Quote of the day...er...week...umm...hey, look, a quote!!

Tibi gratias agimus quod nihil fumas.

It says "...freedom of...", not "...freedom from...".

"It's amazing to me how many people think that voting to have the government give poor people money is compassion. Helping poor and suffering people is compassion. Voting for our government to use guns to give money to help poor and suffering people is immoral self-righteous bullying laziness. People need to be fed, medicated, educated, clothed, and sheltered, and if we're compassionate we'll help them, but you get no moral credit for forcing other people to do what you think is right. There is great joy in helping people, but no joy in doing it at gunpoint." - Penn Jillette







Sunday, September 19, 2010

His People

I was listening to some country music a few days ago (hush), and one of the songs provoked a few thoughts.

The song?



I've had this conversation lately, about Jesus and the nature of his life, his purpose, and what he'd think if he popped in for a visit right now. Yeah, I'm still pagan...but some of us don't entirely pooh-pooh the idea of a man name Jesus who was an extraordinary man, a teacher, a healer, and an all-around decent guy. We just don't view him as the one and only son of a particular God, sent to earth to redeem us.

I don't think he'd like what he sees being done in his name. He didn't seem to be the sort of fellow who'd give a fig about who one slept with, or how often, or for what purpose. He didn't seem awfully concerned with marriage, or money, or status symbols. Temples weren't his sort of thing. He hung out with his generation's version of hippies, bums, and prostitutes. He didn't care who you worshiped - if you were hungry, hurting, in need...he answered. He embodied loving compassion and enacted it constantly.

If Jesus came back today, I think he'd be hanging out with us pagans. Yep. I think he'd be bangin' a drum at the fire, hangin' in the woods, eating, drinking, and smoking whatever's being passed around, howling and singing to the moon and stars. He'd share what he had and take what is freely given. He'd join in our potlucks, our community meals, our tent cities. If he needed shelter, it would be there. Shoes, no worries. Pants, socks, a toothbrush? Someone will have a spare to lend or give (I don't care if he is some God's son, once he uses the toothbrush, socks, or undies, they're his to keep...although the market on eBay would be incredible..).

We're not perfect...we squabble, flake, and judge as much as any group...but even when we don't particularly like someone, we won't let 'em do without.

I think Jesus would dig that.

I'm not saying there aren't any Christians who fit the bill...I know a few truly good people who happen to believe in Jesus as their redeemer. They may not always understand my paganism, but they don't throw rocks at my head, either. It's sad, though, that so many more members of his father's church, supposed followers of his path, are anything but Christian.

They judge harshly, seek to punish all who do not believe as they do, turn their backs on their fellow humans, and mistake wealth and its trappings for godliness. They scorn the natural beauty of the world they've been given, raze trees and hilltops to build monuments to the god to whom they pay lip service, edifices of brick and mortar that resemble nothing as much as prisons for the soul. They pour money, time, and other resources in these churches rather than using them to help build their community. They are focused on appearance, not substance.

I don't think they're his people.

Honestly, sometimes I think the folks who claim him as their own would lock him in the booby-hatch if he came back today as he was his first time through. You can perform miracles? Sure, sure...here's a nice room for you, and some pills that'll help with that...

Yeah, I think if Jesus should happen to return, he'd be camping in the woods, dancing at an old, reclaimed strip mine in Ohio or out in the desert in California or leaping the fire at an African bush camp. He'd be losing himself in the silence of the Never-Never, surfing the wild waves of the Pacific, climbing an ancient tree to bend with it in the wind. He'd sleep beneath an overpass, on a steam grate, in a shelter, and he'd eat at a soup kitchen, out of a dumpster, at a stranger's table where an extra place is set.

He wouldn't look at what church one claims, or what name one gives their god/s...he'd see us for who we are, down deep, where labels can't stick...his people...

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree with you 100%.

Holly said...

Here's the difference. Jesus was here as a lesson in learning that we are all the sons and daughters of Spirit.

He was not here to start a religion; we Humans did that long after he was gone.

And, groups feel they can only survive when they have the power. And, power is gained through control. And the best way to gain control is through fear.

And, fear is the thing that they use to hold onto things as they wish it.

So, no, I don't think that Jesus would be totally happy.

But I truly believe, he shake his head and wish them well. So, mote it be. I try to do the same.

And, that is my work. To be judged harshly and try not to return the same bad energy.

sophiadawn said...

Wonderfully stated. Some of the things you have listed are reasons for me leaving the fundy xtian path for the path I am now on. Thank you.

Susan said...

Incredibly well-said. I wish you would send that in to Bill Maher. He believes the same things you do, has a great platform for it, just doesn't say it nearly as eloquently.

Love,
One of your Christian friends who agrees with everything you wrote

Momlady said...

Well said, daughter mine. I agree 100%.

SHARON said...

I do believe that religion is man's attempt to get closer to God and I have given up on organized religion. God doesn't want religious nuts but spritual fruit. I don't think building these multi-million $$$$ churches, while down the block, people are sleeping on heat grates and under bridges, is going to impress him either. Jesus might stop by your camp fire for a while, but when he returns, he's going to be in a fighting mood, for sure.

Luci said...

You know, my old pastor in PA told my husband that if Jesus were walking the earth today he would feel more at home among pagans than christians. That says something if a pastor is saying that.

What you wrote is the very reason we just left the church we had been attending for over a year. They talked a good game about helping others... but only if you were in the "clique" they had set up. Sadly, this church has attendance in the 2000's.

My hubby and I are looking for something radical. Not radical as in bad, but radical as in teaching and experiencing what Jesus taught, experienced and gave: love. Yep, we're looking for a radical church who cares more about acting like Jesus than acting like a christian (I'm not even sure what that word means anymore. Jesus wasn't a christian, so why do we have to be?)

We may have different beliefs, but I think we see eye to eye.