05 August, 2005

Jesus Had Amazing Fashion Sense

The comments to this post over at Nashville Truth are intriguing. Cole Wakefield of Christian Dissent makes the interesting assertion that Jesus was a Progressive. Time for the other side to volley that Jesus was Conservative.

Brothers and Sisters in Christ: please. We know this. Jesus is the Son of God. He came to Earth at arguably the most perilous times in political and governmental history. Whole nations of people were slaves, including those to whom He chose to be born. Yet, amazingly enough, this Man did not choose to practice politics. He did not chose to lead the Zealots in revolt, even though He was invited to. He said plainly "Render Unto Caeser". Politics is politics. Jesus knew that. He knew it would, like the poor, always be with us as a condition of our humanity. He came to release us from these conditions, not perpetuate them. He most certainly did not come to be the perpetual trump card in our petty squabbles about taxation and adjudication.

Peter is probably universally agreed to be the strongest-willed and most independant-minded of the Twelve Apostles. After Christ's resurrection, the Lord said "Peter, do you love me?" then with Peter's answer in the affirmative--"Feed my sheep." That faith and those instructions are the Rock upon which He built His Church. Our love for God should be practiced in meeting the spiritual and physical needs of those sheep. That's it. That's Christ's command for His Church. Feed the sheep. Not "vote in the primaries" or "subscribe to Mother Jones." Let's all just take up our cross daily and follow Him as we are led. The rest is vanity.


At 7:25 AM, August 06, 2005, Anonymous Dean Snyder said...


It seems to me there are only two options here: Either 1) opt out of the political and economic society all together like St. Francis so that we do not benefit from it personally to the advantage of others who are disadvantaged by the system, or 2) if we stay in the system and benefit from it we need to use our political power and our economic resources on behalf of making the society more just and compassionate. In other words, if we are going to go with your interpretation of Jesus, we cannot live like Ceasar. I have great respect for those who choose voluntary poverty and powerlessness (Catholic Workers and others who choose to adentify literally with the poor). I question the logic of those who earn money, benefit from society, vote, but deny responsibility for the welfare of others by saying that Jesus was not about politics. To whom much is given, much is required. This is my wrestling with this question.

At 8:01 AM, August 06, 2005, Anonymous smantix said...

I am not a religious person. In fact, I'm an atheist.

What gets me in this whole conversation is that liberals have thrown a burlap sack over the idea of "Jesus" and propped up Buddy Christ in his place.


The only sin that exists, by their rules, is "to judge" anyone else. Forget the 10 Commandments, "thou shalt not judge" is The Law of The Land. That Jesus is a pro-homosexual marriage, abortion performing, animal rights activist, ACLU attorney from a hippie commune in Oregon. And they are entitled to their opinion however wrong it may be and however hot it is that they are are going.

If I was a Christian, I would call them on the carpet for blasphemy and the smitings would begin shortly thereafter. But then I've always been a fan in the mold.

From my upbringing, they have perverted a religion so that they can turn a church into a Unrepentant Sinner Support Group.

Like abortions? Adultery? The government to do your stealing for you? Come on in to the First Church of Moral Relativism. You can wear jeans and we have a great house band!

At 11:31 PM, August 06, 2005, Blogger bfine107 said...

Lovely recogintion of the need to "feed the sheep."

Who are the sheep?
And how do we feed them?

I'm extremely eager to hear your thoughts.

At 8:05 AM, August 07, 2005, Blogger ColeWake said...


I called Jesus a progressive instead of a liberal for this very purpose. The values of helping one another, seeing that each gets her fill, those are progressive values. You can be conservative, liberal, Republican, anything and be progressive.

In this society we have the power to steer our government. It is our duty to use it (and our own resources) to help those less fortunate than us.

We also have an obligation to Christ, to protect his name from being misused by those who only seek power and wealth.

At 7:37 PM, August 07, 2005, Blogger Kat Coble said...

Cole, I get where you're coming from with the diagnosis of Jesus as progressive, and I understand why you would make that connection. I also understand where Dean and ariah are coming from.

Trust me, I have absolutely no desire to see anyone mistake my comments for solely advocating the life of an aesthete. I think that politics is definitely one of the eartly ways we as Christians can practice Christ's commandments of loving our neighbors and feeding the sheep. I wouldn't have pursued a career in the game otherwise. I left that career when I started to see people on both sides clamour at the foot of the Cross to turn it into their battle standard.

Jesus wants us to see that the poor are fed and clothed. He wants us to see that the widows and orphans are not forgotten.

Those on the left favour using their status to lobby for governmental social programs and fair wage laws.

Those on the right favour limited government involvement so that there is more money for the private sector to invest in faith-based charity initiatives. They favour lower wage requirements so that businesses can hire more people.

Which side is right? We appear to have all made our individual choices in the matter, and campaign fervently to see our vision of Christ's call enacted. Both sides have obvious failings as well as clear strong points.

My problem is when each side takes the liberty to question the faith of the other. No Christian can assume that his brother has made his choice without prayerful consideration.

As we have no clear endorsement from Christ of any political, economical or governmental system, none can claim to have selected the only right way.

I happen to believe that my brand of politics suits my faith and my walk with the Lord for any number of well-prayed-about reasons. I've changed my mind about any number of things over the years, and will probably continue to do so as I receive more information and watch more innocent people killed.

Even though I disagree with your politics on some issues, please never mistake that for any commentary on your faith whatsoever. I merely ask the same courtesy from you.

At 11:25 PM, August 08, 2005, Anonymous Mindy said...

I completely dissagree in that Jesus most certainly did make political statements and take highly political stances! It is all over scripture that he disregarded the political (and yes religious too!) state of his people. There was not a "modern" separation of church and state in His culture.

I do agree that he was not violent. I would say that His stance was more precisely very politically pacifist.

I would also challenge the idea that, "Those on the right favour limited government involvement so that there is more money for the private sector to invest in faith-based charity initiatives." If the CHURCH institution isn't even recieving (on average) 2-3% of it's MEMBER'S income, I don't see where you can say that at all!

At 6:38 AM, August 09, 2005, Blogger Kat Coble said...

We're going to have to disagree about Jesus' political involvement. Given that you are obviously involved in the NPJC, then you are more likely disposed toward a "progressive" view of Christ and politics.

Most churches are only receiving 2-3% of their members' income because Christians are giving to other causes besides their church. We, and all Christians I know, give most of our tithe to charities outside of any one church body.

At 7:26 PM, August 09, 2005, Blogger Glen Dean said...

Great post Katherine. If I wanted to use Jesus to justify my political views, then I could. But I choose not to. If Cole wants to do that, and apparantly he does, then he can too. For that reason, I don't think that either of us should. Now that doesn't mean that our own views of politics are not affected by our religious beliefs. If someone really has religious beliefs, then every part of their life will be affected by those beliefs. There is no way around it. But if I go around and use his name to promote my ideology, then I am doing damage to the real message of Jesus. I want my church to reach people for Christ who disagree with my political views. I hope Cole also wants to reach people who disagree with him.

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