Friday 15 December 2006
I also dislike the way that Christians, especially (but not only) in the USA, have become identified with some key causes that all seem to revolve around making other people behave in certain ways. This has unfortunately led to people believing that that's what Christianity is all about --- when actually one of the most important truths is that just doing things is not the way to make things right between us and God.
So, I thought I'd really like this article by Jay Bakker, which leads with:
What the hell happened? Where did we go wrong? How was Christianity co-opted by a political party? Why are Christians supporting laws that force others to live by their standards?
In fact, there's little in there that I would specifically disagree with. But there's a problem with it as a whole: it implies that Jesus was about nothing but unconditional love. That is an error in another direction, and it's also a common one. His parables and lessons do talk a lot about love and forgiveness, but they also talk a lot about hell, judgement, and "I have come not to bring peace, but a sword". To paraphrase a common Christian saying, he does have a message of "come as you are, not as you should be" --- but he doesn't want you to stay that way.
The problem with Jesus is that he doesn't fit into boxes. He doesn't seem to countenance the imposition of a morality state, but he also won't be coerced into being a comfortable anything-goes Saviour. He never conforms to the image we demand of him. That's uncomfortable and disconcerting ... but it's one of the things I love about him.