Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Jesus polished for mass consumption

The worst thing that can happen to a prophet is not to be ignored and forgotten; it's to have her cause taken up and chewed by the masses. Whatever she says, if it doesn't fit, will be chewed up some more, some opportunist will come along and forge a contradiction, polish a rough edge of original meaning, and then it will fit. Peop;le beleive in everything but the original words.

I came across this statement last night in an odd source. It is from a sci-fi book (yes, I'm a geek) by Greg Bear called Anvil of Stars (for any other interested geeks). It has stuck with me though. i wonder how much "polishing" has gone on in order for Jesus to be presentable to our American mindset. I'm not thinking so much of the obvious things like "health and wealth" or Oprah, feel-good theology, but more about things like individualism vs. community and care for the poor and denying self and all of the other words of Jesus that I watched be put off to the side in years of hanging out in "big church".
It seems like Jesus created problems wherever He went. Religious folks got stressed out when he started talking and acting. I find myself in both my life and my church wanting to see Jesus cause more trouble, stir things up. I want to stop explaining away the things that don't make sense or don't fit my picture. I want to wrestle more and I want our community to wrestle together with the words of Jesus that cause trouble.
That makes me nervous though. Nervous about how much Jesus will screw up my admittedly comfortable life. Maybe even more nervous that I will just find a new way to polish Him up to make Him more consistent or palatable to a new way of life. I'm not even sure I know how to avoid that. Hmmm.

Interesting what brain candy can stir up.


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