Moved Mountains

Banner - Mt Trio, Stirling Range National Park, Western Australia - (c) 2007

Monday, January 28, 2008

Jesus the Warrior

I was thinking about some comments Glenn made on my last post (Hard Words for the Australian Church) - about the "taking the city" kind of terminology used often in certain Christian circles. Glenn made the point that it kinda reminded him of the terminology of the Crusades.

Jesus ministry and his rejection as the Messiah by the first century Jews ultimately related to his refusal to fullfil the role of the military-type Messiah. Someone who would finish the job of ridding Israel of the Romans once and for all and restoring the theocracy. Jesus simply didn't fit this bill and so people became disillusioned with him and, in the end - one week after they gave him a triumphal entry to Jerusalem - they oversaw his execution.

I wonder if this use of militaristic language betrays a similar form of thinking within the modern church. A crusade kind of mentality that wants Jesus to be a military-type Messiah, demanding allegiance to his cause at the end of a sword (taking the city - by force) rather than the lay-down-your-life and transform-the-world in love (agape) kind of Messiah of the gospels?

Will the "failure" of Jesus to act in these ways lead to the same kind of disillusionement experienced by the first century Jews and if so what effect could this have on the church?


glenn said...

Andrew ~ You've got my head spinning with these insightful thoughts. I think on some level there has been disillusionment with the love-your-neighbor-Jesus (if the neighbor is very different from you). Sometimes these types of Jesus followers have been called... liberal, weak on sin, weak in the Bible, etc. I think some of what is behind the mentality is the desire for a more comfortable, less complicated life that hearkens back to the 50's. There is disillusionment with the-kinder-gentler-Jesus among some die hards who think the world has gone to Hell in a hand basket. They can't see how God is at work today. They call it contending for the faith when they attack their brothers. I call it just being mean and nasty. Wow, I kind of unloaded on you!

The Creature said...

:) That's cool Glenn.

It all just kinda dawned on me too. Of course the other side of this is that perhaps we can "take" our cities and town through a show of love rather than a show of force. However I think love, in a cynical world, will have less of an effect on the broad scale than force.