April 2, 2012
Excellent. Always a pleasure to read your thoughts.
I think we can overdo the emotionalism of the very violent death of Jesus Christ, it seems to me the Gospel accounts do not do this, they are very matter of fact -- this is what happened--
The 'Passion of The Christ' film majored on the gory & underplayed the reason for Jesus Christ's death on the cross, the sacrifice for the sin of the world. We would do well as believers to emphasis the fact of our own individual Sin that put Him on that Cross, not the Jews, not the Romans but us, sinners all, Saved by God's Grace.
The fact that Jesus's love and obedience was so complete that he willingly gave up his life as a sacrifice for humanity is more important to me than the fact that it was done in the violent and humiliating Roman way.
While the reporting of the events in the Gospels might be "matter of fact" we can't use that to draw any conclusions about the emotions of the people who were surrounded by these events. In fact, I think we do a disservice to ourselves as creations of the Most High God when we suppose that emotions didn't run extremely high in all parties involved.
I think there is plenty of evidence that emotions were extra charged... if for no other reason than the fact that there were humans present, and situations like that drive emotional responses.
We are always quick to judge... aren't we?
One day, I hope that Christianity can start to focus on what is important instead of worrying about how people feed their babies and who eats their placenta.
Nope. Both pre-chewing and placenta-eating can still be gross to me without compromising my faith.
As a Protestant, I don't believe in transubstantiation (Communion elements turning into the literal body and blood of Christ). It is a symbolic act done in remembrance.
I can practice Communion and still find the possible spread of oral viruses and pathogens unacceptably risky and disgusting. Does a baby deserve herpes simplex (and other) exposures?
As Christ didn't ask us to partake of actual human flesh and blood, I don't find a strong theological argument against health objections.
Likewise, I do not think belief and participation in Communion does not make the eating of other bodily by-products (hair, fingernails, skin, boogers, etc.) fully acceptable.
While I see your point about self-awareness of our own strange beliefs when confronted with unfamiliar view-points, I don't think belief in Communion (especially for non-transubstantionists) mandates acceptance of all intersections of the human body and eating.
Great insights and great questions, Caryn. One way I respond to those who ask why Christianity has some weird practices is to point out that a lot of what people do in this world is weird.
Take the food chewing and transferring thing. Why on earth are professionals worried about germ passing, when this is such a common occurrence among people. We share food all the time, whether taking a bite of someone else's sandwich or sipping from their milkshake straw. But here's the weird one, if you stop to think about it. When I was in High School we sometimes said a boyfriend and girlfriend kissing were swapping spit. Well they were, weren't they? Pass the germs!
There's a whole lot of other weird stuff people do in this world, sometimes in practicing their faith and sometimes otherwise. The point is not that something Christians do seems weird; it's that whatever we do we need to do it for Jesus, right? (1 Corinthians 10:31.)
Thanks for giving us this piece today, Caryn.
Add your comment to join the discussion!