Burmes Need this Christ
Our images of Jesus Christ matter most. We need the Christ of the Jesus of history. But the Christ people at the margins need maybe different from the Christ people in the “comfort zone.”
We envision the historical Jesus who never puts himself at the center but always takes the margins. Many of Christs are created from above just to meet the needs of those in authority. They are not biblical enough. They are spiritualized and imported Christs.
The Kingdom message, gospel values, the way of the disciples and the Judeo-Christian tradition will become a great aid to bar our tendency to create a Jesus of our own dreams and needs.
Without prejudice to the christological faith of the mother church, I will reformulate my personal christological credo in dialogue with the biblical inspiration and contemporary insights. The Christ I believe in is also the Christ we need today.
I believe in the Christ who, seeing redemptive aspects of every religion, appreciates Hinduism especially for its teaching on liberation from “the shackles of karma” ; applauds Buddhism particularly its core experience i.e. gnosis: “liberating knowledge”; respects Islam for its submission to the will of God ;cheers Confucianism for its positive views on nature; encourages Ancestor Veneration Cult for its respect for good tradition vis-à-vis wisdom of the elderly; commemorates nat-spirit worship for its search for liberation of unseen evil forces,
I believe in the wandering Christ who crosses the boundaries of gender of today (LGTB: lesbian, gay, transsexual, bisexual, male, female, prostitute, etc.) , race (East, West: Jews, Samaritans, Greeks, Romans, Gentiles, Asians, etc. ), color (red, black, white, yellow, others), class ( the least, the lost, the last, the outcast, the elite, the ruler, the nobody), age (young, middle, old), the Christ with boundless love,
I believe in the sensual Christ who is sexually attractive to some women, even the homosexual, and transsexual, [note: sexuality is not the same with genitality] the Christ who, excommunicating nobody, gives his very life, “body and blood” for all rather than any doctrine, idea, structure,
I believe in the Christ of paradox who comforts the discomfort (little ones) and discomforts the comfort ( the hypocrite),I believe in the Christ who with “nonviolent resistance” opposes any “dehumanizing ideology”, any “institutionalized violence” and “all kinds of structures which oppress and deny the fullness of life, justice, dignity”,
I believe in the Christ who denounces “every totalitarian, exclusivistic, or reductionistic vision of the human being, of religious phenomena, of religious traditions, and of the representations of transcendence” ,
I believe in the Christ, being born of a woman, being the “Body and Blood” of Mary and being the Son of a widow, honors, and treats women equally despite of male-dominated system,
I believe in the Christ who is so scandalous and rebellious enough before the so-called ‘holy religious leaders’ to convey his message of liberation-salvation-redemption of all from socio-economic-political and any kind of oppression,
I believe in the Christ whose gospel is so much to do with and is applicable to ”the complexity and diversity of ethical, aesthetic, and spiritual experiences; persons committed to just alternatives for cultures and societies, genders, religions, ecological and planetary spiritualities”,
I believe in the Christ who searching for alternatives in “other possible worlds,” implements the gospel values for establishing the ”Kingdom” on earth,
I believe in the Christ who decries unnecessary hierarchy between laity, religious and clerics, and loves people of all walks without regards of their race, color, social condition, beliefs, ideologies,
I believe in the Christ who speaks more about God, Spirit and Kingdom than about the Satan, more about salvation, liberation and heaven than about hell, more about beauty, grace and blessing than about sin and punishment, more about freedom and liberation than about obedience and submission, more about fullness of life-today, restoration, and celebration than about suffering, cross, death and soul-afterlife, more about love, faith, justice and peaceful-lifestyle than about law, dogma, structure and religion, more about the present world to a new world than the world of angels and the world of immortality,
I believe in the Christ who is forgiver to the sinner, provider to the hungry, defender to the oppressed, wisdom teacher to the ignorant, good lay missionary to the non-Christians, protector to the nat/spirit worshippers, incarnated Spirit-God-Son to the Kachin, traditional healer to the Shan, village-chief to the Chin, rights-defender to the Naga, good father to the Kayah, good nomad-leader to the Lisu, tribal leader to the Wa,
I believe in the compassionate human Christ who enjoys music and sports with the youth, merry-making and fun with the children, friendly conversation with the aged, even some gossips with the women, serious discussions with the men,
I believe in the Christ who is prophet to the Muslims, enlightened one to the Buddhists, man of perfect harmony to the Confucians, Chief Divine- healer or Eldest Brother-intercessor to the Africans, good missionary of the Divine to the Pacific people,
I believe in the other Christ or the opposite Christ of “the Christ I don’t believe in” who is the Christ we need today. Jesus is, to borrow Anthony de Mello’s idea, like “a Hindu Guru, a Zen Roshi, a Taoist Sage, a Jewish Rabbi, a Christian Monk, a Sufi Mystic.” He is like “Lao Tzu and Socrates, Buddha, Christ, Zerathustra and Mohammed.” In them the wisdom, teaching and message of Jesus can be found. “The images of the pre-Easter Jesus are types found in the other religious traditions like Taoism, Buddhism, Hinduism.”