Image Credit: Jon King.
Jon King is an acquaintance through a mutual friend. He is Christian. Here we talk about faith and Christianity.
Scott Douglas Jacobsen: We came into contact through a mutual friend. You are Christian. Let’s start with a definition and brief story. What sect – or if not sect, then set of beliefs – defines your Christianity? How did you first come into contact with that form of it?
Jon King: Presently, I am ordained as an Apostle just like Paul, Peter, or John from the New Testament. I do not align myself with a sect or denomination because I understand that there is only “the way” as it is written. This is the example by faith and works as well as by affiliation that Jesus showed us according to example in His three-year ministry. This was validated not just by speech but in the deed of the active ministry of His Apostles as they would go to fulfill what is known as the Great Commission, therefore establishing the early roots of the Church. I have learned that God is not a God of denomination but He is the truth. The truth is not in part and certainly does not align Himself according to our fake box with an artificial ceiling. So, as Jesus walked I walk. As He lived I live. I only do what I must and the example of His life unlocks many of the hidden secrets to how being a Christian or follower of Christ is to be successfully lived out. Every day since my conversion, I have read the Bible, spent time in prayer and doing good works as they demonstrate the faith I have in the need for truth to change the world. This is not a religion, this is a revolution. And the Bible is my roadmap with the direction of God through His Spirit.
My conversion to walking in the way of truth like Christ officially transpired on the evening of 9/11/2014. I was sitting on my couch in Arlington, VA and all of this sudden, I just knew that God’s presence was consuming me. In that knowing, my faith started to grow and reveal to me the Trinity and how God was communicating with me through His Spirit by the finished work of Christ. I didn’t own a Bible, attend church, or for that matter give any thought about God or my relationship with Him. I was just living however I wanted and had this sort of burning bush consumption and my heart began to melt in sorrow as the presence of fear and trembling mixed with peace and understanding came over me. Right about then, I was overwhelmed like a secret door in my being was opened and I knew it was Jesus by name. I would spend much of that evening in tears and by the time I went to bed, I knew that following Jesus despite the cost was my only option. I was certain in a way that I had never experienced before. I realized my life was being spared and that there was purpose in everything that had occurred before in my life. It was incredibly powerful and humbling. God was speaking to me like He spoke to Moses and my mind was blowing but I knew it was real and it was unlike anything I had ever experienced. I saw a vision of the Church falling away into this kind of corporate black hole and then I saw the rising and falling of nations. I knew in an instant that I must go speak to the church I was a part of as I young teenager, though it had been about 15 years or so since I attended a service. Within 60 days, I would commute from my place of work as a strategic advisor working national programs for Defense and Intelligence to my hometown to share a seven-minute prophetic message about change. No sermon but me standing on a stage looking out into a crowd in a full house (no one believed it was me) sharing a message about changing and preparing to fight as warriors in this present crisis of darkness. There was weeping and I called a veteran friend from childhood out of the crowd and had him stand. It was Veteran’s day so I had them all stand. Before I knew it, I was going from one person to the next laying my hands on them and speaking truth into their lives. I felt whole and since then, I have been doing ministry everywhere I go. A seed was planted inside of me and on it is written, “truth.” The seed came from God when I was younger but on 9/11/2014, God pointed at it and commanded the rain to grow it. That was the day the fire roared inside of me.
Jacobsen: I want to split this into formal argument, so philosophy, and informal sentiment, so experience. To the former, what arguments – as much detail as you wish – make the best case for faith in general?
King: We all exercise a great degree of faith. What separates us on this journey is what we are putting our faith in. To make decisions based off of what we cannot definitively prove or see is to follow some degree of faith. Whether you believe Jesus is Lord and follow Him or believe in humanism or Buddha, you are deciding to place your smaller decisions in the figurative hand of a worldview. And to exercise your free will to satisfy a form of belief leaves us in a vulnerable place. That is unavoidable, as even the Big Bang has to have an originating author, because everything comes from something. So, why not acknowledge that we just are exercising faith in some sort of originating way. “In the beginning…God created.” That is a huge step if we believe that. Those two things together beg for us to go further. If He is God and has purpose for everything, then why did He? What does it mean for me? What relevance does believing or not believing this have in my life journey? Think about it but either way, you will have to accept that you cannot prove or disprove what you are putting your faith in when it comes to answering these worldview questions. Not to have the desire to have faith is death man. Because with faith comes the will to hope and hope inspires man to keep walking towards that dim light on those dark days so that tomorrow can be freer than yesterday. Look around at this creation and see it all growing towards that infinite sky and think back to those experiences where you just knew something divine was occurring. Believe because your soul is begging to swim in that life.
