Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Red-White-And-Blue Lens


Apparently this pictured angered a bunch of folks. Imagine that, the gospel of Jesus making people angry. Maybe thats a clue to the American church, that our gospel doesn't seem to be as radical as Jesus'. I am not trying to imply a message that attacks folks, but when Jesus preached, people had 3 responses, fingers in the ears, trying to kill him, or following him. I think our gospel has become retail merchandise. We live in a culture where we buy products to fix us. Maybe we have bought the gospel for the same reason? What if the gospel is about empowering us, what if the gospel is a radical call to leave yourself. What if the gospel will actually ruin your life (as we know it). I believe Christ's work on the cross forgave sin, reconciled man's brokenness to himself. But Christ didn't stop there, so why do we? Why are we so comfortable that we have hijacked the gospel. Jesus says sell everything and give it to the poor, and we say Oh that's a metaphor, or he was just talking to the ruler who was greedy. But when it comes to inheriting the kingdom in all its splendor, of course he is talking specifically to you and I. When he says to take care of widows and orphans and feed the hungry and clothe the naked, we ignore that. Because we don't want to invite the least of these into our homes or lives. That would be inconvenient and uncomfortable.

My frustration is that I was born American. (Now I like America, and If I was born somewhere else I would be writing about a different set of cultural assumptions.) And everything I see is tainted with this red-white-and-blue lens. I want to follow Jesus in a real and true way. I don't need to follow the path of home ownership and early retirement if its not going to get me closer to God. And if America declares someone an enemy I want them to know Christ still died for you. I think we often forget that Paul was a terrorist too.

3 comments:

Der Fanatiker said...

This pic seems to imply that Jesus was all about blanket forgiveness though. Was not Jesus the one who said not even all those who said to me Lord Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only those who do my will? Same Jesus that drove people out of the temple with a whip handle? In the famous moment of washing feet, wasn't it him showing his love and humility for his DISCIPLES? I hardly think most of the people in that pic seek after or follow God or God's will. Even so, I know that who God saves and blesses is up to God, but I still don't like the implication that it's somehow "christlike" to just issue blanket forgivenesses to everyone no matter who they are, what they think or what they do.

Jeremy said...

I think the intent of the picture is to indicate that Jesus is just as likely to wash the feet of Osama as Bush and that we should not let our national pride skew our perceptions. I also think it is important to remember Judas was in attendance at the foot washing, so were tax collectors and zealots. Also Jesus didn't offer forgiveness via foot washing, foot washing was symbolic of his love and how the son of Man came to serve and not to be served...

Der Fanatiker said...

Totally. I see your point and it's a good one. And I agree that we assume way too often that we have a handle of who is and isn't blessed/loved by God. And you're right to include the comment about zealots, tax collectors and Judas b/c (while in keeping with my point, they were followers (at least at that moment) of Christ) it also follows well with your point that they are prime examples of people who were under god's umbrella even though society downright assumed they were outside of it.