Thursday, May 07, 2009

we deny the resurrection

The resurrection of Jesus Christ is central the the Christian tradition.  By 'Christian,' I mean those who have chosen to follow Jesus Christ much as the twelve disciples of the biblical text chose to follow him.
A recent comment from a previous post suggested that some people within the emergent conversation deny the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Perhaps some voices do so while also holding to a more mystical understanding of the resurrection.  These people get grief - lots of it.  Being labeled a heretic isn't something that many people desire for their lives.
For those who make this a HUGE issue, several things are forgotten by them.  First, there have been plenty of church fathers who qustioned so many doctrines which are now central to evangelical American Christianity.  We now call these people 'church fathers' once they have been dead for centuries.
Secondly, as one friend of mine reminds us:  We deny the resurrection every time we see someone without food or clothing or shelter and choose to do nothing.
I've been told that this is not denying the resurrection.  Let's be honest thought:  It means we are at the very least apathetic to the gospel.  We LOVE to point to biblical texts that talk about it being imperative that we believe in a physical resurrection of the Christ.  We LOVE to forget Jesus words, "Whatever you do to the least of these, you do to me."  
The former belief has become imperative for American Christianity, and the later has become optional.  So, why?  I dare guess we're as committed to our American lifestyle; so one command is optional and the other is easy in a country that allows open dialogue of faith...
In reality, most pastors in America would end up out of jobs if they started preaching that we needed to care as much for our neighbors as our own needs... all of our neighbors which amounts to several billion people worldwide.
Yea, mental ascent to the physical resurrection is much easier than concerning ourselves with each person created in the image of God.   

1 comment:

E. said...

Yes, care for the poor is extremely important and often overlooked in many churches (though I would not throw out a blanket statement that covers all evangelical American churches as you seem to have done). However, your argument in this post is a false dichotomy. Caring for the poor and the bodily ressurection of Christ are not at odds and I've never heard anyone argue that they are. You are trying to win one argument by sidetracking people into another.