One day this machine down here is going to slow down significantly then stop. Then what? Deep down, we all think about that potential life in eternity where it will all be different and without the same complication as this time in the dirt is. There are many beliefs, religions, faiths, and cynicism out there. So much so that over time we have started to worship not believing with all of who we are as some sort of badge of courage but I tell you to do the very opposite is to do the title of one of my favorite movies, “Into the Wild.” You have to find out who you are for real and be set free from unbelief so that you can live in the presence of peace and walk in those mysteries with God that make this life worth living. It’s not that weak people need to make a case for faith. It’s that faith made a case to people who had the desire to listen to Him. That case was closed when Jesus came out of that tomb resurrected from the death of a criminal. I believe in that and I have that faith because I decided to let my preconceived notions about God and myself go. I say to you, there is a God and He is in three parts. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. He loves you man and you’re worth it. Believe because there is no better place to go. Believe and have faith because that is where greatness resides. This isn’t a conversation about rational. You can’t rationalize thoughts of the heart. But you can meditate on their significance. The mind will follow the faith that is in the heart. The roots of your faith are life producing or death. We believe that where the root is planted, the tree will grow. That’s because we have faith in the process of life. To live this life and depend only on intellect would defy the number one thing that every human is willing to fight for, love. Love cannot be measured or seen but we feel Him and we know it’s so important. In fact, we die for it every day. We didn’t create love but we hunger and we thirst for His riches. So I dare you to believe friends. To have faith is to live and not just survive.
Jacobsen: What arguments – as much detail as you wish – make the best case for Christianity in general – as well as your own?
King: No argument makes the best case for Christianity. All I can do to make the case for Christianity as the best option for those who want to live a life in truth is to reason with their hearts and minds, hoping that the grace of God instructs them where they are open to absorbing that goodness. Even within the ranks and files taking up territory within the evangelical Christian church, you will get several different answers to this question. But I am more concerned with what God through Christ would say, or better yet, what He would do to best inform the reader. I am convinced that Jesus Christ is the only way to the Father by the saving power of the Holy Spirit because I exercise this faith in my life every day and the fruit of this belief has completely transformed me in every way possible. So much so that I sold my possessions to the poor, got on a bus and came to Washington D.C. with only a bag and a hot fire burning inside that produced the fruit of prayer. Leaving all I ever knew and losing every relationship I had in order to follow this invisible but personal God. He commanded my soul to be refreshed in His presence and gave me tremendous purpose. “Go teach them faith with your life.” That is the apostolic calling He gave me, more or less. I have been full-time in ministry now for over three years operating mostly individually and I’ve experienced so much truth, love, and hope all over this hurting nation. I have gone without food for days at a time, slept in the open while it was raining, walked up to thirty plus miles to get around the next corner and be a part of real miracles. I have come back from my own grave following a Judas kind of betrayal and been persecuted in a U.S. court (2nd circuit court in Plymouth, NH) for my radical faith in Jesus and the way as written in the Bible. One year ago today to be exact. On Halloween of 2016, my accusers stood before me and asked me inside quotes to explain to them my conversion to following Jesus, so I stood up in the power of courage as they scorned me and testified the gospel of God until my liberal judge spoke into the microphone, “blessed is he who does not take offense because of Me.” I heard her and knew it was God with me so I said “Amen” and spoke the scriptures until my spirit was retired and they had no questions left to ask. Looking into the eyes of my wife at the time, I knew I was choosing my faith over everything else. So they said I was crazy because I did not defend myself but shared the truth of who God is. I lost it all that day and I gained it all that day. As I walked into the cold street following, I joined the ranks of those who made it possible for me to understand what Christianity truly is. Following that day, I was rejected and cast away by everyone and anyone I ever thought I knew. So I thought about Him while He was walking to that mount to be killed for my sake and I wept with a bitter joy as I asked, “Father! Why have you forsaken me?” He said, “My grace is sufficient for you my son.” So I said, “glory to God. Forgive my unbelief Father.” And then I knew for certain that one must die to live. We choose to die for a time now and then live or we live for awhile then die forever. When I decided it would be better to die than to forsake the Jesus I know, I knew that I believed. That is everything I could have asked for.
I share this sequence and story with you because it’s the evidence that makes the case. So I reason with you my friends but I cannot argue because believing in Jesus is not an argument but it’s being connected to the truth. That’s above reproach and it’s magnanimous in nature. It’s a supernatural work in natural circumstances that point to the power and nature of God. Many call God by many names but from the thunder I hear Him say, “this is the way, walk in it.” He was 33 when He was put to death for us and He didn’t complain at all. We owe Him our best. That’s why I’m here right now. I have to finish the work of Him who sent me.
Jacobsen: What experiences speak to the heart of the Christian faith? How do these attest to the truth of the faith?
