Walking On Eggshells 4 Jesus Doesn’t Work
Brothers and Sisters of the Church Invisible;
The bullies and bigots who bellow in the name of the Lord are raising the volume of their din to new levels, drowning out reason and shoving compassion aside. Angered by any challenge to their beliefs and refusing to accept facts or reality, the pious mob is gaining momentum and sweeping up the ignorant and meek in their wake. Recognizing this makes us responsible. If the world gets remade by the zealots, robber barons and inhuman corporate overlords it will be our fault and failure. This requires us to remind ourselves of some things.
Christ told us that God requires Mercy, not Sacrifice, and understanding the difference between the two is essential to being able to follow Christ. Sacrifice is what false gods and demons require; mercy is synonymous with grace. Anything that sacrifices humans is the work of evil; anyone who protects the weak is doing a Mitzvah. Laws causing human suffering are wrong; breaking rules to alleviate suffering is right. He said that it was right to pay taxes you owe and associated with tax collectors; He told us that we cannot serve both God and money and that greed is the first thing that will keep us from entering the Kingdom. He protected a woman from a mob that was set on murdering her for breaking a sex taboo. He told us the greatest sin is harming children and made it clear they are not property to abuse, exploit or neglect. He healed the sick and sent the apostles forth to do the same to as many people as they could find. The implications of this can be more difficult than we realize; the Path is not easy.
The parable of the Good Samaritan is abundantly clear that we are one human race and that regardless of what costumes we adorn ourselves in or chants and dances we perform God only cares about how we treat each other. Jesus clearly thought the Temple had significance with His outrage over the moneychangers, yet had no trust or respect for the Pharisees. Rabbi Yeshuwa made Peter His Rock, yet He knew that he would betray Him not once, not twice, but three times. There’s a subtlety to this that most people miss causing so much misery and strife; no human is infallible, no person is holy, no priest is more righteous than any sinner in their flock. He is teaching us that the path is not obvious or simple; that what the Temple represents is holy but those that tend it are not.
He told us that there is none righteous, not one, and yet we all are forgiven. But we cannot accept this forgiveness unless we bestow it upon those who wrong us. He told us to make our wrongs right without having to be taken to court and to love; to love God, our neighbors, and our enemies. Vengeance is for God to mete out; mercy and forgiveness are ours to freely dispense. He said that the peacemakers are blessed and the only person He was a criminal who was tried and executed by the highest legal authority at the request of the highest religious authority and whose sentence was confirmed by mass vote in a public assembly; the only human He personally assured He would see in heaven was hanging on the cross next to Him. The path can only be seen by one walking it.
He told us that we would be persecuted for doing His work. The bigots, the bullies and the cynics and nihilists, the depraved and demented and the servants of Mammon and Baal, all these and more will lie and cheat and murder; they will be known for their crazed slander, naked greed, and lethal carelessness. He told us that to save ourselves we must save each other; the bigots and bullies can learn, the cynics and nihilists can find their way out of the dark, the depraved and demented can be comforted and cured, and the servants of Mammon and Baal are among His favorite converts. Turning the other cheek is not an act of submission but the act of a defiant badass; people like Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Martin Luther King, and Rachel Corrie embodied this faithful courage in their martyrdom at the hands of their persecutors. The path continues beyond death.
He did not bid us to persecute unbelievers, ostracize the afflicted or exploit the helpless. He did not tell us to praise the wealthy for their possessions, comfort the mighty with flattering lies or to silence the righteous truth. He did not laugh at suffering and weakness. He didn’t tell us to go to church and do what the priest says.
The path leads to places you cannot imagine.
Labor Day Weekend 2012