by Bob Bearden
As we begin the Easter season we still see in various forms of Christianity, images of Christ as a King of Kings. There was actually a movie in the early 60’s by that name starring Jeffery Hunter. Images continue to persist of Jesus in white robes wrapped in a flag astride a white charger, sword in hand leading troops into battle.
That’s not the image of Jesus that comes to my mind; nor is it the way I believe Jesus was or is. My image and my belief of Jesus and who he was are rooted in the gospel stories I learned as a kid. I see him more as an activist and a person who would be out among the poor, sick, halt, lame and the workers than a King leading an army astride a white charger.
He was after all known and is still yet known (at least in most circles) as the Prince of Peace. Battle scared and weary from killing the enemy is not an image I have ever associated with that Jewish Rabbi from Nazareth. And despite what you often hear from the right-wing I don’t believe our founders saw him that way either.
Our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution are testaments to how our founders looked upon Jesus and the image he projected to the world. While most of the founders tended to be deists they were all knowledgeable of the teachings of Christ and most understood what He was all about. While they didn’t found this nation as a Christian nation (despite what many latter-day politicians love to believe), they had no problem incorporating some of the ideals He taught and espoused into the founding principles of our nation.
Our Constitution is a document that fits very well with the teachings of that Galilean from Nazareth. The preamble does not adhere strictly to what Jesus taught His disciples and followers but it doesn’t go far away from what He believed.
He was a man of the people. He believed all were and should be equal under the law. He believed we all should work for the common good. That we should all have a right to secure the blessings of liberty, not only for ourselves but for our children and their children. All of his teachings reflect that he believed in promoting the general welfare for everyone.
The strange thing to me is how far some people who cry out that they are Christians and followers of Christ have strayed from what He taught and what he believed. His message still resonant’s today just as it did more than 2000 years ago. It hasn’t changed one scintilla. Hope, Compassion, Love and Peace. That’s an easy concept to grasp. Why some who profess their Christianity to all who will listen can’t seem to get that is beyond my poor power of comprehension.
Christians aren’t supposed to be about war and avarice. They are supposed to be about promoting justice, doing kindness and living with one another in peace and harmony. Is that a hard concept to understand? I can’t see how it is, but I know a lot of people who don’t seem to be able to grasp that as an idea; either as a way of living or a standard to live by!” —– Bob Bearden