Tuesday, September 28, 2004
Here's an age old question. What if Jesus of Nazareth were again a man on this earth? Would today's Christians know he was the Christ? How would he be treated? Do we think he would carry an M-16 or an AK47 in Iraq? Would he love his enemies and kill them at the same time? Who would be his enemies? Would his preaching get him in trouble with U.S. leaders or Arab leaders or leaders who embrace terrorism? Would that stop Christ from preaching? Knowing of today's world, would he change his beliefs?
Would he look like an Iraqi, and would it matter? How would political leaders refer to such a man? Would they perceive him as a threat like the Romans of old? If the West got him first, could he end up in Abu Graib prison?
Would those who endeavored to follow his lead be assailed as weak, unpatriotic, aiding the enemy or just plain not "getting it"? How would Dick Cheney or Saddam Hussein refer to them?
I suspect that Christ would be vocal about the fighting and that he would extol the virtues of love over hate, kindness over killing. I suspect that his comments would be in a language that most Americans don't understand. And how long would we put up with a Middle Easterner telling us that killing is a sin? Or, for that matter, that lust for worldly treasures doesn't help. Would Christ still preach the virtues of giving to the poor? Are today's poor evil? Were they then?
The questions can go on and on, but for me the big one is this, "do Christians at least owe it to Christ to think about how his teachings apply to today"?