Accuracy of a Homeless Jesus

Maybe it’s because Easter Just around the corner, but I’ve done a lot of thinking about homeless Jesus.

Burnett, John. N.d. St. Alban’s Episcopal, Davidson, N.C. NPR. Web. 17 Apr. 2014. <http://www.npr.org/2014/04/13/302019921/statue-of-a-homeless-jesus-startles-a-wealthy-community>.

While I may not be the biggest fan of Christianity, I do admire Jesus. When I first saw this image, I was taken aback. Clearly I wasn’t the only  one. A person called the police thinking this was a real person and others have called the statue creepy. The more I look at the above image, though, the more right it feels.

Who is Jesus to us today? Some may claim he is a stranger as more and more people turn away from organized religion. I, however, have met atheists and agnostics who seem to have far more respect for Jesus than most Christians seem to show. They are so distracted by the false idol of religion, that they neglect the  Divine spiritual relationship they should be prioritizing. While atheists may not believe in any spiritual reality, I’ve met many who have a high regard for Jesus, the person and the revolutionary.

Looking at this statute, I am reminded of the kinds of people Jesus embraced and the kind he rejected. Disgusted by the political and religious leaders of his time, he spent his time with the lowlifes and cast outs.

He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone.”

We don’t hear the stories of every person Jesus encountered. Did every prostitute who spoke to him cease his/her business at his word? Did every thief move on to an honorable life and every murderer turn him/herself in?  I’d bet that answer is no and I’d also bet Jesus and any God worth worshiping loved them no less.

Love is God and Love does not require complete perfection to exist. Human love has limits. For example, the parents of a mass murderer may no longer have the ability to love their child. Divinity is different. As God is limitless, so is Love (you know, because God is Love). Of all the horrendous deeds committed by humanity, somehow we still feel the love of Divinity. Either we are an extremely arrogant race of beings, or very blessed.

If we look at most world religions, we find there is a commonality in trying to be good, moral people. At their heart, they attempt to provide a blueprint towards peace. Part of that requires us to accept those who are different and treat them with kindness. Yet, there is so much hate in this world. Christianity isn’t alone in the way it too often looks down upon those who act or believe differently. Many other religions do the same. You needn’t look farther than Americans fear/hate of Muslims (and probably vice versa) to see that.

When I studied abroad in Northern Ireland, I was amazed to see religion used as a tool for conflict. Fighting between Protestants and Catholics isn’t new to the European continent, but this is the 21st century. I thought for sure most of that was in the past. The frequent bomb threats I heard about and the ugly look people sometimes gave me if they found out I came from a Catholic family told me otherwise.

These conflicts between religions are more complicated and often more political in nature. Still, religion seems to insist on involving itself with politics. What happened, in America, to freedom and equality for all? Obviously we don’t have complete freedom of religion, because I have been in a number of churches which observer equal marriage (or gay marriage if you must call it that), but their marriages aren’t recognized around the world.

When we see the above image of Jesus, we see him as a poor man in need of help but we can’t see his face. What if we could lift his blanket and look upon his face? What would you do if his complexion was Middle Eastern or Black? What if he told you he had prostituted himself for drugs the other night? What if he told you he took his girlfriend to have an abortion the other week? Would you drop the blanket in disgust and walk away, or would you still try to help him.

None of us are perfect. Not one of us have a perfect moral or view of the world. We can’t all understand why someone would do things we find horribly wrong. Does that mean we should hate them? What good does that do to turn away from someone in their time of need, regardless of their past? Do we think we are somehow above others because of our ethnicity, because we avoided pregnancy before marriage or because we never sought drugs for comfort?  Do we see ourselves as living the ‘right’ lifestyle and condemn others who live differently? That will do the world no good. Hate and haughtiness will only destroy us.

Who ever created that statue is a genius because it makes us really think about who Jesus is today. He is the poor, sick and  lonely. He is every person you ever condemned. He is in the people whose rights are taken away by misguided politicians. Maybe this statute will help people see that and cause them to think twice before they spread hate.

What do you think of this statue? Do you think it is a good representation? Do you think being in a wealthy community gives this statue any more or less impact?

