So much of what gets called religion is about control, what we think, who we love, who is in, who is out, what the right doctrine is… Control is not Jesus’s game. Jesus is wild. Jesus is free. How often is our quest for “truth” just a thinly disguised quest for control? Religion that focuses on control is subject to every critique of power that the Postmodern philosophers can offer – and they have a lot, and they are mostly good.
Jesus was not about control.
Jesus was not about power.
Jesus was about humbling & emptying himself of power.
An early hymn that was most likely sung, chanted, and memorized by the early church found it’s way into Paul’s letter to the Philippian church. It goes like this:
5 Let the same mind be in you (Ya’ll) that was in Christ Jesus. 6 Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, 7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, 8 he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death – even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
In the end we can only live the way Jesus lived: emptying ourselves out of the life of the world. We can only die the way Jesus died: trusting in God to raise us to new life. Everything else is about control & power… the two things Jesus taught us to give away.