I don’t think I have ever felt so sad and frightened as I did recently after reading a letter from a Christian and prominent member of his church in another state. The spirit of the message was that, because of our race, religion and nation we are “better than others” and justified in lording it over them and set them straight.
It seems that most of Jesus’ stories were aimed at countering this spirit: the Pharisee and the sinner at prayer, the good Samaritan, the rich man and the beggar, the king’s banquet where he invited the “riff raff’ to dine, other parables and statements and his own relationship with the “inferior.” He declared that the “harlots (prostitutes) will go into the kingdom ahead” of those who harbor this spirit of superiority over others.
Jesus felt so strongly about this “mortal disease of the soul” because he knew that this spirit (attitude) that “I am better than you” and “we are superior to them” is the root of most if not all conflict and war. Hitler and the Nazis were the embodiment of this spirit, and I fear that many, including Christians, believe that God has ordained us to force our will and our way on “them” (whoever the powers-that-be declare to be our enemies) because of our superiority.
As Jesus was on trial and heard the crowd outside the window shouting “crucify him ... “ the tears that streamed down his cheeks were not so much for himself, but for those who “had eyes but could not see and ears but could not hear” and a mind but could not understand what he had been trying to tell and show them. These were his family, friends neighbors and the church clamoring for the death of the Son of God! Could much of the church today be among that crowd? Ghandi (a non Christian), (Dr. Martin Luther) King (Jr.) and especially Jesus, knew that only love, non-violent resistance to evil; not greater violence) even for enemies, could break the cycle of hate, vengeance and violence that threatens to send humanity back to the caves or go the way of the dinosaur.
Rev. C.E. Swain
Three drunks were out driving and drinking one rainy night when they slid off into a ditch. They were far out in the country and it was raining too hard for them to walk. So they just sat there and waited for someone to come by. But when they finally saw headlights about a half mile behind them, it suddenly dawned on the driver that it just might be the sheriff. And if he was caught behind the wheel in the shape he was in, he was sure to be charged with DUI. So he quickly herded the other two into the back seat, then joined them.
Sure enough, when the car arrived it was a deputy sheriff. The lawman walked up to the car, took a whiff, and asked who was driving. The driver spoke up and said, “None of us were driving, officer. We were all asleep here in the back seat.” The others steadfastly backed up the driver’s story.
Sound ridiculous? No more so than the committee report on the incident which occurred at Annual Conference where the envelope was pushed just a little more in the relentless effort by the United Methodist Church hierarchy to deceive the people into accepting the homosexual activist agenda as God-ordained.
In the case of the drunks, they all passed the buck to protect the driver, leaving the deputy to scratch his head in confusion. However, he quickly worked through the problem. He simply asked who owned the car, and the one who had been driving had to admit that it belonged to him. Then the deputy said, “Since you own the car, you are the responsible party. You are under arrest for DUI.”