My Facebook Reflections on Jesus: September 2010 to the Present

Jesus

Apparently I have talked quite a bit about Jesus on Facebook over the past five years. The following is everything I have said about Jesus on Facebook in chronological order up to the present:

41% of U.S. Americans believe Jesus will return in the next 40 years.
A close runner-up (right below hell) for worst concept in the Christian tradition is the idea of some kind of blood atonement. It makes God out to be a blood-thirsty being that requires death (and in the case of Jesus – human sacrifice) for people to be reconciled to God. Along with hell, the concept of blood atonement makes God appear incredibly sadistic.
Also at the top of my list of worst concepts/practices in the Christian tradition – taking the cultural norms of the time of Jesus and giving them the status of natural or divine law that cannot be amended and assigning the status of sin to practices that might go counter to those cultural norms. Throughout history this has been problematic for women, slaves, and persons who are homosexual.
If Jesus were alive today, I think some of his pictures might be mugshots.
We have to stop worshipping American Empire Jesus.
I cannot imagine Jesus condoning any church telling any group of its adherents to do less work in relation to social justice.
Jesus: “Love your neighbor”
American Fundamentalist Christians: “Eat more Chicken”
Ayn Rand is like Anti-Jesus on steroids, and I am pretty sure she would take that as a compliment.
Here is a truly ironic fact for you: In an interview in 2003, Paul Ryan said he gave out Ayn Rand books as Christmas presents. Ah yes, what better way to celebrate the birth of Jesus into the world than by giving people books by a person who believed that the ethic of altruism found in Jesus‘ teachings is evil!
Today I have the image in my mind of Jesus turning over tables at an NRA convention.
I still love Jesus in spite of Christianity.
The attempt to make the United States a Christian Nation is neither good for the country nor good for those who are followers of the way of Jesus.
Today I celebrate that Jesus taught the power of humility and not the power of humiliation.
January 24, 2013 ·
Imagine a church that does not focus on heaven and hell or even on an afterlife at all, that does not attempt to convert others to a set of beliefs for the salvation of their souls, but simply strives to follow the way of Jesus to bring about love and justice within the community of all life.
For me, Christ is the name for the love of Jesus that continues to be present in the world. To be a follower of Jesus is to live in such a way that love will forever continue to be present in the world. To love in this way is to be like Christ.
When we live a life of love and justice, we participate in the resurrection of Jesus‘s life. When we live a life that contributes to injustice and hatred, we contribute to the death of Jesus‘s presence in our world today.
For me, the most powerful way to understand the bodily resurrection of Jesus is that Jesus continues to live through all of the bodies of persons who share the way of love and justice that Jesus lived.
To every city and state elected official and to every so called church in Oklahoma that treats persons who are GLBTQ as if they are second class citizens, you need to repent now and denounce the ways of hate, humiliation, and violence. In the name of Jesus, you need to repent now and live the way of Jesus‘ love for all of our neighbors in this world!
Let us not forget, if we want future generations to know about Jesus, we need a planet that will sustain future generations.
“You have created Jesus in the image of your liberal political agenda,” said the believer in the gun blessing, drill baby drill, Boy Scout rejecting, food stamp cutting, Muslim bashing, immigrant blaming, America’s #1 Jesus.
If the United Methodist Church is to be a vital expression of Jesus in our time, it will need to be known for its work for peace, its fight against poverty, and its care for our planet rather than for its exclusion of persons who are LGBTQ.
Jesus was not executed by political authorities in first century Israel by the Roman Empire because he told people that they should love God and love each other. Rome had no reason to kill someone who was telling people to love each other and to be involved in acts of charity and kindness towards each other. If that is all that Jesus was doing, Rome might have thankedJesus for his work to make a more stable and well-ordered society. ButJesus was calling for more than charity, Jesus was calling for justice, he was calling for turning over the tables of injustice in the religious, economic, and political systems of his time that were barriers to God’s love and justice in this world. Jesus’ work for love is not what got him killed; Jesus’ work for love and justice is what got him killed.
Jesus was put on trial. He did not put on trials.
Historically, church trials have been a sign that a church is not focused on following Jesus. The Church should not be a place where we try persons for celebrating the love of persons for one another and for providing all persons with the love, support, and blessing of community.
The tragic irony of a church established to follow the way of Jesus putting people on trial for their radical love and acceptance and willingness to ignore unjust religious laws is palpable. ‪#‎MinistryOnTrial‬
One of the many tragedies of the exclusion and unequal treatment of persons who are LGBTQ by those who identify themselves as followers of Jesus is that it makes so many young people not want to have anything to do with following Jesus. The way of love, justice, grace, and good news for the poor has so much to offer the world today as we strive for a community of hope and commitment that cares for all creation, but many people can’t see this through the barrier of injustice they see practiced in relation to their GLBTQ friends and family. The world needs so much more from churches than this in what may very well be the make or break century for our human and ecological communities.
Followers of Jesus bring good news to the poor. Jesus discovered that persons in political and economic power do not always interpret this as good news.
If Jesus turned over the tables of the moneychangers in Oklahoma City today, would he be charged with the crime of “terrorism hoax” or would the authorities just go straight to the charge of terrorism?
If the historical Jesus met the image of Jesus that many U.S. Americans follow, Jesus might mistake him for Caesar.
Roman Imperial imposition of a particular set of “orthodox” theological doctrines onto Christianity was more about the expansion and maintenence of political power than it was about the teachings of Jesus.
