Friday, November 10, 2006

The Lion Becomes the Lamb
Dorothy L. Sayers, best known as the author of the wonderful Lord Peter Wimsey series of mystery novels in the 1930's, was also a noted writer on religion. In her essay "Creed or Chaos," she points out a fact about the life of Jesus that I have always found to be wonderful in provoking both thoughts and arguments:

"The people who hanged Christ never, to do them justice, accused him of being a bore. On the contrary; they thought him too dynamic to be safe. It has been left for later generations to muffle up that shattering personality and surround him with an atmosphere of tedium. We have very efficiently pared the claws of the Lion of Judah, certified him "meek and mild," and recommended him as a fitting household pet for pale curates and pious old ladies. To those who knew him, however, he in no way suggested a milk-and-water person; they objected to him as a dangerous firebrand. True, he was tender to the unfortunate, patient with honest inquirers, and humble before Heaven; but he insulted respectable clergymen by calling them hypocrites; he referred to King Herod as "that fox"; he went to parties in disreputable company and was looked upon as a "gluttonous man and a wine-bibber, a friend of publicans and sinners"; he assaulted indignant tradesmen and threw them and their belongings out of the Temple; he drove a coach-and-horses through a number of sacrosanct and hoary regulations; he cured diseases by any means that came handy, with a shocking casualness in the matter of other people¹s pigs and property; he showed no proper deference for wealth or social position; when con-fronted with neat dialectical traps, he displayed a paradoxical humor that affronted serious-minded people, and he retorted by asking disagreeably searching questions that could not be answered by rule of thumb."

What I love about this philosophy, is that it brings up a point that most so-called Christians would rather forget. Namely that Jesus (whether real, fictional, or a combination of both), was a troublemaker. And yet Christians of today never question the status quo, and would be shocked at the suggestion that Jesus (disclaimer again) was anything less than the perfect "Lamb of God." Interesting....

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