jesus – or not jesus

the new york times profiles conservative evangelical Rev. Gregory A Boyd who, in a series of sermons entitled “The Cross and the Sword” said “the church should steer clear of politics, give up moralizing on sexual issues, stop claiming the United States as a ‘Christian nation’ and stop glorifying American military campaign”. sure, he thinks homosexuality and abortions are sins, so you can bet that the reverend and i disagree on virtually everything, but on some topics, i have to say, he is nothing short of insightful:

You cannot say the word ‘Jesus’ in 2006 without having an awful lot of baggage going along with it. You can’t say the word ‘Christian,’ and you certainly can’t say the word ‘evangelical’ without it now raising connotations and a certain cringe factor in people. Because people think, ‘Oh no, what is going to come next is homosexual bashing, or pro-war rhetoric, or complaining about ‘activist judges.’

i like the outcome. but what drives it is even nearer to my heart.

In his six sermons, Mr. Boyd laid out a broad argument that the role of Christians was not to seek “power over” others — by controlling governments, passing legislation or fighting wars. Christians should instead seek to have “power under” others — “winning people’s hearts” by sacrificing for those in need, as Jesus did, Mr. Boyd said.

given how persuasive the reverend appears to be – his “Letters From a Skeptic” (series of articles on it here) eventually persuaded his agnostic father to embrace christianity – i’m hopeful that others will embrace his message. but i won’t lie, i’m disappointed that so many left the church rather than engage his message.

in case you’re curious, you can access the sermons from the nytimes article, or this page.

or, shakespeare’s sister, with… a great tshirt idea.

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