In Communion with Trampled Bodies | Sojourners

In Communion with Trampled Bodies

Caesar was neither impractical nor unreasonable -- he was political; Christ was neither practical nor reasonable -- He was crucified; we are neither political nor crucified -- we are Caesar Christians.

That is to say we are people of moderation, lukewarm, assimilated by the culture and empire; tainted with the values, myths and religion of the nation-state. We beg the question of hard political action using Christianity as an excuse. We beg the question of hard Gospel action using political reality as our excuse. We stand with neither Caesar nor Christ, yet we praise and patronize them both. Our children beg for bread and with a smile, under the guise of love, we hand them a stone and a snake. Our destiny has been foretold: “I will vomit you from my mouth.”

I use the word Contemplative to best describe the Gospel person; I use the word Idolatrous to best describe the Caesar person, or child of the world. The two are in direct collision--the values of the Gospel cannot be assimilated or co-exist with the values of the world. They are in mortal opposition and combat. The teachings of Christ engender community, unity, and life; the teachings of the world formalize isolation, disharmony, and death. This is not new, it has always been true. Only our awareness of the degree of our worldly complicity and compromise is changing. Security, comfort, and respectability are unavailable to followers of Christ; they belong to the world’s children--Caesar’s people. Our heritage is more: abandonment, insecurity, and exile. The wilderness of this world is our home.

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