Monday, May 16, 2005

Following Christ Violently

When I think of Christ, I see a man of peace, a man who sought to bring comfort to the broken and strength to the weak. I see the Son of God reaching out to gently hold a child in his arms.

But when he speaks to the religious posers and fakers, he doesn't use mild language. And when he comes into the Temple during Passover and sees the corruption and greed in the place where God desires to have his light of generosity and love shown, he goes buck-wild on the vendors.

So Christ is meek and brutal.

Paul uses some serious language in Colossians. He talks of putting to death the sinful nature. This is no lethal injection, no slow process of falling asleep. They did not put things or people to death softly in Paul's day. They were brutal and ruthless. So, it seems that Paul calls us to a life of brutality and violence. Not with others, but with the sin within me and you.

Yet, there might be a violence that is seen with others. I think we can be brutal in our efforts to rid our worlds of injustice. I think we can confront abusive fathers with strong language.

But God's violence is never to destroy someone. His violence is always to redeem the person or system. His violence is against anything that is against him.

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