If you found yourself supporting the effort to defund World Vision in its efforts to care for poor children around the world because World Vision decided to employ Christians who are in legal same gender marriages, then I am praying for you that you may experience the love of God that is incarnate in Jesus and still present in the world through the Spirit and that calls us to love all and bring good news to the poor.
Jesus never said “Blessed are those who discriminate.” ‪#‎Mississippi‬
The focus on Jesus willingly and intentionally dying for our sins rather than being executed by the Empire as a threat to its unjust economic and political structures serves to perpetuate the unjust systems and structures challenged by Jesus‘ life and teaching.
The way of Rome or the way of Jesus?
I think we should stop obsessing about the death of the church and focus more on radically following the way of Jesus. Maybe there has to be some death of what churches have become for this to be possible.
Please remember Oklahoma that Jesus taught us not to respond to evil and cruelty with evil and cruelty.
Maybe Oklahoma is actually one of the least religious states in the United States. Followers of the one who called us to love the least among us and to bring good news to the poor and release to the captives are not called to follow Oklahoma’s mean Jesus.
If we structure society in such a way that contributes to more poor, homeless, hungry, sick, and imprisoned people; are we not collectively failing to live by the teachings of Jesus in Matthew 25?
What does following Jesus have to do with climate change? Loving God. loving our neighbor, taking care of the earth, doing justice, and bringing good news to the poor all require us to work to mitigate climate change.
The “Makers vs. Takers” rhetoric of Randian far right wing republicans is classic doublespeak. The people they call the “makers” take unwarranted tax breaks that take away from quality education and health care, take living wages away from the workers by fighting against increases in the minimum wage and destroying unions, take unsustainable amounts of resources from the ecological endowment of our planet, and take the future away from generations yet to come by perpetuating economic practices driven by consumption that surpasses the carrying capacity of the planet and by denying the greatest moral challenge of our time: climate change. They may cloak their rhetoric in Christian language, but at its very core this way of thinking and acting is antithetical to the teachings of Jesus. The people who are left to write history after this massive taking will see who the true takers of our time have been.
The hatred being expressed by so many Oklahomans against our Muslim sisters and brothers is not the way of God’s love, nor is it the way of Jesus.
On this All Saints Day, I would like to remember all of the LGBTQ young people who have taken their own lives as a response to bullying both in and out of their churches. May Jesus embrace them and hold their hands in eternal peace. Amen
Jesus was born into a world of political and religious division and violence and economic and social injustice and lived a life of love, justice, and grace for all. May this spirit be born into all us this Christmas.
Perhaps we who say we follow Jesus need to be reminded that the incarnation of love we celebrated on Christmas a few days ago was a Middle Eastern person who was tortured and executed by the governing authorities and who calls us to love our neighbor and to love our enemies and at no time or in any way, shape, or form, calls us to torture or execute them.
Following Jesus in the 21st Century requires sacrificial love for all life for the resurrection of our planet.
March 28, 2015 ·
A follower of Jesus must ask, “Am I seeking a seat at tables that I should be turning over?”
April 6, 2015· 
When the way of Jesus posed a threat to the economic and political elite, they killed him. When his subversive way of love and justice would not die, the economic and political elite attempted to co-opt the way of Jesus for their own purposes – a tactic used to this very day. The good news of Easter is that the way of Jesus will not be destroyed by execution or by co-opting it for the wealthy and powerful. As long as persons in community live the way of love and justice in the world, it will never die.
May 15, 2015 · 
When I hear Jesus say we do not belong to this world, I hear that we do not belong to the way of Empire, the way of unjust and exploitative power. I do not hear Jesus saying we do not belong to the beloved community and to the beautiful world of creation – to that world we very much belong, and we commit our lives to love and sustain it. Followers of Jesus are not called to be otherworldly in the sense of detaching from the concerns and challenges of our world. The way of Jesus is not a way of disengagement. Disengagement from the world would never have led to the cross.
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About Mark Y. A. Davies

Mark Davies is The Wimberly Professor of Social and Ecological Ethics and Director of the World House Institute for Social and Ecological Responsibility at Oklahoma City University. From 2009 to 2015, Mark was dean of the Petree College of Arts and Sciences and Wimberly Professor of Social Ethics at Oklahoma City University. Previously, Mark was dean of the Wimberly School of Religion at Oklahoma City University and Founding Director of the Vivian Wimberly Center for Ethics and Servant Leadership. Prior to becoming dean of the Wimberly School of Religion in 2002, he was associate dean of the Petree College of Arts and Sciences at Oklahoma City University and chair of the department of philosophy. Mark has published in the areas of Boston personalism, process philosophy and ethics, and ecological ethics. Dr. Davies serves on the United Methodist University Senate, which is “an elected body of professionals in higher education created by the General Conference to determine which schools, colleges, universities, and theological schools meet the criteria for listing as institutions affiliated with The United Methodist Church.” He and his wife Kristin live in Edmond, OK in the United States, and they have two daughters. The views expressed by the author in this blog do not necessarily represent the views of Oklahoma City University.
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One Response to My Facebook Reflections on Jesus: September 2010 to the Present

  1. Pingback: Facebook Reflections on Jesus 2.0- June 7, 2015 to present | One World House

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