Thursday, July 14, 2011

WWJ not D?

In an article on preaching by a Ms. Reverend Someone, she quotes adults in a Manhattan church about what makes for good preaching:
"We do not want a sermon that skirts current issues. Jesus didn't do that. At our church, we sit on the edge of our seats every week because our preachers connect the Word of God with the important news of the day and the real world we live in."

"Current issues" and "important news of the day" and "the real world we live in" likely comes down to the obsessions of the white upper middle class on the West Side. A very circumscribed world. And Jesus, if you read the Book, was not a religious commentator on the MSM's idea of what's current, important and real.

He said nothing about homosexuality or slavery or pacifism or abortion or contraception or massive illegal immigration or the Roman occupation or sustainability or multiculturalism or government intervention in the economy or affirmative action or women's ordination or any of the other intellectual and cultural passtimes of these folks. Their Jesus is, well, their Jesus.


Anonymous said...

I am curious why this usual sort of mainline or spirit of 2d vatican Christian doesn't like Paul.

For supposing that Paul began the use of Jesus' word to make the oikoumene of Satan the Tempter of Jesus an instrument of salvation unto eternal life, it might be accurate to say "We do not want a sermon that skirts current issues. Paul didn't do that. At our church, we sit on the edge of our seats every week because our preachers connect the Word of God with the important news of the day and the real world we live in." ...

Easy to say that Paul maybe wasn't that likeable. I don't know. I doubt that Jesus was all that likeable. ... More likely the 'cultural engagement' done by Paul involves statements that "these folks" don't like. Jesus' comparative silence on "issues of the day" -- booting the things of Caesar to the curb -- plus his parabolic style that maybe tends to sound a lot nicer than the truths asserted therein really are enables them to appeal to Jesus to destroy the Pauline Christian trappings of Western civilization -- thus returning the oikoumene to the Shaitan's unimpeded dominion.

The worldling can argue with the Pauline Christian. If all establish'd powers are the instruments of the Christian God (Romans 13:1 etc), then the Christian God or His clergy must not demand policy changes that maybe are ruinous to the oikoumene -- e.g. open borders, condemnation of work ethic "capitalism," marriage equality, etc.

But if we ask Jesus about these things, He declares that He couldn't care less about Christian America, Christian France, Reformation Netherlands, pre-Christian Rome, etc. Don't ask Him to consider prudential reality vis-a-vis these systems that are all foolishness of Satan. On the other hand, in fairness, He doesn't indignantly demand control of public policy in pre-Christian Rome, European Christendom, or Christian America.

So far from insisting that his parable of the Good Samaritan be extrapolated into increased taxes and increased social spending, He would loftily condemn such extrapolation or application as a diabolical corruption of his kerygma. The most subtle diabolical corruption of his kerygma is probably interpreting "Resist not evil" as "Thou shalt nonviolently resist evil!"


Anonymous said...

But if one really wishes to destroy a civilization, then there's a lot of potential in putting the principle of Pauline subjection of the oikoumene to Christian criteria together with Jesus' utter recklessness and contempt for the oikoumene.

Not individual and group sectarians who follow Jesus but banks are obliged to give away all their wealth.

Not individual and group sectarians who follow Jesus but military and police systems are obliged to do nonviolence [in accord with the interpretation of 'resist not evil' as 'thou shalt nonviolently resist evil'].

To be sure, in principle the duty to give away all wealth applies to collective ownership systems as well as to individualist ownership systems. Neither socialist agitators nor harden'd tycoons nor Mr and Mrs Methodist hardware store owner may grab control of Mammon in real obedience to Jesus. Jesus didn't say, Use Mammon for good policy options, not uncaring policy options.

And Jesus' humble kerygma that whoever doesn't hate his mother, brothers et al for His kerygma's sake isn't worthy of his kerygma doesn't mean that His kerygma demands that the Roman empire or capitalist Christian America recognize 'marriage equality' for the alternatively sexual'd.

But when you don't love Jesus' kerygma, and you hate Christian America, Jesus' indifference to the stuff of Caesar (even so far as to not actually care in the least whether the state gives additional funding to the arts!) can be very usefully apply'd to the residual defenders of Paul's argument that the establish'd powers are instruments of the Christian God.

Anonymous said...

Obviously this "prophetic" use of Jesus against Pauline Christianity isn't intended to motivate Caesar, Mammon et al to do better.

