Thursday, March 18, 2010

What Would Jesus Do---Today

I will admit to being some what tired of the ubiquitous WWJD as it's used by both the right and the left. Principally because it isn't a pertinent question. It reflects back to the Jesus of two thousand years ago. The pertinent question is what would Jesus do today? It seems to me that if we come up with the same answers based on the sum total of human knowledge from two thousand years ago we will frequently come up with wrong answers.

In the twenty first century we know a great many more factual things about God's creation and man's evolution. Facts that do not support the rationale of our traditional theology--especially our sexual moral theology. Yet our Catholic authorities would have us believe that if Jesus were alive today He would somehow ignore all of this accumulated knowledge and support the extrapolations of His teachings as done by the Patristic Fathers or theologians like Aquinas. They expect us to believe that Jesus would agree that all the possible understandings of what He taught reached it's endpoint with Aquinas.

I'm sorry, but I don't believe that would be Jesus's position. To believe otherwise is to believe that He would teach it was perfectly all right to graduate to other levels of understanding in all subjects but religion because religious insight ends in fifth grade. No other information applies. It's hard for me to imagine that He would tell us "Don't drag your Phd level physics into this, or your PET scans, or any of your other scientific disciplines, and especially not your notions of scientific methodology. My Father's will exempted religious knowledge from any evolutionary concepts added to human understanding from any other sources. Man's understanding of My teachings reached it's summit with Augustine's era as interpreted by Aquinas. End of discussion."

It seems lots of Catholics truly think that's what Jesus would do and say today, especially about sex and the exercise of power. They imagine He would expound and expound on the Traditional Family even though He didn't grow up in one. They imagine He would expound and expound on the evils of pre marital sex and pregnancy outside of marriage even though His mother is not the prime example of such a life style. They imagine He would underline the primacy of the Apostolic succession even though He taught about the importance of subservience in leadership. They imagine He would commend the Vatican for it's excess and wealth even though He told His followers to sell all in order to follow Him and had really really harsh words about ostentatious religious showmanship. They imagine He would stress the importance of the 'right worship' of His Father even though His specifically stated two greatest commandments are about love of God and neighbor having nothing to do with worship or ritual. Some even imagine Jesus would punish little children for the sins of their parents, even though He stated exactly the opposite.

Maybe the issue isn't what would He do today, but are Christians ever going to get what He actually said. Scientific advances seem to indicate we better get it pretty soon or we may not be around to ever get it.


  1. That's telling it like it truly is Colleen.

    The Gospel truth is that Jesus spoke to a woman at Jacob's well, and he knew she was co-habitating with a man who was not her husband and that she had four other husbands. He did not condemn her or shun her, and what truly transpired goes over the heads of many. I think it is a Bible story pertinent to what Jesus did and what he would do today.

    You're right, we won't be around because they do not read the sign of the times according to the ways of the sacred heart of Jesus & they don't know, but claim to know what Jesus did. You are right. They don't know what Jesus did, and so they do stupid things that are hurtful in many ways to many people, including themselves.

    These Aquinas heads remind me of the moralist who had alcohol banned in the last century. A real lame approach to "healing" people and it seems so similar an approach to "resolving" issues they feel are harmful to the faithful, to lay down the law and be tyrannical and start wars.

    My heart is truly aching for people to get to know the Jesus of the Gospels and to ask Him to come into their hearts and heal them of their ignorance and blindness. Anyone faithful to Jesus needs to do this everyday.

  2. As a scientist with multiple doctorates educated mostly in Catholic Universities, I must say that I firmly believe that scientific observation IS listening to the Holy Spirit. No, I have not prayed the complete Rosary in years, but have moved on to centering prayer which I think informs my actions. I do believe actions taken this way are much more valuable to find Christ in myself and others. dennis

  3. I agree whole heartedly with you Dennis. We haven't gotten the message through metaphor and parable, maybe we can start to get it through science.

    Butterfly, one of the things we are learning through science is that morality via denial does not work well. It sets up a neurochemical feedback loop which focuses attention on the actions of the hind brain at the expense of the forebrain. Or to put it differently, it places us in the vorld view of neural entrainment which was set in childhood.

  4. Correction to my post. She had five husbands, not four.

    Colleen, little boys loved to play cops and robbers, cowboys and indians, those types of games, when I was young. Seems those little boys our age now still love playing those games in the world. Seems they are stuck in neural entrainment.