Sometimes I feel sorry for Jesus. Almost everyone wants to co-opt him for their own purpose, issue, cause or agenda. In Lenawee County, MI, some gun-stockpiling militia guys had apocalyptic fantasies (and plans) to kill cops and federal agents “preparing for the end time battles to keep the testimony of Jesus Christ alive” (according to their web site). They seem to have missed the point that Jesus didn’t endorse domestic terrorism. Maybe when they’re settled in at Guantanamo they’ll have more time for Bible reading.
Tarleton State University in TX has canceled their production of “Corpus Christi” a play that portrays Jesus as gay. It seems that the saints through the ages before us missed the footnote that Jesus was a little too close to some of his disciples. Where will such dramatic blasphemy end up? Union Seminary, once identifiable as Presbyterian, may point the way – guest lecturer Margaret Miles maintains the cross of Christ is inappropriate as a symbol of God’s love and thinks the nursing breast & breast milk is a more fitting, less violent image. It’s a sad day when the cross has become offensive to the historical descendents of Calvin. I’m all for breasts and breastfeeding but I don’t think they will become viable decore for church, altar or steeple any time soon.
Of course, for those who are committed to a robust, historical, orthodox Christology and not its current pale, insipid versions this is disturbing and sad but nothing new. Over the years we’ve had different versions of Jesus – such as the “Democrat Jesus,” the “GOP Jesus,” the “Rambo/Aryan Jesus,” the “Woodstock / Flower Child Jesus” or more recently the “church sucks-I’m- still- trying- to- get- over- my- evangelical- upbringing- Jesus.” As the post-modern weirdness and revisionism mutates, I’m sure Jesus will get re-branded by folks who continue to insist that the historic faith is wrong after all these years BUT after 3 dozen lattes and lots of really intense hours of “Guitar Hero” by golly they have now got it right for the rest of us!
Jesus once asked his disciples (Mt. 16: 13-18), after inquiring of the popular viewpoints of the day, who they thought he was. It was not a “fill in the blank” question to answer according to one’s own creativity, therapy diagnosis, or identity group, nor was it subject to vote or opinion poll. It was by revelation and was (as it still is now) on his own terms. There was only one answer that mattered because it was the only answer that was correct. It still is the only answer – Jesus (The Lord Saves) is the Messiah, the anointed one. Despite those who want to “re-vision” and re-dress him in the new language of old heresy, or dress him on the ideology of the moment as their personal mascot, he is till the Christ, the saving one – incarnate, crucified, resurrected and coming again.