Saturday, December 5, 2009

Rick Warren's Still in the Spotlight (surprise.)

      Over on Shakesville, there's a great discussion going on about Rick Warren's following internet post:

     This comes statement after Warren's involvement in the human rights disaster taking place in Uganda.  Warren's good Christian values are not only theologically violent, but are now in part responsible for encouraging the Ugandan government to pass Bill Number 18 and put gays to death.

     On Shakesville, Seraph4377 commented:
You know, he's [Warren] right about one thing. The Christ of the Gospels really did refuse to hurt back (whether you think he had any deific powers to use when the Romans came for him or not, he definitely told his armed followers to stand down) and told his followers to do likewise.
Thing is, Jesus didn't always live up to his pacifist principles. Even if you leave aside that little temper tantrum with the fig tree (a hungry man is an angry man, after all) and the nasty side effects that exorcism had on the Gadarene Swine (that wasn't done out of malice), you're still left with one occasion where He got genuinely violent - I mean, table-dumping, whip-swinging berserk.
And what was it that set Him off? Did He come upon a homosexual couple? A midwife who performed abortions? Nope. Turns out He really, really didn't like people using their religious authority to take advantage of the rubes.
Which reminds me of another story. Jesus is confronted by an angry mob who have caught a sexual sinner in the act. They demand that He pass judgment (aka legitimize the lynching they are about to perform), but instead of doing so - or "not taking sides" - He quietly shames them all into leaving said sexual sinner alone.
Is it possible, just maybe, that Jesus might want his followers to do the same?
Maybe Warren should worry about whether Jesus really meant that "whatever you have done to the least of these" thing.
     My response:
Seraph4377, you hit it on the nose: the Jesus of scripture would just walk away.
Christianity is a mess, full of cultish adherents to different personalities, one of which is Rick Warren, but you could just as easily substitute Pope Benedict, Pat Robertson, Gene Robinson, Pope John XXIII, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Luther, Calvin, Francis of Assisi, Arius, Nestorius, etc. (right or left, throughout history). Why not substitute Paul, Apollos, or Cephas, as the Corinthians did (1 Cor 1:12)?  Most churches exists to perpetuate themselves and their preachers' lifestyles, not the word of some god.
I left behind the Catholic priesthood, the Catholic church, and ultimately faith in any sort of god because of the hypocrisy and theological violence that people do in the name of their gods, of which ignorance is usually the most powerful god. Rick Warren is not about Jesus, god, or doing good, he's about fattening his own image and pocketbook.