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The Only Character You Should Be Imitating Is Jesus

June 29, 2009

Some great observations by Fr. Freeman.

You are not a Bible character:

The problem with such use of Biblical imagination is that it simply has no controlling story. Nothing tells us which story to use other than our own imagination (which is generally a deluded part of our mind). A governor gets to play King David, and, surprise, he should be forgiven and not resign his office. A group of white settlers get to play conquering Israelites and feel no compunction about murdering men, women and children. A priest, likely in need of therapy, plays the role of Jonah before a crowd who has no idea they are in a play. The gospel is not preached – souls are not saved – the Bible is simply brought into ridicule.

For all of us – Scripture is relevant. However, its relevance should not come as a personal revelation that tells us which character we are within its pages. Such games seem frightfully like the games on Facebook: “Which ancient civilization are you?” or some such nonsense.

You are not a Bible character – other than the one indicated in the New Testament – those who have put their faith in Christ and trusted him for their salvation. Our conversion experiences are whatever they may have been – but the Damascus Road conversion of St. Paul is not required of any but St. Paul.

Unfortunately, we’ve probably all seen this, yet, “ Beloved, do not imitate what is evil but imitate what is good.”


One Comment leave one →
  1. June 29, 2009 12:08 pm

    I was absolutely thunderstruck by the simple elegance of this argument. So amazed was I, that I emailed it to my wife, with the following commmentary:

    From: Brian
    To: Georgia
    I just thought it was a pretty strong statement on how we as a Church act, how we justify ourselves in our own eyes. People are forever justifying aggressive wars, for instance, because David killed hundreds of Philistines, or because Joshua led the Israelites on a rampage through Canaan. Or David committed adultery. Or Solomon had multiple wives. Or Jonah disobeyed.

    Or, or, or…

    Her response:

    From: Georgia
    To: Brian
    Go one farther. Make it personal. How does it mean you should act? How do you justify your own actions? What changes should you make?

    To which I of course replied:

    From: Brian
    To: Georgia
    That was my point. I didn’t see a need to spell it out.

    I just thought the idea that “Jesus is the Bible character we should emulate” was thunderously simple and [succinct], ya know?

    Said she:

    From: Georgia
    To: Brian
    Yes, but what I’m asking is what specifically you are going to change to that end.

    The moral of the story? If you come across a Big Truth, try not to share it with anyone who knows you too well.

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