Monday, May 18, 2009

I’m the proud owner of my first Peter Rollin’s book. This is his new book of parables. I have to share the second parable in his book; it is so relevant to Western culture.

“Jesus withdrew privately by boat to a solitary place, but the crowds continued to follow him. Evening was now approaching and the people, many of whom had traveled a great distance, were growing hungry.
Seeing this, Jesus sent his disciples out to gather food, but all they could find were five loaves of bread and two fishes. Then Jesus asked that they go out again and gather up the provisions that the crowds had brought to sustain them in their travels. Once this was accomplished, a vast mountain of fish and bread stood before Jesus. Upon seeing this he directed the people to sit down on the grass.
Standing before the food and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks to God and broke the bread. Then he passed the food among his twelve disciples. Jesus and his friends ate like kings in full view of the starving people. But what was truly amazing, what was miraculous about this meal, was that when they had finished the massive banquet there were not even enough crumbs left to fill a starving person’s hand.

The initial shock of this story relates to the way that it inscribes selfish and inhumane actions onto Christ himself by twisting the story we all know of Jesus feeding the multitude. While it would seem perfectly acceptable to attack governments, corporations, and individuals for failing to distribute goods appropriately and turning away from the poorest among us who suffer as a direct result of our greed, it would seem inappropriate to read such inhumanity into the actions of Christ himself. If anything, Christ was one who demonstrated a life of joyful simplicity, radical healing, and unimaginable love. Christ challenges us to look outward, and thus he should not be the one whom we condemn.
Yet in the Bible we read that those who follow Christ are nothing less than the manifestations of his body in the world today. The presence of Christ in the world is said to be directly encountered in the presence of those who gather together in his name. In very concrete terms, people learn of Christ through those who claim to live out the way of Christ. However, if Christ is proclaimed in the life of his followers, if the body of believers is thought to manifest the body of Christ in the world, then we must stop, draw breath, and ask ourselves whether the above tale reflects how Christ is presented to the world today, at least in the minds of those who witness the lifestyle of Christians in the West.”
The Orthodox Heretic, Peter Rollins - Photo from the Internet


Joseph Pulikotil said...

Hi Fred:)

Great post! An eye opener!

Not only the West, but Christians all over the world have become selfish and every one wants to amass more and more wealth. The acquisition of material things and comforts and keeping up with the neighbors have become paramount importance to all Christians.

There are still some people doing some good work for God and his people but I really don't know how much of their heart is really in that work. This includes me also. I am not an exception.

Have a nice day Fred:)

FCB said...

Hi Josesph,
I'm glad you liked this post, I thought it was a unique way of making the point. You are so right, we all seem to be so concerned about our own wealth, and I certainly don't exclude myself; it is a daily battle and sometimes I will get something and later ask myself what I was thinking?
God bless,

Mel said...

Hi Fred!

My spirit has been drooling to get my hands on that book ever since I first heard of it. Thank you SO MUCH for posting a tidbit and a small taste here. I love this story, I can't wait to share it with my Awana class!!

Many blessings to you today, Fred.

With much affection and prayers for a bright day,

FCB said...

Hi Mel,
We have drooled together :)
His fresh look into the truths of the Bible are such a great change.
I know there is much controversy about his teachings, and I think he rather revels in it. My belief is he just trys to stetch our faith and shake us out of our traditional bias. I sense a deep love for Christ and His church but a frustration with our faults; and his way of pouring new wine intoxicates this old soul.
God bless,