Brian’s Reflection: Wednesday, October 1, 2008
I hate to see complacency prevail in our lives when
it's so directly contrary to the teaching of Christ.
- President Jimmy Carter, born on this day, 1924
For a nation which so often invokes the name of Jesus Christ, I have to say that there is very very little which I, as a Christian priest of over 35 years, can identify as “of Christ”. Sorry to be so blunt ….. but that’s my assessment and perception and experience. Compassion. Care for the poor. Justice and Fairness. Simplicity of Life. Rejection of violence (which is surely the message of the Cross). “Not thinking too highly of yourself”. Not thinking of yourself as “any better” than others. Understanding that greatness is grounded in being a “slave to all”. The List goes on and on.
And Complacency. Thinking that the Status quo is ok. That people starve to death. Die without AIDS medications. Throwing a tidbit here and there to those of whom we “approve”. Basically resting complacently in the belief that we Americans deserve all of the benefits that come from ultimate military power and the ability to use vastly disproportionately the resources of the Earth, stealing from others or appropriating by violence ….. Can anyone who professes to know the God of Love justify this?
I see nothing of Jesus Christ in this. I see Baal. Marduk. The ancient Gods of Power.
Complacency means seeing no reason to change. Jimmy Carter is right: embracing Christ means to change. To become the loving servant of all of God’s people. To die that others may live.
The bottom line is, if America is based on Christian values, it is on the slimmest surface alone. This is called Hypocrisy. And of all the things Christ condemned, He condemned Hypocrisy the most.
Americans are, today, of every faith. God requires us to honour each other as Her children. But if some seeking office insist on invoking Christ, let them take up His cross and follow Him truly.