Wednesday, August 4


Gravity Bends LightGravity bends light.
Jesus is the light.

What are the implications for Christology if these two statements are true? 

There is a triumphalism strand of Christology that has the light victorious over all darkness and the entire world.  Colonial Christianity, if you will.  Perhaps if Christians can hold the idea that the light can be bent or changed, we can get our heads around the idea that Christianity, religion, and whatever spiritual path you follow can change over time.  What was true for Christians in 35 CE differs from truth for Christians in 90 CE differs from truth for Christians in 2011 CE.  How can it not differ?  We are totally different people in totally different situations!  And there is truth and TRUTH.  And there is untruth.  And there is UNTRUTH.  Most of the time it is easier to recognize UNTRUTH than to recognize any form of truth.

I am spending a lot of time with the Book of John right now.  In this book, the community feels isolated and under attack because they are in the process of separating from their Jewish brethren.  They are separating physically and idealistically.  Coming to a point where they do not worship together.  It is very much about the Jewish community that the Johannine community worshiped in.  Not about all Jews.  This community was a small community breaking away from being a Jewish sect and coming into its own.  That meant a lot.  To not be Jewish and to worship non-Roman God(s) = persecution.  So they get to be a little hyperbolic in their need to define who they are and to create a place where they feel and can be safe. 

We, in America, do not need this hyperbole.  Believe it or not, Christians are safe.  We are in control of most and there is not likely to be a time where Christianity is going to be persecuted any time soon.  As an example of how much easier it is to just be Christian in the world, do a search on the interpretation of Exodus.  You will get umpteen hits on Christian interpretations of Exodus.  You will have to search hard to get a non-Christian hit.  And don't let some of those websites fool you!  They may LOOK Jewish but often they are not. 

Triumphant Christianity should not be the model for Euro-White North Americans.  We need to experience a Christ that will carry us out of triumphalism into a model of crossing borders and experiencing a bending of our light.  I suppose that is why I love Matthew so much.  Matthew's Jesus has us entering prisons, feeding the homeless, etc.  Well, that is how you should live if you are a community that is in charge.  Matthew's community wasn't feeling persecuted or isolated like the Johannine community was.  So, if you are large and in charge, live like Matthew.  If you are a minority struggling for survival, live like John.

Even better, let's find a way to hold these tensions together.


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