Saturday, December 16, 2006

The Second Coming: A Diversion That Keeps Us Infantalized

Global Warming. AIDS. Child abuse. War. The working poor. Homelessness.
With so many issues at hand that need our attention, why are so many Christians focusing on, worrying about, and predicting Jesus' "triumphant" return?

After the execution of Jesus in the first century, his followers claimed that he somehow didn't stay dead. The very concept was pure genius - The worst anyone can do to anybody is to kill them, and once you've done your worst, how seditious is it to suggest that your worst didn't ultimately matter?! And so stories of resurrection became the corner stone of Christian myth and faith (and in the beginning they were probably very effective in inspiring hope and courage among the marginalized of society).

I'm not saying that the stories were false. No, I believe that people continued to experience the power of Jesus' presence in their own lives long after he had been killed. And I believe they were honestly communicating their experienced reality when they created stories of "seeing" this ever-living Christ. As they told the stories, this Christ did live again and continued to live - in the hearts, stories, and rituals of a people. Let's be clear: I firmly believe in the resurrection of Christ. That doesn't necessarily mean that I believe in the physical resuscitation of Jesus' corpse, but I absolutely believe in the resurrection of Christ.

Now, the miracle of "he didn't stay dead" wasn't limited to "we have seen the Lord." Since in their experience and imagination he had not stayed dead, they also believed (or at least hoped) that he would return and a returned Messianic Jesus, victorious over Death itself would have little trouble toppling the Roman Empire and bringing peace and hope and justice to the marginalized people of the world. Yes, Jesus would be right back and then he would start taking names and kicking butt and making all things right in the world. Some bible writers even boldly said that he would return in THEIR lifetimes.

Clearly, that didn't happen (unless, like the resurrection, the parousia, aka return of Jesus, was somewhat symbolic, psychic, experienced, or otherwise other than physical/literal...some people suggest that Pentecost was the 2nd coming as it was the return of Jesus' spirit coming to empower the Church). The "orthodox" view is that it did not happen, and yet it was also clearly part of the Christian hope that it would happen. So, the dream of immediate return was massaged a bit to become the hope of an eventual return. As long as it would happen in the future, then people felt obliged to wait for it and to maybe even look for it. So, every generation of Christians winds up asking, "Are we the generation to see it?"

After two millennia, I've given up. I don't think it will literally happen or that it needs to happen. Jesus lives in our hearts so he is present enough as is. Now, because he dwells in our hearts, let's follow his example and get to healing the world around us! When we get around to doing that, perhaps that will be the return of Christ! - when the spirit of Christ is so strong among us that we create peace and justice in our world and refuse to settle for less.

Of course, owning our own responsibility for improving the world is a bit daunting. It is MUCH easier to pretend that Jesus will finally come back and do our work for us. But that mind-game didn't prevent WW1, WW2, Vietnam, the current quagmire in Iraq, global warming, AIDS, homophobia, famine, slavery, Jim Crow laws or other ghastly human experiences.

Maybe its time to give up on the idea that Superman will finally fly in to save the day; perhaps its time that we realize that the hero is within us. We need to unleash the power of Christ within (we could as easily call it the Buddha nature or the mythic hero or our Higher Power or our best Self or the goddess...what's in a name?!). When we become Christ in the world we won't need a 2nd coming; we'll have the kind of world Jesus lived and died to bring into manifestation.

1 comment:

physio24 said...

Your words are actually empty. What Jesus say is that this world here is less important ( but not unimportant) than life after death. Look around and see why all these problems occur. Man is looking for power through money. If Jesus came as an avenger to bring Justice he would automatically delete everything he said. Why? Will he come to give the power to the poor and punish the rich? Or will he come to vanish all the diseases and the wars? If so then power is important so Jesus was lying saying that wealth in this world is NOTHING.
We have the most valuable gift from the god, FREEDOM.
Jesus will come to judge us,based on the way we used it.
Have we suppresed other people, have we stolen, have we killed?
The answer is yes.
If Every person in this world is a sinner( minor or major) who will GOD protect by destroying the "bad" guys?

You are walking in the street and you see a person pointing a gun to his head. He asks you to pull the trigger, you walk away saying that you are not a killer and then you hear the bang. He is dead. Are you a killer? Yes because you could stop him. Wouldn't the result be the same if you had pulled the trigger? Don't wonder why children die in Africa. You and Me are the killers of those children. Because we have all the wealth of this world. It is nice writting here in my warm house my safe thoughts abouts the things to come. What if i had to thought that i am forced to give sexual pleasures to some rich guys in Thailand. Or i have to work as a slave just to have a slice of bread.
Do you really think that Jesus will come to revert this situation?
Please understand that Jesus came and RESSURECTED just to saw all of us that we DON'T HAVE TO BE AFRAID OF DEATH ANYMORE. This fear is the reason why people are trying to enjoy life as much as they can. That is why people are willing to crush other peoples in order to succeed.
Everythig here is FUTILE!!!!
As Jesus said, the best dresses won't make us more beautifull than the flowers. Or the feathers of the birds, or the butterflies. All the money will never produce what two poor people can do with love "A BABY".
Think, is Jesus inside us?
Can you hold Jesus inside you?
Finally there is one truth that you must realize.
JESUS is the SON of the ONE GOD. He came and became a brother of us. Automatically we all are the sons of GOD. We will inherit the kingdom of GOD all of us.
Don't be afraid of the wars and the plagues and the diseases. They will kill your body only if FATHER allows it.
Be afraid of everything that kills your soul, that make YOU kill your soul.
Read the Bible and believe.
Sorry about the bad use of the language as english is not my native language.
Hope you understand what i say
With love and a hope that love will conquer.
After all we all are brothers right?