What’s happening chaps! First off, I want to say thanks to everyone who read my first post on Stuck in Church, and to those who took the effort to comment, both in the blog itself and on the Facebook page – I couldn’t be happier with the response!
David Hamstra, who I don’t know (but my missus says is just lovely), mentioned that he’d be interested in a post “clarifying my position on God’s existence”; and Steven Kane (who I think I’ve met before) also wondered what my thoughts on Jesus were.
To be honest, I’m a bit worried that a 1000 word post regarding my own personal beliefs will end up making me look and sound like this guy.
But that being said, I think that I can probably answer both these questions at once, with one statement:
I don’t know Jesus.
I just don’t know him – and I think that today, it’s extremely difficult to know Jesus, because my idea of who Jesus is and what he stands for it is utterly saturated. It’s tragic – but honestly, when someone mentions the word Jesus to me, I cringe. It’s involuntary – just an instinctual reaction that’s almost out of my control.
If that sounds a little vague, I’ll use an (somewhat blasphemous) example. Please don’t kill me.
Take Che Guevara, hero/terrorist of the Cuban revolution. He looked like this.
After the revolution in Cuba, socialists started myth-making in an attempt to duplicate their revolution and let the world know that Cuba was the idealogical bomb, baby – they took this famous photograph, redesigned it as an icon, and used it to help spread their ideas.
Then it got weird. The image got so popular that people used it to define themselves, so they put it on a t-shirt.
Then it just got plain stupid – companies began to use this image of Che to market their products! To help fund commercial enterprises – which went directly against everything Che originally stood for!
Then it got hilarious! The iconic Che image – taken from a real photograph, transformed into a logo, then used to promote the very thing he railed against – eventually devolved into parody. Because it was utterly impossible to take it seriously, Che and his iconic image had become a bad hipster joke.
It took us, what? 40 years to get to that point? Imagine what someone could do to the image of Jesus in 1000 years…
Because in the same way that I cringe when I see someone wearing a regular non-ironic Che Guevara t-shirt, I cringe when I hear someone talking earnestly about Jesus. I can’t take it seriously, and neither can most non-Christians – which is why on easter, my facebook was littered with status updates from my friends claiming they were celebrating Zombie Jesus Day by eating a crapload of chocolate easter eggs.
Jesus has been branded into oblivion – to the point where I don’t really know what his name is supposed to represent in a contemporary context. I don’t truly understand who he was, or what he stood for. To an extent it makes me completely understand why Muslims get so upset by visual depictions of the Prophet Muhammed. They’re simply doing what all good businesses do – protecting their brand!
So, honestly, I don’t know how I feel about Jesus. As a result of all the white noise that surrounds his name – I simply feel like I don’t know Jesus.
And I sometimes wonder – does anyone really know Jesus? And can his image be salvaged and made relatable for non-christians like me?
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