Friday, June 5, 2015

I know what Jesus would do!

... just kidding, I don't.

I've read a lot about how Jesus would respond to the cultural issues of our time- Whenever the traditional understanding of sexual ethics is discussed, particularly when popular culture decides to have a moment, inevitably someone decides to offer an opinion of exactly what Jesus would do. 

How would Jesus respond to Jenner?  I read an article the other day that claimed Jesus would invite Caitlyn over for dinner, calling her by her name and making sure she felt loved.

Would Jesus bake a cake for a gay couple to celebrate their marriage? 

Would Jesus allow for a deeper discussion about how more fully we can invite those with irregular marriages to the Eucharistic Table? 

I've read very certain blogs claiming one ‘side’ or the other. 

“Of course Jesus would sit down with Caitlyn, of course He would call her by her preferred name!”
“Of course Jesus would love Bruce Jenner, even in his gender confusion, but He would certainly not participate in the delusion of pretending he is a she”

“For sure Jesus would bake a couple for a gay couple to celebrate their wedding.  He said He doesn't judge, did he stutter?” (shout out to the meme)
“For sure Jesus would not bake a cake for a gay couple, marriage is reserved between a man and a woman, to participate in the celebration would be to affirm the union”

You know the drill, you've seen the blogs, you've read the opinions...

People, lots of people are very convinced they know exactly what Jesus would do.  And gosh the thing is, I don’t.  I find the times we are living in to be really challenging.  REALLY REALLY challenging.  

I am not confused by what I believe, I know what I believe and, I know it to be True.  That’s the easy part.  I have said before I 100% believe the Teachings of the Roman Catholic Church are the easiest path to truth, happiness and freedom.  I’m not confused by that, I don’t have doubt. I wouldn't be Catholic if I was confused on it, or doubtful if this religion was for me.

But when it comes to how best to share those teachings with others, how best to invite people to a relationship with Christ, how best to tell the world, ‘There’s something so much better for you!’- I don’t know how to do that.  I don’t know how Christ would do that in today’s culture.  And, as I said the other day, I am cautious in agreeing with anyone that seems too certain of how Christ would respond to people, in this historical moment.  We are at a place where relative truth has so affected the general mindset, we aren't even working with common definitions.  When I say love, it means something so very different than when others use the same word.  When I say marriage, it means something so very different than when others use the same word. 

I've even learned that I don't have the same understanding of the word "happiness" that others do. What it mean and how to get there.

The other week, on ‘thefacebook’ I had a back and forth with someone regarding an article shared claiming we are surely on the verge of another great schism.  The conversation was fascinating for so many reasons, but one of the most fascinating parts is when a priest suggested that talking so much about all this ‘welcoming stuff’ was clearly a ‘sales gimmick’.  Right then and there I decided not to continue in discussion with him, because I understood that we must have such different definitions of the word ‘welcome’ a fruitful discussion could not be had. 

I’m not saying Jesus wouldn't know what to do.  I know Jesus would be able to respond to all these current situations perfectly. I know he would figure out a way to eloquently weave deep love and stern teaching into a ‘teachable moment’.  I know it because I watch him do it, particularly in the parables all.the.time.  I know he’d be able to, like with the woman at the well, find a way to be so insanely loving, but so purposefully direct, that people would want to respond to Him.  But I also know a lot of people rejected Christ.  Maybe we could even say the majority of people rejected Him for His message… so maybe it’s not as simple as saying the things people want to hear?

So, anyway, I guess what I'm getting at is what would Jesus do in these situations?  How would Jesus respond?  I don’t know.  And, to be honest, I don’t think you know either.  What I do know is the closer I come to the person of Christ, the more I unite my heart, mind and soul to Him, the better I’ll be at answering those questions.  

Unfortunately, like so many of you, my time is spent wondering or guessing how Jesus would respond to these situations instead of GETTING TO KNOW WHO JESUS IS.  I’m gonna work more on the latter.  Getting to know HIM, because hopefully, it will help me learn better how to be like Him.  And the more I learn how to be like Him, the more I will know how to best LOVE like Him.