Baby Jesus or King Christ

Who do men say that I am?

Whom do men say that I am? – Mark 8:27 KJV

When Jesus asked that question, he was speaking to his disciples, a group of men struggling with the identity of the man they were following. In modern times, the question is still relevant and might more pertinent than ever. Christianity is predicated on the identity of Christ and that identity drives the doctrines and actions of its followers.

There has emerged in modernity two identities of the man from Galilee. One is Jesus and the other is Christ. Initially, this sounds strange. Jesus Christ is the full title of the man who died on a cross and was resurrected three days later. How can those names be separated? The church has indeed done that very thing.

These two views are symbolized by how scripture is viewed. The Bible can be said to be centered on Jesus Christ, set between the Old Testament and the New Testament. It is this idea that reveals the two views.

In one view, the Bible is a cradle and set in the bottom of its pages is the baby Jesus. Here, the innocent gentleness of an infant is emphasized. He is vulnerable, wrapped in comfort and safety, and is bereft of the dirtiness of the world around him. Wide-eyed wonder and purest joy shine is his eyes and wordless gestures.

This view of a child is very appealing. The baby Jesus has unconditional acceptance of everyone and everything, an open and unlimited love. Here is an infant, weak and vulnerable, safe and serene. There is nothing here that might weigh on the shoulders or prick the side with a thorn. In the cradle is a Jesus who is small and needs Christian love and thrives on unending affection. Baby Jesus knows nothing of being a man. There is no masculinity or femininity in him. He has not entered into churches and learned doctrines and so know nothing of controversy or social issues. As an infant, he is infinitely approachable.

In the other view, the Bible is a mountain and set at its pinnacle is a throne and on that throne is Christ the king.

This view is far less appealing. Christ is a grown man, hardened by the realities of life and steeled with the purpose of his heavenly Father. He knows the dirtiness of real life and the suffering visited by spiritual malevolence (temptation). The scars of his determined submission to the authority of his Father are seen in his hands, his feet and his side. Some have been saved by him and others damned to judgment. Christ knows war and violence. To approach him is to approach one who has the authority to grant life and take life, to bring blessings and inflict curses. His place is not safe nor is it comfortable. Everything is his to give and take as he sees fit. He is strong, invulnerable and unmovable. There are no rights or autonomy before his throne.

The first impulse is to reconcile the two symbols, to say that the man is both Jesus and Christ, both the infant and the king. The problem with such moderation is twofold. First, when Jesus was born, he began his progression from a child to an adult and it was as an adult that he was given his mission. Second, when he was resurrected, his was not the body of an infant, but that of the man he was when he died on the cross. It was as an adult male that Jesus ascended into heaven and is seated on his throne.

Among Christian men, there is a crisis of adulthood, where adolescent boys grow into adolescent men and then marry women in hopes of finding direction in life. They are incapable of governing themselves and look toward others, especially women, to govern them. The symbol of Baby Jesus is ultimately a place for women and children, where women raise children in safety, and this is where adolescent men long to be.

However, in order to move into adulthood, an adolescent boy must leave his mother’s world, leave behind the cradle, and begin the hard and arduous climb up the mountain to the place of authority where Christ grants men their purpose and authority to carry it out. It is not a place for women and children, but for men. Christ does call women to service to him, but it is to men that authority over families and churches, over women and children, is given.

More and more Christianity, even the conservative branches, are growing sympathetic to the identity of Jesus the infant and structuring itself accordingly. The identity of Christ the king has fallen on hard times. Weakness in the church culture is manifested by a perpetual move toward an adolescent understanding of who the person of Jesus Christ is. Instead of seeing Christ as above the church reining with authority, the church is seen as equal with Christ, as if he and his followers are just a group of adolescent buddies hanging out in eternity. Not viewing Christ as an adult male king ruling over the church also removes the idea that adult male Christians should have authority over family and church. Authority and equality cannot coexist.

This is all a reflection of an adolescent church culture. Christian men need to leave behind adolescence and move into adulthood, climb up that mountain to the throne of Christ and serve him alone. From that culture, the church can then grow up.

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Comparing Galileo To Darwin Is A Mistake

Darwin. Doing more than just correcting the church.

One of the ideas encouraging the church to accept evolution is that science has in the past corrected the church’s understanding of life here on earth. One primary example used is the belief that the earth was stationary while all other heavenly bodies orbited around it, a geocentric view of the universe. The belief in a heliocentric universe, where the earth and other bodies orbit around the sun, was presented by Galileo and corrected the geocentric error held by the church.

Along with Galileo, Darwin is also said to have corrected the church. The rejection of Evolution by the church is viewed in the same vein as the church’s initial rejection of a sun-centered solar system. However, there are important differences between what Galileo discovered and what Evolution proposes.

The heliocentric model for the sun and earth does not challenge biblical history. God is still the creator and the creation account in Genesis still holds as factual history. The idea of an orbiting earth does not attempt to provide answers for the fundamental questions of man’s existence. Whether the earth orbits the sun or vice versa, God still created both earth and sun in a six-day creation period and man was created on the sixth day.

Evolution, though, does not merely propose an understanding of how life currently functions on earth, but provides the basis for a whole set of different answers to the reality of man. It reaches far into the past and creates a history then proposes a model for the future.

