Me and Jesus (and Christ): Episode 7
When I speak of Christ I don’t think of a Second Person of the Trinity, at least not as old theologians did, and some still do; instead I think, I feel, about a spirit of anointing, what the Greek word Christ refers to, about a spirit of blessing that is so powerful in its revolutionary vulnerable way, power-with not power-over, cooperation not competition and content and conquest... that this spirit could not be silenced and destroyed by evil and death, but lived on and grew in community more life affirming.
I think of Christ as a parable itself, and believe it is stronger, theologically for it.
It's funny how things turn around. After years of trying to reject Christ and follow Jesus, right now I find myself turning more to Christ. Jesus was a historical fallible person. I cannot follow him in a mechanical way. For example was Jesus, maybe just a little bit, racist, sexist, homophobic? There are all kinds of historical arguments we could have about this, but I think we have to admit that its quite likely he was somewhat prejudiced, as he was influenced by the world around him.
So let's just say that Jesus was homophobic, does that mean that I can't be a follower of him as a bi man? Well if following means agreeing with everything he said and thought then I can't be a follower. But if following means following the Christ spirit that Jesus imperfectly incarnated then I can.
Jesus himself followed the Christ, the Spirit of Liberation moving in him, and as a human being incarnated the Christ imperfectly. So Jesus himself may not have followed the full implications of living in the Christ Spirit. He may not have personally seen that what he was saying and living would lead to a religious community not definied by race and culture. He may not have personally seen that the type of religion he was advocating could go beyond Judaism, but his followers, who were also following the Christ Spirit did see this, after his death.
So the question cannot be 'What would Jesus do?' The question has to be, 'What would I do, if I incarnated the Christ as much as Jesus did?' Jesus provides a model for being a Christ, but that does not mean we have to mechanically copy Jesus' life and action.
So right now, I feel like I don't want to follow Jesus, I want to follow Christ, I want to be a Christ. That is becoming for me what it might mean to be a Christian.
That's where I am right now, anyway.