Something I am not, a belief proponent in the divinity of Jesus i.e. born without sperm meeting egg, his exorcist powers, and him coming back to life after getting tortured and gutted. After reading his incomplete story, intellectually laboring over it in seminary, and debating with holy rollers I have to admit that I do believe, as the story should be interpreted, that he was a man who advocated for social and economic justice. That should be simple to glean from the ancient book of fables e.g. bible.
I refuse to waste your Good Friday time directing you to easily manipulated scripture to support the argument considering I typically use the inspired writers’ fiction as a mechanism to contradict Matthew, Mark, and Luke. That is remarkably easy to do despite the synoptic description. What I will do is advocate for the obvious. Jesus in all His glory was a Revolutionary. If the New Testament is an accurate reflection of His life here is how I know with simplicity that He fought for social and economic justice:
When He suicidal-ly marched in to the temple and proceeded to turn over the money tables he was in fact defying the Roman governmental structure (economic).
When He constantly spoke of assisting the needy and helping the destitute He was proving to the people that He was a man who cared (social).
So, as Glen Beck (modern day Pontius Pilate) continues to pervert (link above) the most valuable memory of Jesus let’s not forget that Beck has a purpose behind his rhetorical ignorance. He wants to prevent movements that are modeled off the most logical understanding of Jesus’ life. He wants to quell any hint of Gandhi’s and Martin’s efforts while pushing the inane unbelievable.
Spending time philosophizing whether Jesus walked on water or not is ridiculously wasteful, by the way. Even I can admit that considering the belief in this is a figment of imaginational faith - and mostly because I do not believe in Harry Potter theatrics.
The church that touts “The Word of God” should be presenting a Good News message that encourages us to stand for Jesus’ work, not His “saving power”. We can only save ourselves. No highly emotional ten minute altar can. No Good Friday dead man can. No hyped-up Easter Sunday sermon should replace Justice! Justice takes passionate formation in understanding that something just ain’t right with today’s replica of biblical Roman oppression.
President Obama recognizes this. Thus the reason he, in his clever and unassuming way, is leading this nation down the path of humbly acknowledging its harmful past and present via change (revolution). It may not ‘fit’ into the hateful political landscape of America. One thing for sure, those who can identify with justice – and not biblical mob mentalities are ahead of the game. This game is not about what occurs in the ungodly House and Senate chambers (similar to the church) – it is about true and dignified revolution. Not a Hate Speech Rally disguised as a Tea Party…
President Obama is in the right historical moment: The Place of The Skull, Golgatha. The home of the crucifixion. One must be crucified to be remembered. All Revolutionaries leave us this way. However, rebuking the Mt. Sinai mob mentality that commenced as Moses ‘met’ with the fireball image of God – and controlling it unlike Aaron did, may keep our Modern Day Revolutionary un-martyred.
Brian E. Payne thinking this Easter Season. Inspired by the inevitable - if history does in fact repeat itself.