Wednesday, October 21, 2009

On the Christ and Radical Rebellion

I do not proclaim my faith with a boastful tongue or heavy pen. It has never been my intention, as the spiritual path before me begins to wend its way through expanses unknown, to presume a tone of judgment or to cast dispersion upon those of different faiths or no faith at all. In fact, in all that I write, my prayer is that it will be received in the spirit that it is written – that being an essay by me, for me that I share with you not to influence or decry, but instead simply to be, in the spirit of simply being.

The idea that I feel led to put a disclaimer on my writing when the topic happens to be faith is a bit unsettling to me, if only because it implies that perhaps what follows could possibly offend. Therefore if what I write offends you, then my faith offends you and it is not my intention to, in any way, offend. With that let me get to my purpose in writing today.

Often I feel as though we, as the human race, would do well to suffer from a severe bout of amnesia as far as Christianity is concerned. What I mean is that both those that profess a faith in Christ and those that do not would forcibly have all knowledge of Christianity blotted from their collective conscience and begin anew without the prejudices and preferences that each of us brings to the topic from years influence by both supporters and detractors alike.

If we were to have no working knowledge of Christianity and, more specifically, Jesus the Christ, we would, upon first encounter with his story, be stunned at how radically rebellious he was, how profound his words, how compassionate when faced with intolerance, how gracious in the face of hostility. Even if we were to simply assume Jesus to be a great teacher – as many do – if his story had never been told until this very day, how utterly amazing it would be to read "Go and sin no more", "lest ye who has not sinned", ""If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor…" , "Father, forgive them…", "For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind".

If we knew nothing of televangelists or the religious right or religious left, if we knew nothing of the Pope or denominations or leaders reviled and revered, what would our opinion be of the matter at hand? Who would Jesus be to us? What wisdom would we glean from his story and his life? What salvation would we find, what hope, what refuge, what nonsense?

If tonight, on the local news, they treated the story of Jesus as breaking news, what would our opinion be of him then?

I dare to say that some of his most ardent defenders today would be his most vocal detractors and some of his harshest critics would be at his side.

The entire landscape of faith would be altered and humanity would never be the same.

But that is precisely what did happen. Blotted from our collective conscience or not, some 2000 plus years ago the landscape of the entire world changed – radically and unequivocally – forever. And whether you believe him to be a great teacher or a crazed lunatic or a saviour, his life – in the finite span of three years – radically shook the foundations of earth.

And I have chosen, at the very age of his death, to live a life so radically bound to his call, so inextricably linked to his spirit, so inexplicably in love with his grace that I might very well lose myself in the journey.

In fact, I'm sure of it!


QueerNCalled said...

Beautifully 'spoken' and so absolutely true. It's a discussion I love to have with friends and strangers alike, "If Jesus--unedited--came today, would you follow?" While everyone (whose already Christian) usually says they absolutely would, I do not think it is so. His true call is to not only sympathize with the less fortunate, the outcast, the socially marginalized, it is to BE the less fortunate, the outcast, the socially marginalized; to be so in tune with what they need and who they are that it changes your very being. But I take solice in the fact that the "Kingdom of God" is not a place or a time to be achieved--light years beyond where we are now--it is the day when the whole world awakes and realizes that when the haves tend to the have nots, when the loved tend to the unloved, when the haughty and full and satiated and rich tend to those who are downtrodden, empty, wanting--then and only then will the Kingdom of God be in out midst and we will be the ones to have created it. For only in that day will there be no more tears, no more need, no more want; only when we live the call of this young man from a small town so many years ago.

Truly Lovely Post!

eirene kai agape,

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Jon-Marc, for exquisitely writing pure thought. Jesus lives forever in all of us who choose to spread his love. Keep the faith, and don't let anyone or anything break your spirit! Love, Vic

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