If only Christians could truly appreciate Jesus. I mean, it seems sometimes that they very much reduce this man to a formula to get into their heaven. I remember this group in college that spouted a simplistic, formulaic method for ensuring you claim a spot on the salvation express called the Four Spiritual Laws. In addition to saving your own, they had a plan for spreading this message virally throughout the collegiate biosphere. Limiting such an important figure to a means to save your eternal ass, is missing the point. It misses the whole target, falling well short of it.
I went to church for many, many years. Part was put upon me, part was my own choosing (late high school, early college as I went through a Christian youth revival period). But in all those years, I never learned as much about Christianity as I did from one source — a musical. That’s right, Andrew and Tim’s Jesus Christ Superstar. This one musical allowed me to see for the first time ever the world that Jesus found himself in at that time and place. His land was occupied by a foreign power, the Jews were looking for a way out, and even though his message was spiritual, it was taken as political and used ultimately to kill him.
My absolute favorite line from that musical is this one, spoken by the Jesus character: “Neither you Simon nor the fifty thousand, nor the Roman’s nor the Jews, nor Judas nor the Twelve nor the priests nor the scribes, nor doomed Jerusalem itself, understand what power is, understand what glory is, understand at all…”
That really says it all. And the tune behind it is riveting. Power is not what we think it is. It is not “power over.” It is “power within.”
It seems Christians ignore the very evident Jesus as mystic, enlightened master, self-aware, awakened, human. And they are the ones who should know. They study his words, spend time worshiping him, and supposedly try to be like him. It’s odd that this would be the case, but at the same time, I understand the bible is a very dangerous — if not inscrutable — book, in that it can be interpreted in as many ways as there are people who read it. And since some claim it is the inerrant word of God, well there’s your recipe for disaster (and a world of history to prove it). When a book is said to be written by god, in any belief system, it’s a sure fiasco waiting to happen. And it has happened. And is happening now.
Everyone has their own truth. And all those truths lead to the Ultimate Truth. No one person, no one belief system can claim ownership of Truth, only of truth. One question I have is, was Jesus really here to ensure people worshiped him endlessly? Or was he here to point to a better way, toward a truth which could ultimately lead people to The Truth. It just seems to me that simply worshiping him, or focusing solely on the “he is God” aspect completely blinds people to his message. That’s how you get things like “Baseball+Apple Pie+Jesus = American.” I mean, how else could such a concept come from what Jesus taught? It takes a lot of reduction to get there.