Friday, July 27, 2007

Sins, Dietary and Otherwise

With regard to my previous post, I just wanted to add a note as an aside (and for the sake of Grandmere Mimi) that I do believe MP was being facetious when he said Jesus died on the cross for our dietary sins. Not that those sins are in any way minor, oh no no no. It's just that, and do correct me if I'm wrong here, MP, I don't think he buys into that whole Anselm's theory of Atonement dealio. It smacks of medieval feudal society logic and as acceptable as that model may have seemed, oh 900 years ago, I don't think MP cottons to that theology.

The atonement model of God is vengeful, angry, manipulative, feudal--downright masochistic. This is not the God Jesus described. This model of what Jesus was about destroys Jesus' notion of God. It leaves us bereft of the God who welcomes back prodigal sons with fatted lambs and banquets, the God who counts the hairs on our heads and feeds the sparrows in the sky. The loving God who, when asked for bread does not give a stone, is surely not the God who sends a son to be killed in some kind of blood sacrifice designed to appease a divine ego.

God did not want Jesus crucified. People did. God wanted to provide a model of the God-life in our midst.

Jesus' suffering was a very human thing. The people, the system, the world turned against him. And can't we all relate to that? That feeling, that pain? It is not so much the crucifixion and death of Jesus that can inform our lives, but the suffering which preceded it. It is the suffering of Christ that instructs and gives insight. Sooner or later we all find suffering in our lives--we all have "a cross to bear." Jesus shows us a choice: we can walk through our Golgothas as he did, with faith, understanding, and awareness of God's providence for us as we go, or we can stumble our way through, bitter and alientated from the very moments that, like his, can bring us to our glory.

"To say 'I believe in Jesus Christ who suffered' is to say that I believe that suffering is not destruction, and may, in fact, be the defining glory of our lives." ~Joan Chittister

"Freely I steal, freely I give." ~MadPriest

Update: Fatted lambs?! Whoops! Bad metaphor! Bad!