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45 thoughts on “Accuracy of a Homeless Jesus”

  1. I unfortunately feel offended only when some equates jesus to god. If I talk about god, many people assume I’m talking about jesus. I believe the jesus in the bible is a Roman invention using stolen material from spiritual mystery teaching. The earliest of this religion were called Chrestians, which means “The Good Ones.” jesus is the mythical story of the sun, and the mystical story of the invisible force of good within us. Jesus said when you feed the hungry, you feed him, when you give a thirsty person a drink, you’re giving jesus a drink. “Is it not written that ye are Gods?” I see a homeless man in need of compassion sand help because we are supposed to see good in everyone. God is the shortened word for good. From German Goth, (gut feeling, Gothic, good). ~~ Gnostic monkey speaks too much? Ooops. (Yeshua, essential and holy connected to the name Yahweh, is a spiritual story pregnant with ever deeper levels of meaning). Love one another is the whole meaning. Love.

    1. I do know that many elements of Christianity can be found in other spiritual or religious text (from before Jesus’s time), so your view of Jesus seems plausible. I don’t know anything about Chrestians to say otherwise. I don’t mind the idea of Jesus as Divinity (a title I like better than God, because Divinity is more of a genderless term). I do, however, think people focus on that too much. Even growing up and attending Catholic school, I thought the obsession with Jesus was odd. Isn’t God, well, God? Sure, they tell me Jesus is God too… but why so much focus on Jesus’s divinity. What about his human actions and emotions. Those are the things to admire and emulate. I’m always surprised how people pray for so much and don’t really do anything to further peace or lesson hate.

      Love really is the whole meaning. It motivates almost everything we do. To me, Love is something worth admiration and I see Love interpreted in all different religions (even if the people who follow those religions do not act lovingly).

    2. Your post is disingenuous, because it mixes factoids with a gigantic conspiracy theory for which neither you nor anyone has evidence to justify [1].
      Thinking that Christ was a “Roman invention” could only be possible if you believed there was a roughly THREE HUNDRED year gap between Christ’s life and Christianity’s adoption as the religion of the Roman Empire in A.D. 313 in which we do not have ANY information about the goings-on of the Roman Empire, Judaism, or Christianity.
      Given that you are referencing the Greco-Roman habit of referring to “Christians” by the term “Chrestian,” it should be evident to you that we DO actually have information about early Christianity. Some examples include Justin Martyr, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, and Lactantius, who wrote, in part, about the differences between the terms, [2] and who all predate Constantine.
      As for the tired trope of Christianity’s alleged similarity to the religions that came before it, this has been discussed many times [3] and the unfortunate conclusion for conspiracy theorists is that Christianity is quite unique in many ways, as is Judaism, as is Islam, as is Buddhism. To prove or disprove its validity will involve an investigation of what makes Christianity so notably different — none other than the very real Jesus Christ.
      Getting caught up in things like the etymology of a word, or the dates of holidays, is intentionally avoiding the reality of the New Testament. And TK, you can’t just agree with this in the interest of finding an equitable middle ground. That is called “argument to moderation,” [4] and it is as dangerous a fallacy as any when it comes to deducing what is true. Sometimes people are just wrong.
      [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historicity_of_jesus#Myth_theory
      [2] http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/08374x.htm
      [3] http://thedevineevidence.com/jesus_similarities.html
      [4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_to_moderation

  2. It has great impact as it shows the decline of a community. representation. NO.
    I am not religious. And as you mentioned I do how ever know his stories. Of how he embraced those banned or treated as garbage.
    Unlike religion does now. They say help those around you. BUt they only help fellow believers. He sure was not like that.
    Makes you wonder who truly honours Jesus as he was.
    We are an arrogant bunch. Thinking we own the world and beliefs. Thinking and proofing we are right unlike others.
    And the political games were already played in earlier centuries. by several religions. All political driven to be the best and greatest.
    If one thing has taught us it is power and greed of power that drove us into the ground.
    people will have to suffer for that goal.
    in name of religion which makes it even worse. It is how the US was conquered. Spanish invading first for the Gold. and they to were send by the king and church. If history is told correctly 😀

    1. Religion does a lot of harm but, because it also carries a message of love, I think religion has the potential to do good. Just because that’s not what history has shown us does not mean it can never happen. I have happened across a couple of religious communities who are very good and actively reach out to people who don’t believe the same things they do (and aren’t trying to also convert them). I find such action is isolated in various churches and not in one whole religion. For example, I attended a Lutheran church with very good outreach programs, but I’ve also been in Lutheran churches that are part of the problem.

