Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Meek and mild teacher, or mysterious rebel with a cause?

I didn't actually get to read this when it was int he paper, so luckily found it on the net.
Here's some excerpts, follow the link above for more

IF WE'RE honest, Jesus wasn't actually the kind of son most mothers would want. While every faithful mother of the time might have prayed that her child would be the Messiah, she wouldn't really have wished for this kind of Messiah.

He touched the untouchable, he raged against systemic injustice — particularly that of the religious institutions. Most frustratingly, he evaded almost every question about himself. He preached a message that confused everyone who tried to categorise him. Over and over again, when those closest to him thought they had him all worked out, Jesus would tell them they had it wrong again.

And instead of just talking about it, he showed people how it might actually look. Jesus said that the time for the kingdom of God to come was now, and that it wouldn't come through might, power and glory.

It was perhaps inevitable that Jesus would end up being crucified. If you live a life of uncompromising, courageous love, then you're bound to upset any number of people. Martin Luther King, Ang Sun Suu Kyi and Gandhi could all testify to the same thing.

People were crucified when they incited rebellion against authority.

It has to be asked whether 2000 years of religious photoshopping have remodelled Jesus almost out of recognition. We've added some tints (sure, he didn't speak about homosexuality, but if he had, we know what he would have said), a blurred edge (he didn't really mean we have to sell all we have for the poor), and made him as transparent as possible (put him there in the background, but not so obvious that we actually have to look at him). The trouble is, someone forgot to hit "save" right at the beginning, and we've got little hope of undoing the layers to get back to the original.

As the stories of Jesus show us, it's rarely those in positions of power and influence who understand who God is. They have too much to lose. Instead, look for what the poor, the prisoner, the women, the children would tell us of who God is, because Jesus says it's with them that God is to be found. And trust it most if they speak of love.


B.C. said...

In my music subject, we looked at the chants and songs of the slave people in America. A huge majority of them were Christians. They had almost nothing, except their lives, and for that - they gave thanks constantly to God. They also used the praise and worship to get them through all the hardship.

For people like us, it's so much easier to forget about God, even if we are involved with 'Christian work', because we have so much other stuff to fall back on. Money and education and friends and going out and all that business. I wish, sometimes, I had the passion of the slave people. As most people, I probably wouldn't want to go through the hardship, but maybe it's only by going through those things - like the article says about the poor and imprisoned - that we can feel that fire.

Also. Lots of people verbally bash people or power and money, because they are supposedly shallow and much more out of tune with God than themselves or the poor. This is true in lots of cases. But I reckon there are good people, who just happen to be rich. Don't hate because they work hard. How much of their money and time should they give? I don't know. I don't know how much is the right amount for anyone. Take Bill Gates. He's rich, powerful, famous. But he gives a hell of a lot of money and sets up foundations and such. Is that enough? Should he do more? Doing that stuff is way more than lots of the Christians I know make any effort to do with what they have. And lots of them are the ones that criticise the rich and powerful. Makes. Me. Angry.

Longest comment ever. You should write a blog about this one too, once you've finished working on the Jesus one.

Anonymous said...

I agree bc...but in context bill gates earns a hell of a lot more money than most people so i think you really have to look at it proportionatly (or hwoever u spell that word). Im not saying its all about money and how much we give though. I think too its about how passionate we are and how willing to do things that we wont get any credit for or anything...Bill gates is a bad example as he has set up foundations (has he?) and stuff but yeah...Also about the poor....We maybe arent called to give everything, but arent we called to do justice? and to me justice would mean giving alot...anyway thats my 2 cents worth!



B.C. said...

Yeh Mitch, what I meant with Bill Gates was, he has such a ridiculous amount to give, compared to our measly amounts, is there any set right ratio of stuff and time and energy and passion and heart that we should give? He has a lot to give, but saying that is a rubbish excuse for people that have a bit to not give theirs. "I don't have as much as Bill Gates, so I shouldn't have to really give". Bad.

And yeh. Gates has set up the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that aims to increase healthcare across the globe, as well as assist to reduce extreme poverty. It institutes global development programs in areas of need, etc. Wikipedia told me. That means it must be true. Ha.

I believe in justice, and that we have to do it. What I was getting it as the Christians who whinge and complain that somebody should do it, and whinge to the ministers that they aren't doing it, etc. When really. They are more than capable. They just have to shut up and get up.