfortably accommodated acceptance. That they fit seamlessly within this quasi-religious setting explains why Griffin can co-exist in downtown and the church – and make you feel like you could too.”

Better find me a Patty Griffin album. Oh, and by the way, Bernard, I might be able to introduce you to a ‘downtown’ church you may enjoy. PH