Wednesday, March 10, 2004
I'm finding it difficult to wade through all the different emotions, opinions and ideas that are being evoked by THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST. Maybe that's not right. Maybe it's more that I'm having a difficult time with all the dogmatism that's coming out around the same time as the film. Same-sex marriage. Pledge of Allegiance. THE PASSION. Removing the Ten Commandments in Alabama. FCC obscenity regulations. There's alot going on out there that's forcing our hand as Christians. We're being urged to take this or that stand, to let our voices be heard, to rise against the offensiveness of the culture and the left-wing liberals and... There's more diatribe than dialogue these days, more vitriol and debate than conversation and questions. Why is that?
It seems that we're in the last days, and that people want their ears tickled. We like the rallying cry - whether it's screaming for our favorite teams in the stadiums on autumn Saturday afternoons, or standing for our rights in front of the state house, we like to gather around a vocal cause.
But Jesus was different. He was decidedly quiet the day He was being persecuted, tortured and killed. When He did speak that day, He spoke forcefully and thoughtfully. When confronted by those trying to trap Him, He asked more questions than giving answers. And it seems that when He did "fly off the handle", such as the throwing out of the moneychangers, He seemed to be in confident control of Himself, knowing the obedience would lead to the Father's purpose.
Our debates don't often have that force: the realization that the one speaking is still calm, is still purposed, is right because it's right and not because his voice is the loudest or whiniest. Jesus just seemed to have a different tack about Him. If you're right, you don't have to manipulate. If you're right, you don't have to be flowery. If you're right, you're right regardless of the backlash and consequences. It's like this: truth is absolute whether we call it "absolute truth" or not. Likewise, our debates ring more of feeling like we've got to win at all costs, instead of already
understanding that we've won.