7 years ago: The righteous

November 10, 2006, here on slacktivist: The righteous

Poor John. “We told him to stop, because he was not one of us.” Brilliant move, that. It shows what comes of treating Jesus like a brand name — you end up siding with the demons.

Jesus is all about driving out demons, healing the sick, feeding the poor. Yet somehow his followers, like John and Jim, tend to forget that this is what matters most. We see others doing this same work and we start defending our turf. We start acting like corporate attorneys, filing cease and desist orders to protect the brand name or to try to collect some kind of franchising fee. We see people who are “not one of us” doing good and, perversely, we tell them to stop.

Jesus isn’t interested in franchise fees. He’s interested in casting out demons. If someone else outside of our little clique decides to pitch in, “Do not stop him,” Jesus says. “Whoever is not against us is for us.”

… I get that this can be confusing at first for those of us who share a particular religious motivation. You set yourself to the task because the Bible Says So, or because you’re trying to obey Jesus, or because you love Jesus, or because you’re so filled with Jesus’ love that you can’t help but share it with others (that’s intended as a progression). And then you find yourself working shoulder-to-shoulder with people who have never given Jesus a second thought.

“So if you don’t share my particular motives,” you ask your new partners, “then why are you here?”

“Funny,” they say. “I was about to ask you the same question.”

Confusing at first, but then exhilarating. And liberating. And empowering. There is, after all, a lot of work to do, and unexpected allies should always be welcome.

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