Binary Theology

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“Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.” (John 3:18)

Some things come out black and white even in color. Take Jesus, for example. He doesn’t seem to give a rat’s ass for religious pluralism or cultural relativity. He doesn’t seem to buy into the many roads to God scenario or the all truth is God’s truth crapola. He doesn’t seem open to divergent spiritual experiences or venerable religious traditions. In fact, what Jesus does seem to think is that anybody who doesn’t agree with him is eternally screwed. Jesus, of course, is a total wacko.

If he wasn’t already voted in as the savior of the world, Jesus would qualify as a bona fide megalomaniac. Megalomania is a conviction of one’s superiority, extravagant abilities, and even omnipotence. It is characterized by a demand for total power and control over others and is marked by a lack of empathy for anything that does not bow down. In other words, megalomaniacs think they’re freaking God. Let’s just say that the Nazarite carpenter hits that nail on the head. But since Jesus had already assumed deity status before clinical psychology was invented, it’s probably not fair to go retro-Freud on him.

Now take this whole “no one comes to the Father except through me” thing Jesus was hung up on. This one-stop salvation shop was definitely ahead of its time, and I personally like the idea of depositing all my spiritual chips into one account. Unfortunately, Jesus wasn’t satisfied with a good product; he wanted spiritual domination, a religious monopoly with him as the exclusive service provider. Sure, he offers you unlimited texting, but you have to sign on with his provider to make the thing work. Tricky, tricky.

This kind of market manipulation rarely goes over well. It got Jesus killed, for one thing. Worse, it makes for a very embarrassing religion to have to deal with. This Jesus-or-hell thing is so damn medieval¬†that it’s hard to say it and look somebody in the face at the same time. It’s got all the sophistication of a snake-handler at a astrophysics conference. This Jesus guy is enough to give Christianity a bad name for God’s sake.

But that’s what we got from the Dude himself, so we’re stuck with it. Besides, it’s too late to change poster boys anyway. So no more of the touchy-feelie religious cloud formations. Jesus is the sucker you’re going to have to deal with. Don’t blame me; I didn’t write the script.

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2 Responses

  1. I don’t buy it. I think the whole Christian monopoly thing has been put into Jesus’ mouth by later apologists. I’m willing to believe there is a sense that the authentic word is what he is preaching, but I just don’t see him condemning people who are good because they don’t fall down and worship him.

    We can get in a text debate if you want, but I’m just saying it doesn’t ring true.

    • Yo, Tom….I hear you and used to agree with your view. As the years have worn on I’ve come to see that nobody is good, no not one. And me, chief among the screw ups…..And so, the one thing I do deserve is God’s justice, a just wrath that burns me to a crisp, slowly. This, I’ve decided is why the news from God is actually very GOOD–it is He who meets my deepest needs now and eternally. He does what I can’t. Put another way, Jesus drank willingly from the cup of God’s just wrath so that I may guzzle from the fire hose of His great goodness to me, enjoying here and now the experience of His peace, joy and satisfaction delivered to my inner man by His living Spirit.

      These things I’ve told you that my joy may be in you and your joy made complete. Jn. 15:11….that is the point of “Abiding” and I’d never seen it until the past few years.

      oK…sorry to go on too long, but that’s how I’ve come to see the God who described himself to Moses as compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love etc and perfectly JUST.

      All for now, Dave

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