King: When you see someone love in the face of hatred, you are seeing the faith of God overcome by grace the darkness. That is the faith of Christ which is the epicenter of the Christian faith. That really is interchangeable for the heart of God. Not Catholicism or Mormonism or any other kind of mimicking religion that claims to represent the equity of an infinite God who is present with us in spirit and in truth can claim it is Christianity. When you are forgiven for doing what you know was wrong, that’s the evidence of God’s heart in the Christian. To be a Christian is to share in the heart of God and respond like Jesus as it is no longer we who live but Christ who lives within us. Those who feed the needy and shelter the poor. They are them that represent the heart of the Christian. The guy you see walking down the street in meekness while giving the five dollars he has to someone who claims to be poor but isn’t is that Christian heart in action. Because that guy knows that he is rich in faith and in faith exists the opportunity to receive everything. He would rather give away his last five dollars to know he is representing Jesus than to spend it on the dollar menu. He just screams inside for the world to look up and see the character of God for who He rightfully is. The woman at the well Jesus spoke to in the book of John is such a great illustration. She was living in adultery and wasn’t even a Jew but Jesus walked a good distance with no water to connect with her at that historical well. So he prophetically connected with her in spirit and spoke truth into the core of her being. Then she believed Him and went and got her friends and He showed them the way like Joe Cocker says in his song, “With A Little Help From My Friends.” We are called to go and do that same thing and we know it’s the truth because we see these things happen everyday. When someone is living a certain way and the love of God comes upon them through someone else being used as a vessel, the radical impact it has is the testament and evidence of that faith’s power. The trick is discerning the regular product that faith produces. If it’s forgiving, patient, kind, selfless, humble, faithful, it’s Christianity. The staying power of Christ to transform the lives of everything and everyone He touches is not rivaled. That’s why He has the most contested name on earth (still). There is only one God and no one gets to the Father part of Him without going to and becoming like the Son part of Him. And that only happens when we believe and receive that third Holy Spirit part of Him that instructs and teaches us how to do it and win.
I spend my days spontaneously responding to the direction of God in much anticipation of His epic plans for each day. He has shown me how to live a completely submitted life as Jesus did and go where He wants when He wants so that I will do what He wants and be satisfied with my contribution to the greatest mission of all time. The mission of love going forward and conquering death. Most of my interactions are unplanned and I only speak what I must. My actions follow that prophetic speech and become a part of changing broken things into better things. Some people see and believe. Some people see and become fearful and don’t believe. But this is the tradition of what it is to be a Christian. We do it because it’s who we are, not because it makes us feel good. We live as servants because that is the way to freedom. We want to be free all the time and to do that we have to look closely at the character of God at work in people. Those who are most like Jesus provide the best evidence for why this Christianity is so wonderful. It’s not our job to “save everyone.” It’s our job to live like Jesus in faith and trust God to do His will in all that we are a part of.
Jacobsen: What do you consider the strongest atheist arguments against Christianity?
King: I’m not an expert apologist but I’ll give you a couple insertion points that I believe atheists are trying to commonly promote. It has been made known to me through multiple engagements that the average atheist wants to believe in God but has not experienced a life yet where the case for God’s love has been made known to them. So. they do their best to undercut His existence so that they do not have to subject themselves to His mission. Because if you believe God is real then you must consider what it is He created you for and then dissect what it is He is asking you to do. Atheism is dead. Literally, it is a dead spirit that is being oppressed by unbelief and pain at its core and it desires to multiply it’s product because that’s how power works. Whether good or bad, power goes out looking to multiply itself. Atheists try to use evolution but it doesn’t quite stand firm when you start to poke at its genesis. If that doesn’t work, atheism is really good at getting philosophical so that you will get trapped in a horizontal or worldly angle of perspective and start to compare and contrast dissimilar things. But at its core, I really believe that atheism’s strongest case against Christianity is the same as most cases against Christianity. It all has to do with who Jesus is and his role in our lives by His sheer state of just being worthy due to His set apart holy nature as God and man. Atheism is a good way to exercise selfishness which is human nature without letting your conscience get too wrapped up in things like accountability or consequences. And that’s great if you just want to consume and maybe feel good because you donate to puppies or recycle because going green is trendy. But atheism is terrible at defending the importance of love and it’s relevance on the global stage. Because love stems from the center of Christ, there is a division that cannot be reconciled unless the atheism is willing to believe God is who He says He is. Love cannot reside outside of truth so atheism may try to sell you the same fake version of love that Hillary or Obama does. I can make the case for a triune God in the first two chapters of the Bible, which has much historical and archaeological evidence to support it. At least more than “nothing” or atheism does. Atheists think believing in Jesus is absurd but aliens are no problem because I guess they live in outer space with Zeus and emo-ism. This may come off a little sharp but I’m trying to stir a bit for the sake of getting us to ask what validity atheism really has in general. Not to mention that comparing the thought of atheism to the evidence of Christianity is like comparing dust and a fruit bowl. They’re just very different things but I know one of them is just better and grows from the source of life and the other was created by life for a purpose but doesn’t taste as good.
Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Jon.
King: Scott, it’s great to connect with you and I really enjoyed sharing with you and the readers from my core. I made it a point just to share it how it’s coming to me as the best things in life are inspired.