Friday, May 11, 2012

Lucia Obama invoking the harmless hippie Jesus on "Gay Marriage"

Msgr. Charles Pope has written a post on The President, Gay unions, and the problem of selective Christianity where he looks at what Obama said to use Our Lord to justify his endorsement of "gay marriage".
In this post however lets consider the problematic appeal of the President to Jesus to affirm Gay “marriage.” Specifically Mr Obama said to ABC News:

…In the end the values that I care most deeply about and she [Michele] cares most deeply about is how we treat other people and, you know, I, you know, we are both practicing Christians and obviously this position may be considered to put us at odds with the views of others but, you know, when we think about our faith, the thing at root that we think about is, not only Christ sacrificing himself on our behalf, but it’s also the Golden Rule, you know, treat others the way you would want to be treated. And I think that’s what we try to impart to our kids and that’s what motivates me….[1]

It is a common problem today that people often present simplistic portraits of Jesus Christ to support a variety of agendas. And the portraits of Jesus are not only simplistic, they are incomplete (usually intentionally so), and fail to accept that Jesus cannot be reduced to a simple sentence or two.

I would argue this is what the President is doing here. As if to say, “Jesus, was basically a nice and affirming person, who spoke of Love,  and so beautifully and taught us to do unto to others as we would have them do to us. “Surely,” the thinking goes, “this Jesus would affirm and rejoice over two Gay people getting “married.”" It is as if this were all Jesus was or said, “Love…Do unto others”. Never mind that he had some pretty high standards when it came to sexuality (Matt 5:27-30; Matt 15:19; Mk 10:11; Rev 22:15; Rev 21:8) Never mind that he told his apostles he had other things to teach them and would send his Holy Spirit, and never mind that His Holy Spirit inspired the Epistles writers like Paul to speak clearly in the ancient Biblical tradition about the sinfulness of homosexual activity, fornication, and adultery [2]  “Never mind all that,” says the modern world, and our President, “I chose the Jesus who said only, ‘God is love, and be kind to one another.’”


Msgr. Pope then talks about orthodoxy vs heresy, where heresy is to pick and choose what you will believe. while as orthodoxy is to take the whole of the faith, and then follows with great misunderstanding people today have of Our Lord, that he's some sort of harmless hippie.  No, he argues.
The modern tendency on the left, from which the President speaks has been to reduce Jesus to a rather harmless hippie who went about talking about love and inclusion and healed people. Gone from this harmless and politically correct Jesus are volumes of verses that help complete the picture: a Messiah who claimed authority in our lives, who spoke quite clearly of sin, yes even sexual sin, and who warned repeatedly of the coming judgment, and the reality not only heaven, but of hell.

Archbishop Fulton Sheen talked a lot about this concept, of people in the West separating Christ from His Cross and thus making Him harmless and sentimental. In the preface of Life of Christ (written at a time when the Soviet Union was still alive and kicking), he says:
The modern world which denies personal guilt and admits only social crimes, which has no place for personal repentance but only public reforms, has divorce Christ from His Cross; the Bridegroom and the Bride have been pulled apart. What God hath joined together, men have torn asunder. As a result, to the left is the Cross; to the right is Christ. Each has awaited new partners who will pick them up in a kind of second and adulterous union. Communism comes along and picks up the meaningless Cross; Western post-Christian civilisation choose the unscarred Christ.

Communism has chosen the Cross in the sense that it has brought back to an egotistic world a sense of discipline, self-abnegation, surrender, hard work, study and dedication to supra-individual goals. But the Cross without Christ is sacrifice without love. Hence, Communism has produced a society that is authoritarian, cruel, oppressive of human freedom, filled with concentration camps, firing squads and brain-washings.

The Western post-Christian civilisation has picked up the Christ without His Cross. But a Christ without a sacrifice that reconciles the world to God is a cheap, feminised, colourless, itinerant preacher who deserves to be popular for His great Sermon on the Mount, but also merits unpopularity for what He said about His Divinity on the one hand, and divorce, judgement, and hell on the other. This sentimental Christ is patched together with a thousand commonplaces, sustained sometimes by academic etymologists who cannot see the Word for the letters, or distorted beyond personal recognition by a dogmatic principle that anything that is Divine must necessarily be a myth. Without His Cross, He becomes nothing more than a sultry precursor of democracy or a humanitarian who taught brotherhood without tears.

I've seen too many arguments by Christians who believe in this sentimental Christ, so Obama's position on "gay marriage" and Jesus approving will seem entirely rational. But they need to know that the Lord they base this on is one of their own making and therefore one who has no power to save them or anyone else.  And using him to support "gay marriage" helps no one, even those who think they need to get married in order to feel complete and supported by society.  Only real marriage completes and sanctifies, especially when the real Christ is involved.

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