Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Mike: Response to Rami's 10/15 Post

Never underestimate the human capacity and willingness to make religion the servant and prop of power. If I understand you, we agree on this point.

Love God and love your neighbor is the heart of the matter and the goal of the Christian life. Unfortunately, the human heart is deceptive. We can go round and round about why this so: origninal sin, cultural conditioning, genetics, and the like. I prefer simply to deal with the reality of the condition. Bound by our out of balance self-centeredness and self-protectiveness, we find it almost impossible to fully love (which is to trust) God. We, for the most part, also seem unable to love others in healthy ways or to extend such love beyond rather narrow groupings.

Jesus, I think, envisioned a revolution in human nature and behavior, one grounded in individual response to his message (and Christians would add, his person). In fact, we can read Christian history as an ongoing series of mini-revolutions, in which this vision of Jesus reemerges in counterpoint to institutional Christianity.

Jesus is too radical to be tamed by the church or the state, though both try mightily.

I await your promised second installment!

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