I am reading John Dear’s book Jesus the Rebel
I am being forced to read it slowly and contemplatively – I figure that this is the way the man wrote it.
On the first temptation of Jesus in the desert – the ‘turn these stones into bread one, Dear writes this:
“Like Jesus, we are tempted by the culture to change to bread, to bring about tangible results. But Jesus calls us back to the Scriptures and urges us to not rely on our own powers but o God and God’s word, for it is God who does the changing and brings all the results. It is God who makes the difference, not us. We are called not to be successful but faithful to God and God’s word, which works slowly, humanly, peacefully – not inhumanly, violently, and forcibly, like the empire. We are not called to be powerful but powerless, instruments only of the nonviolent power of God, God’s word. We are not called to be relevant but as irrelevant as Jesus – hungry in the desert, dying on the cross. we take up the effectiveness of the cross which, as far as the culture is concerned, is complete lunacy, an absurd failure.”
I wonder what the recent Presbyterian General Assembly did when it resisted working slowly, humanly and peacefully on the sensitive issues of sexuality, leadership, and marriage. Did we perpetrate violence?