So... I'm going to put some of my fuddled thoughts out there - but then YOU're gonna help me (Pleeease? It'll be SO MUCH better if you do!)
It started with a couple of online discussions I've either been involved in or privy to. Theological stuff (don't run away now). One involved the issue of homosexual marriage - a hot topic in Aust. right now (& if you are connected with me on facebook, you no doubt saw the heated debate that went on!) A couple of others involved "churchy" type discussions about... well, it doesn't really even matter what they were about... MY frustration is about the approach we tend to take, to all this stuff. (& don't tune out if you're not a "churchy" type - I'm talking about people in general).
The thing is, in ALL of these conversations, there was a lot of nitty-gritty, intense discussion, about whether things were, or were being done, or being thought of, the "right" way. Whether someone's behaviour or views were "correct", or not.
Well I have some thoughts about that. For starters, when the conversation heads that way, I tend to back out. Fast. I think at that point, all is lost.
Theological thought for the day: The whole Bible narrative begins with two ways of living, represented by two trees. One is life - one is about "right and wrong". And the message is clear - the latter will kill you.
And then there's Jesus. Lots of people who are quite "anti" institutional Christianity, have no problem with him at all! Why? Well, I think because he Really. Wasn't. all about right and wrong. He was showing a new way. His message was not about "right, vs. wrong". It was something else. Have we missed it???
|BBC "forensic" portrait
showing what Jesus may have looked like. (personally, I think it makes
him look a bit "neanderthal" - but hey, the Bible does say he wasn't
good looking). |
Righto - Here's where I want YOU to jump in and lend a hand...
What "Way"? did Jesus exemplify? What qualities do you see in his life and example? (& this question is open to anyone who has the slightest idea what the stories say about him - NOT specifically "churchy types") Heck - Ghandi had things to say about Jesus - Muslims acknowledge him - most everyone in Western culture, at least, has an opinion - so JUMP IN! What things/lessons/qualities/questions does his example raise for you??
Some random thoughts from me, to kick-start this (and you may disagree - that's totally fine!):
* When religious leaders approached Jesus on some theological point or other - he ALWAYS turned the discussion on its head. He NEVER allowed that stuff to become the point.
* He was contradictory
* He seemed to refuse to be "pinned down" and pigeonholed
* He had a way of seeing right to the "heart" of people
* He was about "embodying" something... rather than explaining it.
I think that will do from me...
Go on - get brave and tell me your thoughts (and mine are pretty jumbled here - so please don't feel you have to have it all "well ordered" in order to comment... )