Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Do as Christ does. But treat the charitable as pharisees.

People are exhorted, ad nauseum, to treat the poor, the (shamelessly) sinful and more with feckless love, care, compassion and generosity, with angry reminders that this is what it means to be Christ-like. That advice is often oversimplified, but at a glance, it's reasonable.

But when's the last time you saw the call for the recipients of such charity to recognize those same giving people as being Christ-like in their actions?

That was a major failing too, you know.

Christ's lesson wasn't just that he was showing mercy to the poor, or being kind to sinners. It was also that for all His good deeds and even miracles, people ultimately hated Christ. Most people nowadays try to hedge and say 'It was the pharisees who hated Him', but no, that's plainly an incomplete list. There were crowds of people demanding Barrabas be released and calling for Christ to be crucified. That wasn't a group of pharisees, ladies and gentlemen. And for all those good works, when Christ went up on the cross, His allies scattered. The poor who were helped, the hungry who were fed and all the rest - they headed for the hills, if they weren't actively stabbing Christ in the back.

But even though it's a key lesson in the Bible, no one talks about it. Few ever talk about the Biblical lesson to be grateful for being helped. Calling everyone to give, give, give just as Christ did is popular, but recognizing those who give as Christ-like comes across as a non-issue, or mighty selective at best.

Go figure, right?

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