Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Jesus, the Biggest Loser

Today I have allowed a mysterious stranger (not unlike the one Mark Twain wrote about) to pen this post, one who wants to remain uncharacteristically anonymous. For balance, however, I have followed this screed with creed.

Anyone who gets crucified is a loser. Someone who can’t save himself cannot possibly save the world. He certainly shouldn’t have his name on so many buildings.

Jesus, you hung around with losers. You could’ve had the best seat in the house and hung out with winners, but you preferred people I wouldn’t even spit at.

And your speeches are all for losers. The meek inherit the earth? Ha! Love your enemies? Gimme a break! Go the extra mile? On whose dime? If someone sues you for your cloak, give your coat as well? That’s only if you can’t afford a good lawyer or a creative accountant.

Blessed are the poor? What were you smokin’? Theirs is the kingdom of heaven? Sounds like welfare and entitlements to me! Woe to you who are rich? That’s the line of those income inequality guys.

Anyone who gains the whole world is a winner in my book, not a loser!

Your best speechwriter was John, who made grand claims on your behalf, but John lived almost a century too late. Boy, I’d love to get my hands on those lost gospels—maybe they’d show you up for what you were.

Jesus, ya shoulda listened to me in the wilderness! Tell people stones are bread! Keep doing and saying spectacular things to get noticed! Worship anything that gives you power!

Now, a lot of your followers have taken my advice, and are doing quite well, much better than you. That’s the power of positive thinking, speaking in superlatives, and telling people what they want to hear. In truth, many of your followers are embarrassed by you and by your weak, socialist ways. They want a winner, that’s why they declare you king, when you and I both know you’re only the king of losers.

Telling people they need to change their ways is a downer. Challenging them on those they exclude or mistreat or judge is not the way to win friends and influence people. And telling ‘em to be compassionate, like God—haven’t you read the Bible? Wrathful and jealous, ready with the fire and brimstone and Tweets, giving ‘em hell!  I incarnate that God better than you!

Now I gotta admit the Resurrection was a good deception. Makes people believe that you were really successful, that what you taught was right, even eternal. But we both know the truth, don’t we? Your life and your words no longer live and have not changed the world for the better. Where is this kingdom of heaven you promised? Looks like I’m not the only one pretending to be a messiah.

Give it up, Jesus! You’re fired!

So this contributor doesn’t have the last word, I’d like to provide an excerpt from Paul Ramsey’s Basic Christian Ethics (1950), a text I read in college, followed by a scripture from Philippians: 
Ordinarily it is supposed that the way to obtain a more and more perfect conception of the divine nature is to add on as much power as possible, as much impeccable self-sufficiency, as much imperturbable sovereignty, as much unqualified majesty. …

However, from a Christian point of view it is possible to think of God too highly, for Christ reverses all we expect Highness to be; the God who put him forward is one whose “grace” is only his mercy and forgiveness. Of him we cannot think too lowly. …

Such radical reversal of ordinary conceptions of the divine nature follows from the basic conviction that Christ is clue to knowledge of God. Christianity does not say, “Behold the Christ, half-God, half-man, Behold glorious strength thinly disguised, Behold Superman in a business suit, Behold the majestic God you know already in a peasant’s tunic.”

Instead the New Testament proclaims, “Behold weakness, Behold divinity divine enough to abandon divinity, Behold majesty secure enough to proceed un-majestically, Behold strength strong enough to become weakness, goodness good enough to be unmindful of its own reputation, Behold love plenteous enough to give and take not again.” 
Philippians 2:4-8: 
Let each of you look not to your own interests,
But to the interests of others.
Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
Who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to the point of death—
even death on a cross.

You may support this blog ministry by clicking here and scrolling down to the donate link below its description or by mailing to MCC, P.O. Box 50488, Sarasota FL 34232 USA, designating “Progressive Christian Reflections” in the memo area of your check or money order. Thank you!

Copyright © 2016 by Chris R. Glaser. Permission granted for non-profit use with attribution of author and blogsite. Other rights reserved.  

1 comment:

  1. Thank you. Yes! Like The Grand Inquisitor story in The Brothers Karamazov that i had just been referred to yesterday! Well done, good and faithful friend.