      I hope this statue is helpful in reminding people that the person/Deity they call Jesus is in every person, even the homeless and even those they hate. I’m impressed that a church in a wealthy neighborhood would put something like this out there.

      1. So as what you said with the churches it comes down to the human factor.
        I know it can be good just not much good when religions are putting people in different boxes.
        Still every religion is based on more or less the same.
        Take all that away and you are left with the humans. not driven by the letters.

        I to hope that one day it will all work out.

        The statue is somehow and this is what i think. putting people of as not being jesus. don’t forget that the church has always been depicting him asa baby or on a cross. that is pretty much it.
        I can understand the vision behind it.

        1. We are bombarded with these symbols as Jesus the baby, and Jesus the sacrifice. That’s all we get, so when we see anything different, people get up in arms. I, however, like when we get a unique image of Jesus just because it makes people think.

          I had a friend in high school whose father had a drawing of Jesus laughing. I always liked that because you never see him smiling or enjoying himself. Certainly Jesus the human felt as much joy as he did every other human emotion.

          1. Of that I am sure. In my mind he was always smiling. or making people smile. (cry in joy) he was a bit defiant and maybe cheeky.

            Oh it odes make people think ha ha 😀 that they rather not do since they have the images.
            I would rather as above see him smile with a fishing rod and a fish in ihs hand. while laughing at a little boy taking a fish from the basket.

            in that order maybe religion is taken to serious.
            but than i am not much of a religious person.

            interesting thoughts again lady TK
            I very much appreciate the conversation

  3. At first the statue didn’t make sense. After much thought, it still doesn’t. Jesus wasn’t homeless. If the point is to say something about not overlooking others, then it works.

    1. I read an article about the statue. The idea isn’t really that Jesus should be viewed as homeless. It is envoking Jesus saying “As you do for the least of these, you do it for me.” (Paraphrased – I didn’t go look it up.) So the notion is that you see it and then either respond with compassion or disgust (or confusion? ;). Then you see the nails in the feet and realize it is Jesus. Christians are supposed to treat everyone, including the lowest, as they would Jesus. Many (most?!) don’t but I think the statue does a good job of making a visual image for that particular verse.

      1. I guess, the way I look at it, viewing Jesus as homeless and saying “as you do for the least of these, you do it for me” is kind of the same thing. I don’t remember the exact words either, but I remember there being a story about a rich man who died and went to heaven. Jesus was there and asked why, when he was starving he gave him no food. Why, when he was homeless he gave him no shelter. The man said he had never seen him homeless or starving. Yet, since Jesus/Divinity is in us, when he saw a starving man and turned away, he also turned away from Jesus.

        It’s another way of saying we are all connected. We are all one people and, whatever our religious traditions, we are all connected as one humanity. We should treat everyone, no matter their standing in this world, with dignity and respect. Too often, we forget that when faced with a person who thinks differently than we do.

    2. I think it’s supposed to say something about how Jesus is in every person, even the lowest of our society. As for Jesus being homeless, I’m not sure if he was by the standards of his world. He did do a lot of wandering and preaching, though. I wonder if he found shelter every night or if he encountered nights where he had no where. It’s possible that, by our current standards, Jesus may have been considered homeless… or perhaps a wanderer would be a better term.

      1. A wanderer for sure. Perhaps at times he spent the night under the stars. Not so bad actually. We usually associate those who are homeless with doing whatever they have to in order to survive the day. Jesus was definitely living each day with a higher purpose in mind.

        1. This statue lets us see another side of Jesus. Usually we see him as the Son of God or as the sacrifice or doing something else grand. I’m sure all churches are different, but in my experience, people rarely focus on his day to day life. How did he survive every day? How did he regard those who didn’t listen to him? What did he do when no one would offer him shelter? I think those are questions worth reflecting on just as much as his Divinity.

