"We guard our world with locks and guns
And we guard our fine possessions
And once a year when Christmas comes
We give to our relations
And perhaps we give a little to the poor
If the generosity should seize us
But if any one of us should interfere
In the business of why there are poor
They get the same as the rebel Jesus ... "
~ ‘The Rebel Jesus,’ by Jackson Browne
So true, isn’t it? Brazilian Archbishop Dom Helder Pessoa Camara expressed the same frustration, lamenting that "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why they are poor, they call me a communist."
All too often, when we take a close look at the way things really work it ends up being ‘every person for themselves,’ ‘anything goes,’ ‘survival of the strongest,’ ‘survival of the fittest,’ ‘kill or be killed,’ ‘dog eat dog,’ or ‘eat or be eaten.’ It’s often called the ‘Law of the Jungle.’ Superiority through brute force, and ‘rational self-interest’ or selfishness are its central tenets.
Jesus came to teach us that it doesn’t have to be that way and these are not God’s ways. He taught that there is another way and it IS ‘the way.’ It’s the way to salvation and it’s really simple. It’s the opposite of the ‘Law of the Jungle.’ It is to ‘love God and love your neighbor as you do yourself.’
So he set about to carry that message to a the world, and he did it. He accomplished his mission. He got it out there, and the world didn’t accept it. The world has never accepted it. Just look how easily modern, right-wing Christianity has abandoned it and turned its back on it. It’s easy to see what Jesus was talking about when he said ‘the road is narrow.’
We don’t hold ourselves up to be some kind of superior human beings when we point this out. We’re simply pointing out an obvious truth. When modern, American Christianity aligned itself with modern, conservative ideology it lost its way. Full stop. The teachings of Jesus were thrown under the bus, sacrificed in order to gain power.
10 years ago we looked around at the landscape and it was obvious we didn’t fit in. We knew there had to be others like us out there so we started carving out a ministry and a community using the innovation of social media. We’ve come a long way since then, but we have a long way to go too. In many ways we feel like we've only just begun. There are so many people out there who still feel lost and alone, like they're the only Christian progressives in the world.
After 10 years you have become family to us. We feel very blessed, like all of our effort has been well worth it!
We’d like to invite you to the first ever face to face gathering of The Christian Left. The details are enclosed in a seasonal and year-end challenge we’ve put together (click here to view). You are among the first to hear about this event. We’re glad you’ve joined us on this journey. We knew you were out there. We hope to see some of you face to face very soon!
- The Christian Left
About TCL Blog
We’re not about Dogma here. We’re just Christians who think the political and Christian right-wing have their priorities wrong.
Charles Toy is the founding member of The Christian Left. We're sure you will enjoy his passion as well as his wit. Guest bloggers featured often.