God's Perplexing Approach to Redemption ~ BitterSweetLife

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

God's Perplexing Approach to Redemption

True, the cultural terrain would have been slightly different two thousand years ago, but I’m confident that I could have helped God script his public appearance. I’m not denying that Christ accomplished some good things. Great things, even. But his PR department left a lot to be desired.

Number one, people like glamour, smooth talkers, sexy personas. We like to feel like we’re part of the next big thing. Swept up in the crowd, riding the crest of the wave, you know. Jesus missed the next big thing boat entirely. True, he was the eternal big thing—but when the crowds offered to crown him as the Jewish Messiah-King? And he walked out? Wow, we can only sigh at what might have been.

Number two, you have to give it to people straight. None of this evasive talk about believing first and understanding later. Journalists know they have to cram the heart of the story into the first four sentences. Likewise, when people tune in for a religious broadcast, they expect to hit pay-dirt. Ideally in a seven-step format. What were these parable-stories that Christ was always spinning? Did he really expect his studio audiences to use their hearts and imaginations and not just a few gray cells?

Number three, we consumers like a visible delivery system. We want bright logos and prominent branding. When we sink our money in a product, we expect to ride the brand name for awhile. Translation: When spirituality is the product, almost anything would be a better delivery method than the concept Christ came up with. I mean, “the Spirit?” C’mon! When your brand name is not only invisible but elusive, like breath or wind, I think the problem is self-evident. Much more could have been accomplished with dramatic chants, ritualistic ceremonies, self-mutilation, or, at least, fireworks.

Other suggestions occur to me (Christ’s narrow-minded claims to truth, the insensitive moxie with which he stood down his opponents) but I guess I’ve made my point clear. The way God carried himself on earth is ridiculous, and anyone can see it. No wonder he is taking hits in the polls. No human in his right mind could have come up with a plan of redemption this outlandish.

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Camille said...

ha ha! You used the word "moxie." Right on!

Will Robison said...

You know, now that I think about it, I think I'll become a Scientologist. Thanks for setting me straight.

Esther said...

hehe. This is great. Sounds very much like client-oriented-marketing-sales pitch speech.
I always enjoy your writing and sarcasm is always fun when someone pulls it off well. :)

colleen said...

Sarcastic or not...it rings with disturbing relevance.
Well said. (;

Eddie said...

Ariel, Hello from another KC Christian blogger. I just happened to stumble upon your blog by way of the "next blog" button. Your commentaries are both insightful and refreshing. Keep up the good work.


Adam J. said...

a good point made in an interesting way. I'm new to your site and I like it so far. with your sense of humor you might want to sign my petition. Check out www.stopchurchsigns.com.

Ariel said...

It's one thing to be a linguaphile. It's another to love the word "moxie." Camille, you score on both counts.

Great, Will. Now you can let us know what the view is like from the other side of the tracks. While you're at it, let us know what's with Tom Cruise.

Esther and Colleen, thanks very much for the compliments. But...what's this you say about sarcasm? ;)

Eddie and Adam J. (I seem to be doubling up my addressees all of a sudden), thanks for coming by. I haven't encountered too many KC bloggers, Eddie, so I'm happy to have heard from you. Adam, I took a look at your site - good stuff.

Jamie said...

I like the irony in this post. You really have a knack for making your points relevant.


Culture. Photos. Life's nagging questions. - BitterSweetLife