  4. Well said. I, too, like the statue and how it can make people think. And I do think it has great impact being in a wealthy neighborhood. Although I think it could have a good, albeit different, impact in a deeply impoverished one.

    1. I didn’t think about how it would be different in an impoverished one. I think you are right. In a wealthy neighborhood, it’s a reminder not to look down upon others because Jesus is in everyone. To an impoverished neighborhood, it might signify that Jesus understands and has been a part of the type of community they live in. After all, he didn’t hang out at lavish parties. He didn’t have much at all, aside from a message to spread.

  5. Reblogged this on A Feast For the Vain and commented:
    One of the best messages from this post deals with how people tend to appropriate Jesus and divorce Christ from His genuine qualities in favor of some dumb idol.

    Tribal mindsets (“us” vs. “them”) don’t help either since they make the type of companionship and love taught by Jesus impossible.

    I think it just goes to show that nothing is really what you think and that humanity faces way more problems than petty theological beefs.

    I’m just glad we’ve got G-d (the G-d of Abraham, Jesus, the Trinity, etc.) looking out for us.

    1. ” humanity faces way more problems than petty theological beefs” I agree. It can be so frustrating. Even more, these petty fights stop us from facing the big problems. While we argue about a person’s right to marry whomever they love, people are dying in wars and suffering from hunger. I’ve seen large groups of people do great things when they ban together. Imagine what religions could if, instead of igniting wars are starting petty legal battles, every religion got together, in spite of their differences, to bring real change to those who suffer.

  6. When I read the New Testament I was shocked to find that Jesus was a progressive.

    He said even as ye have done unto the least of these, ye have done it unto me.

    I think people who want to cause harm will find any excuse to do so. Religion often comes in handy. But if it weren’t for that they would think of something else.

    1. There’s a lot of violence in the bible. If someone wants to say something is okay because it happened in the bible, then we’ll have a lot of crimes on our hands. Using religion to justify hateful action is no more than an excuse to do wrong. It’s such a same because, as you say, Jesus was a progressive. Whether you believe he is/was divine or not, it doesn’t change the fact that he had some good ideas. It’s too bad most people seem to ignore those ideas.

  7. This is a very thought-provoking article, and I would enjoy discussing any of its precepts, but I’ll stick to the questions at the end:

    What do I think of the statue? Well, I never would have assumed it was a statue of Jesus, but I suppose that is the point. Of course, if a passerby doesn’t know that it is supposed to be Jesus, and reports it to the police, did the statue actually accomplish anything?

    Do I think it is a good representation? The “path of least heresy” would probably be to assume it is a statue of a homeless man, and a reminder of Christ’s teaching that “whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me” — so that is the path I will take. If even one person is reminded of that teaching because of this statue, then it was a good idea.

    Does the statue being in a wealthy community give it more impact? Well, we know that Jesus was no fan of the wealthy. The reasons for this have haunted us from the dawn of wealth as a concept. When you have even a little bit of money, it changes the way you think about everything. It doesn’t take a long time of living in an abundant lifestyle before that lifestyle becomes all-consuming. It’s that curious habit of buying clothes or electronics or cars that cost more than the average human makes in a year, because affording such things is a non-issue for the rich. What good will a single thing you bought for yourself in life do for you when you are dead? Christ asked us that question, and it remains his biggest challenge to the very nature of mankind.

    “Do not worry and say, ‘what are we to eat?’ or ‘what are we to drink?’ or ‘what are we to wear?’ All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides.”

    Those words are something that I think every Christian secretly believes are figurative, myself included. Jesus told us “blessed are the poor in spirit,” “blessed are they who mourn,” “blessed are the meek.” God will take care of the poor, in our noticeable absence. It is the rest of us who should be worried.