As Jesus surely perceived, the military-mammon cultural complex would only find life spice in the onslaught of amusing hypocritical critiques by tenured clergy-intellectuals with bank accounts, retirement plans, and 401Ks etc, who live for the prestige in the world's culture system (Mammon) not in childlike freedom from care about all that.

(Paul and John surely perceived this too. They wouldn't have fancy'd that the oikoumene could be manifestly the instrument of the God of Jesus Christ [the other side of the coin with Caesar's image on it?] if their plan was only to expect the princes of the oikoumene would whimper with guilt whenever prophetically critiqued. There must have been more to this plan -- a sublation of what these powers actually superintended? No longer flunkies of the Selfs but their correcters?)

In any case, about Islam, even though Westerners are moraly obligated to believe that Muslims' concept of Jesus is equal to or even superior to Christians', obviously Islam does not hold that Muslims ought not to resist evil (sc the dualist prestidigitation continues) or even that Muslims ought to resist evil only nonviolently via prophetic critiques. ...

Islam obliges Muslims to give alms to poor relatives and maybe poor fellow Muslims, and usury is frown'd upon, but I think only the Chinese excel them in honest, unhypocritical reverent total awe for sheer wealth.


Anonymous said...

P.S. I should say, however, that even though the intention of using Jesus against Pauline Christianity may be intended only to remove Old-Testament-link'd Christian meanings from oikoumenical institutions such as the military and money and culture, and thus to free up the military and money and culture from the "danger" of Christian Old Testament strictures, a massive civilizational emptying of meaning from the seculum via Jesus' kerygma would doom the seculum.

The Shaitin and his iblis sibyls is the instrument of God for a purpose.

Jesus' contempt for the oikoumene of Satan was only derivative of his concern for proper preparation *in the seculum* for the inbreaking of the Kingdom of God.

This concern is corrupted and even shut down if His contempt for the oikoumene is treated as His leading concern -- sc in order to support the ostensible righteousness of the tibetan nondual aiôn -- the Canaanitization of Japheth's personnel -- as nondualist honesty or honnêteté in the sense understood by Pascal.

The oikoumene can get along well enough without Jesus' concern for the preparation in the seculum for the inbreaking of the Kingdom of God. But it cannot get along or be maintain'd by God if it interprets "le moi est haïssable" (the ego is for hating and is odious) as a final teaching, as though honest odiousness (porno etc) achieves the purposes of God, or saves unto eternal life.

Even in the most ordinary naive way we can see that Jesus' contempt for the oikoumene (not for the aiôn or seculum, BTW) is unjust prima facie. He comes along and tells the supporter of single payer health care or of good schools or of infrastructure or the peace process or truth in the media or whatever liberal or conservative oikoumenical purpose you care to mention and says it is a waste of time vis-a-vis the thing most needful, namely preparing one's self for the inbreaking of the Kingdom of God.

We don't understand Him at all if we don't see that first of all He has a bad attitude.

And indeed, the usual mis-interpretation of His kerygma whether by liberals or conservatives is to make his ways of preparation seem to support some oikoumenically valid purpose. For instance, his reputation for associating with low lifes is used to guilt voters into supporting increased social spending. But really He meant something like the distinction between a fine class of person and a low class of person is irrelevant for self preparation in the seculum for the inbreaking of the kingdom of God. For our class's terms, He means the distinction between Pat Robertson (culturally bad influencer) and Carl Sagan (culturally good influencer) is misleading, irrelevant.

We may reject this kerygma -- for directly diabolical purposes or for naive purposes. But in view of the difficulty of His Beatitudes, we cannot accurately say that His concern was to relativize high-class and low-class behaviour and attitudes. High-class and low-class distinction or discrimination may be misleading, but the oikoumene depends upon it. Jesus' recommended replacement aion or seculum is the Beatitudes, not "honest" crumminess or something like that.

Using Jesus' contempt for the oikoumene against Pauline Christianity for the sake of Canaanitization of Japheth is a seculum of ruin. Maybe indeed Satan flees in shame. But then this means the seculum is valueless, despite its mighty institutions of commerce and militarization.

Leah said...

As my synagogue has become more political and preaching current events - I am withdrawing.
I have current events at my fingertips daily - I want some spirituality in my sermons.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...