A biblical timeline explaining man’s place in history is the paradigm of creation, fall, and redemption. Based on biblical texts, this history is considered to be about six- to ten-thousand years out from the moment when God created the universe. Evolution proposes that history began much farther back with humans first appearing about two hundred thousand years ago and all of history going back two billion years.

This view of history reaches outside of the proposed limits of biblical history. Inside the history of an evolving universe that is billions of years old, of an evolving human history that is hundreds of thousands of years old, the biblical history of six thousand years is dwarfed. Evolution proposes that long before “God created the heavens and the earth” history was already underway and human history already in the making.

Not only does this expansive view of history overshadow biblical history, but supplants it, moving it from factual to mythical. Studying the history of biblical texts is no longer an exercise in understanding God’s creation of man, but understanding man’s evolving understanding of God. The account in Genesis is no longer viewed as universally accepted history, but is reduced to a particular mythical history for a particular culture in a particular time in the grand history of evolution, in this case Semitic tribes which base their Jewish identity on the Pentateuch.

Within the grandeur of evolutionary history, the biblical accounts of creation, angels, demons, and miraculous events seem almost childish. This may be why some parts of Christianity are focused less on the adult life of Jesus than on the moment of his entry into this world as an infant. The God of scripture appears weak and child-like next to the God of evolution.

This view of evolution as a greater, grander and near limitless history outside the limits of biblical history is its main appeal. It offers an expanded and sophisticated view of life that makes biblical accounts seem like pieces man-made fiction.

If the church were to fully accept evolution, it would have to accept a history that supplants its own. It would have to redefine itself not as an entity of Christ within biblical history, but as an entity of man within evolutionary history. In fact, the work to do just that is already underway. The prediction of ongoing evolution inevitably leads to the future call of the church to outgrow its dependence on scripture for its identity and reach for a more scientific and humanist identity, a religion of spiritual sciences.

To say that Darwin has corrected the church in the same way that Galileo corrected the church severely understates the massive implications of what evolution proposes. To accept evolution is to step outside the boundaries of Genesis to Revelation for a history that proposes a greater and wider understanding of life for man here on earth.

This is more than a mere correction of biblical interpretation.

Justice For The Sexually Downtrodden

Preists on the hit list.

MSN Now posted a story about a man who was acquitted of felony assault after he went into a retirement home and punched the Catholic priest who had raped him as a boy. Though it was an act of vigilante justice, it was let go, given what happened.

This story is important because the Catholic Church was slow to respond to the growing incidents of priests raping and molesting boys and has been notably lenient on accused priests. The problem could have been solved by holding an inquisition and purging the church of homosexual priests the same way it recently purged feminist nuns.

The crimes committed by priests is not really the issue. What matters is the action of revenge without legal consequence, what many would call justice. If there is ever a popularized symbol of Christianity, it is the Catholic priest. For a priest to be assaulted and the perpetrator be acquitted is symbolic of the conflict between the church and sexual liberals.

Advocates for sexual rights view the church’s continued promotion of traditional marrriage with terms like “discrimination” and “hate.” Every Sunday, churches hold services where ministers and pastors denounce any sexuality outside of traditional marriage. Writers still publish books upholding traditional marriage and public speakers still rail against feminism and gay rights.

For those who support sexual rights, the church not being legally punished for its stance against sexual rights is not unlike the Catholic Church not punishing pedophile priests. There is a longing for the day when activists will be able to march into churches across the country and legally punch church leaders with laws that ban the open support for traditional marriage. For sexual liberals, a pedophile priest and a traditional minister are cut from the same fabric.

Something similar can be seen in the movie, “The Chocolate War.” In one scene, a harsh and overzealous priest is chasing a student, who turns around and punches the preist. The crowd of young Catholic school boys stand and cheer, causing the priestly leadership to cower.

Stories like the one MSN ran symbolize the desire for the sexually liberal communities to legally silence the traditional voices. That is why MSN runs stories like this and why they are important to their readers.

No Opposite Of Feminism

“Father, this is your Son. I can’t bless the Sons of God because that would make me a chauvinist.”

What is the opposite of feminism?

Let’s begin with the idea that feminism as a political and cultural movement is meant to support, promote and elevate women in a society. The end of the abuse and exploitation of women as well as providing opportunities for their betterment sounds like a fine and dandy goal. Reaching out to the downtrodden and elevating them is a staple of human conscience.

The Oxford Dictionary defines feminism as: the advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic equality to men.

If we apply the same definition to men, what word would describe the support, promotion and elevation of men in a society? The opposite of feminine is masculine, but there is no such thing as masculinism.

However, when men stand for the support and elevation of men in society, there is a word that is commonly used and applied with derision.

Chauvinism.

It is defined as: exaggerated or aggressive patriotism; excessive or prejudiced loyalty or support for one’s own cause, group, or gender: a bastion of male chauvinism.

In our current society, the promotion of women is feminism and the promotion of men is chauvinism. Feminism may be criticized as a movement, but generally it is accepted and tolerated if not openly pushed. Chauvinism automatically triggers a negative connotation, especially toward men.

If I advocate for women and enthusiastically work to elevate them, I might be called a feminist, which is ok.

If I advocate for men and enthusiastically work to elevate them, including myself, I might be called a chauvinist, which is not ok. Churches do not want their sons to be chauvinists. However, it is ok for their daughters to be feminists.

Now, women might argue that it is ok to promote the good of men, but only as far as it first secures the good of women (i.e. their happiness).

With an understanding like this, men will always have the winds of fortune blowing against them.