    1. To your points

      – Perhaps the accomplishment is what the man thinks when, after calling the police, he finds out it’s supposed to be an image of Jesus.
      – “whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for me” is, to me, a way of saying that Jesus is in everyone, even the least of us. As such, we should treat everyone as we would treat him. In a way, Jesus is saying that he is a homeless man. He is every man or woman in need.
      – Questioning is very good. I don’t think anyone claims the rich can’t be good. It’s just that it’s easier for them to be distracted and create false idols out of all they buy. It’s too easy for them to forget what really matters. We see that today, as so many people who are well off take their status for granted and look down on those they consider below them instead of trying to help.
      – I think they are meant to be figurative as well. It’s sort of the opposite of saying “whatever you do for the least.” Just as Divinity is in the lowest of society, so it is also in the highest. To say that “God will provide” to me means God will provide, through his faithful followers who are called to help the less fortunate, all they need. If only that were actually the case.

  8. Unfortunately, man will always let us down. Even the purest of the best. No wonder there are so many problems with organized religion. From what I know, Jesus is the only one who never did morally wrong. So for me, I choose to believe him for who he said he was.

    1. I like to think on Jesus for who he was as well. If Jesus is to be considered Divine, then the greatest thing about him is that he became human. It implies the existence of a Divinity who chose to become what Divinity created. That’s dedication right there. It shows that, even to the Divine, human action and human emotion was important.

      Religion is so focused on rules. One person at the top claims they know the difference between right and wrong and then imposes that on other’s through religion. I believe, however, that we all have our own truth developed through our personal relationship with Divinity. That’s not something religion should control or condemn.

  9. Fantastic post. I wrote a similar, reflective one today but I’m afraid yours is way more articulate and detailed.
    I too come from a Catholic background and went to Catholic school for most of my childhood. That school was in the more “liberal” part of the city so for the most part I agreed with its approach. We would read the stories Jesus told and what not, but I believe the focus was more on the moral lesson behind those stories rather than adamantly professing your belief.
    I don’t think, by definition, I’m much of a Catholic at this point in my life (lol), but I do respect and admire the character that is Jesus (whether or not he actually existed is irrelevant). His message was essentially one of compassion, forgiveness, and acceptance. It saddens me that so many of his so-called followers today are the total opposite. I know of gay friends whose Christian parents would flip out if they discovered the truth about their children. It’s tragically ironic that a religion that teaches people to be compassionate alienates parent from child on such a (honestly, trivial) issue. Jesus was right: we are hypocrites.

    1. Isn’t it a shame? The gay issue is one of the main reasons why I no longer consider myself Catholic. I just can’t be a part of a place that degrades love like that. Love is God, even if that love is between two people of the same gender.

      I think my Catholic school did play a part in where I got today. They also taught us the moral message of the stories and didn’t focus as much on the reality. They even went so far as to encourage us to question. So… I did.

      1. Haha, I know what you mean! Two of my favourite teachers approved of me reading the Da Vinci Code.
        Honestly, I think religion is fine. It has a lot of power to do a lot of good. But it should be a choice. People should it get it out of their asses (pardon the crudeness) that there is “one right answer” out there. There isn’t.

        1. There certainly is no one right answer. I personally think that all religions are noticing and attempting to define the same thing. From Buddhism to Christianity, every religion notices some explainable connection between humanity and is trying to establish what that is. As such, even when someone has spiritual views that are different from my own, I can’t say they are wrong. They’ve simply found a different truth.

  10. I love this post. I’m down with everything you said. I’m a recovering conservative myself, with more respect for Jesus than the church. The statue is not how I had pictured Jesus, but it’s not incompatible either, especially in light of Jesus saying that everyone we ever meet and help (or don’t) is basically him. Anything that promotes dialogue or just a challenging of our preconceived ideas on who is worthy of Love is a Good Thing. Sadly many who need that dialogue the most would simply circle the wagons. But I guess that’s the ‘narrow way’ Jesus also mentioned that few would find. And ‘if one sinner repents, the angels rejoice etc’ – so if a statue like that makes even one person rethink their value set, it will have done its job.
    On a tangent, you mentioned, “the parents of a mass murderer may no longer have the ability to love their child.” It made me think – if your child dies, you have lost their presence in your life, a completely shattering loss, but your love for them remains with you (I am a mother, and my aunt and uncle recently lost their son to suicide so I have reason to have been thinking about this). If your child does something utterly incomprehensible to you, can you cease to love them? If you do, what kind of loss is that – to lose your child truly. You don’t need any religious Hell besides that.

