I have wonderful parishioners. They are smart, caring, creative, generous and fun! It is a joy to journey alongside them. Recently, one young man who has a questioning mind has begun to deeply question the present day effects of the Hebraic Jesus movement. In other words, questioning how we are to live our lives if we truly follow the way of Jesus as a community and as an individual.
I must say there are some deep issues when one begins to question in this manner with the greatest one being the merging of the Jesus movement or the “Church” if you will with the American Empire. The reasoning for this is quite simple. Once the Empire and Christianity got in bed together, the Jesus movement gradually lost its innately subversive nature. In order for the question to be resolved in the mind of the questioner, one must be willing to change one’s thinking about the grandiosity of the American Empire as well as become willing to challenge it.
Its funny how people react when someone says capitalism is not the economy of God. People will argue that when used compassionately, it is the best fit within God’s economy. I disagree. Capitalism tends to create an implied every man or woman for him or herself. Mixing it with individualism only makes it worse. We are seeing this play out today. Pay attention to the rhetoric around taxes, health care, poverty, and even the lunches that are served in schools.
It is also funny when one begins to say the American Empire will eventually fall. All Empires fall. All human civilizations evolve, change or come to an end. It’s the nature of time, but say this in a Bible study and one will get looks of disbelief. “America cannot fall for it is the best and closest humanity can get to God’s ways.” I again disagree.
Manifest Destiny is still alive and well among us.