    1. Yeah, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to put that part about the child in there. Where I come from, family is everything. Even if they do horrible acts, they are still family. You still visit them in prison and you still love them. However, I know some people who claim they would completely disown a child like that. They would regret bringing them into this world. That’s why I say ‘may’ instead of ‘would.’ There may be some who would still have the ability to love, but others wouldn’t. It seems like some parents can’t even stand the idea of their son or daughter being gay to the point where they disown them just for that. It seems crazy to me, but then, I’m not that religious.

      1. Completely. I know you weren’t making a judgement either way, it just stood out to me I guess because of our family’s loss, but it struck me that that would be a whole different kind of loss. And you are right, it may come down more to the kind of person the parent is than what the child has done. Great post, anyway 🙂

        1. Very true. It reminds me of something a friend once told me. It was a different situation because he was talking about his ex-girlfriend. This girl broke up with him the week he was planning to propose and it destroyed him. I tried talking about the stages of grief and how he would come out on top, but it didn’t work. He said, had she died, he would have a little comfort knowing she was in a better place. Instead, he saw her around campus slowly becoming a completely different person. He felt she was doing things that were harming herself (like drinking way too much and hooking up with guys – not bad things per se, but there is a safe and a no-so-safe way to do those things). The pain of knowing she existed in some twisted state he could no longer love really ate at him for a while. I’m sure having that happen with a child is way different, and, as you say, is a completely different kind of loss. You can’t say there are in a better place. You know every day that they still exist in this world, but they are dark, twisted shadow of the child the parents loved. A very interesting thought.

          1. That’s a sad story. So many sad stories, and I personally think that’s what the “kingdom of heaven” is about – bringing Love to the world (where there’s enough pain). Instead the message has become another insider/outsider division. Jesus would be rolling in his grave.

  11. I don’t have time to read the other comments, but I must say that I appreciate the honesty of your observations. I have a friend who often says that many Christians teach her how NOT to be a Christian. I am a follower of Christ and am part of a group whose mission is to help the needy. I think the statue is a symbol of the work my group does. I don’t care about where the person is from and what they have done. I seek to put love first.

    1. That’s a great way to look at the world. I’m still searching when it comes to any specific religion, but I do respect Jesus for the work he did. I still tend to look at Christian churches, but I usually focus on the one God as opposed to one of the three persons (in one God). I’ve found it all comes down to community. Some churches have a great, accepting community that loves to help others regardless of their beliefs and others are very judgmental. I’d rather be a part of the one that welcomes all with open arms.

  12. I am an atheist. That means as far as I am concerned there is no God. But that does not mean that there wasn’t a carpenter’s son who told people to be nice to each other and was brutally executed in the name of political expediency. We don’t actually know – and if you are a person of faith that shouldn’t matter. I find it bizarre when theologians start citing sources and arguing about evidence. Faith does not need evidence. What you choose to believe is up to you. And as Mahatma Ghandi is often quoted as saying, “I like your Christ. I do not think much of your christians.”

    1. I am not 100% sure, but I remember seeing somewhere that there was a man named Jesus who fits with the biblical story in terms of the location of his birth and his crucifixion. Beyond that, it’s all based on faith. I have to agree with Ghandi. Whether you seem him as Christ or just another man named Jesus, he did some great things and spread a great message. That message seems to be lost on the people who today call themselves Christians. I think this statue shows that some people out there are trying to get Christians to think. I know there are good Christians out there. It unfortunate that they appear to be in the minority.

  13. Thank you, TK, for a thoughtful and moving post — and comments — about the homeless Jesus statue and the quest to find answers that sustain us. You inspire me to write at length. Your existential curiosity to ask the questions, and the patience to experiment with what’s possible, will always net the spiritual solutions you seek over time. Here are some thoughts after reading the excellence your blog captures here.

    Spiritual progress across cultural diversity, we usually surmise, leads us to promote what we love instead of bashing what we hate. In Judaism the yecer hara doctrine of sin contemplated the inner decision each person makes for good or evil. Similarly traditional Cherokee spirituality speaks of feeding the good wolf instead of the bad wolf within. But the application of spiritual principle doesn’t always look the way we expect. For instance, the homeless Jesus reportedly turned temple tables over to protest consumerism, ranted “woe” to prominently wealthy hypocrites, and cursed an unproductive fig tree. So whatever we might think of the Christian doctrine of Christ’s sinlessness, there were obviously some major emotions happening whenever good wasn’t already present and Jesus encountered it.

    Much of what people believe they know about Jesus comes from the Bible, not always consistent about the social gospel (good news) of loving one another because of how religious power brokers have used the Bible after it was compiled. The American fundamentalist Christian dogma about biblical “inerrancy” was a man-made Protestant cultural response starting in the late 1800’s to stymie women who had found the pulpit (and a following) and wanted to stay there. The “inerrancy” dogma closed many non-Catholic preaching positions to women then (and still today) as a result of what scholars now generally consider pseudo-Pauline texts limiting female roles in New Testament epistles of the biblical canon set after 300 A.D. in the Roman Empire. Limiting the leadership of women in the churches was based on nothing written by Jesus or even said in any report. So please don’t consider me an apologist for viewing all of the Bible as if an infallible paper pope. But many of the red-letter words (which some Bibles print in red as the words of Jesus collected in the four canonical gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John) speak to my heart about the radical message of lovingkindness that the homeless Jesus taught.

    Identically (which is rare) two of the canonical gospels used the same words reportedly spoken by Jesus — KJV translation (capitalized pronouns not in the original languages of ancient manuscript fragments) — to speak to the homelessness of Jesus: “The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.” Matthew 8:20 and Luke 9:58.

    Because there was indisputably a grassroots Christian movement based on things like community, integrity and sharing in the first couple of centuries after Jesus taught, it has always seemed reasonable to me that the original followers would have remembered the authentic sayings of Jesus, and passed them down in oral tradition. Thus, when the Bible was canonically set in the third century after Jesus by priests of Empire, the imperial scribes would have necessarily included the well-known sayings of Jesus in their books of “New Testament” joined to selected Jewish scriptures (“Old Testament”). Illiteracy was rampant. Some extra bits might have been biblically added to the real sayings of Jesus by the imperialists to support their agenda (e.g., things like rendering unto Caesar what was Caesar’s in a bow to the ruling class and its money system). Most of the followers of Jesus could not have read the biblical manuscripts of the third century church and into the middle ages even if they’d had access to the scribes’ handwritten texts in a time before the printing press. Priests thus had license in an era of illiteracy to pick and choose what parts of the Bible they’d read to the people at the mass. As centuries passed what had initially been mainly an oral tradition about God’s loving reign freely available to all in spirit and in truth would have faded in favor of hypocrisy as usual by the religious ruling elite.

    And yet, light has shone through darkness century after century, illuminating our minds and letting us integrate dark and light to embrace infinite Love, which hugs us back.

    Nobody can know for 100% sure if it is real — although I hope it is, have corroborating mystical experience and try to live as if it’s so — but isn’t it a wonderful story that God became a man born of a woman the better to understand what we go through, the better to love us in all of our human mistakes and talents?

    Natalie Portman and Chris Hemsworth make a cute consort + Thor, the good guys fighting evil for the betterment of humanity, but I’d rather the story of baby Jesus and mother Mary be real.

    Anybody who would find the homeless Jesus statue contrary to the faith of Christianity might question if they’re feeding the good wolf or the bad wolf within. And even if the bad, Jesus would welcome them to change and come to the forgiving living water of lovingkindness.

  14. Gosh TK, every damn article of yours now I have to scroll forever to get to the bottom of the comments!!! Lol but that is a good thing 🙂

    Enjoyed the post, I kinda like the statue. Mostly because I like any type of art that makes people think and creates discussion. I think that is what good art does; it stimulates our minds.

    1. I agree. If it makes people think, then it’s doing its job. Also, all my posts aren’t winners, but some, like this one, get a lot of feedback.

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