The House that Jesus Tried to Build

Christian Community

Psalm 133
© Hilary F. Marckx, all rights reserved

Thirty-plus years ago
I was part of a spiritual community
and the suggestion was made
that we should all live in community—
Buy a big house, together.
Share all expenses, together.
Live the Christian dream, together.
Then as conversations progressed,
it became clear
that what the community was actually about,
was support for the two self-proclaimed leaders.
The rest of us were being “called”
to care for their spoiled children
while they roamed about the world, teaching,
alone, and not together.
We declined.
Christian Community is about community,
not about superstars, or even lesser stars.
Christian Community is about
support for all, not most supporting a few.
Well, here’s a thought:
Christian Community is about Christ,
and we are all called to be Christ,
so that still makes us all equal.
True Community, Christian or other:
Few can actually live it.

Christianity Socialism and Communism

In a nation where a goodly portion of its so-called Christian population is terrified of Socialism, let alone Communism, the Christian Ideal of community seems far fetched and remote.  There is a frantic panic to eschew anything that seems as it it might be tainted with Socialism.  The house that Jesus attempted to establish has been torn down by those very people who claim to follow in his path.

Whoever heard of Christians taking part of what they earn/own/possess/save and giving it to others who are in need?  Well, Jesus has!  It seems that much of  the community of Christianity has turned narcissistic, avaricious, and has become alienated from its foundational roots and values!

I tell people that Communism, sans Lenin is simply Christianity without Jesus the Christ.  Socialism is a step in that direction, but one where we don’t give up our individualism and we remain autonomous, and collectively get to choose how much we, as individuals, get to help the rest of the whole.  But we have turned selfish and spoiled and invented a form of Capitalism that provides a small few with the possibility of achieving a dream by way of eliminating the less able.  We have terrible-twos-temper-tantrums that we call political movements to get our way, and be they liberal or conservative, they are destructive for the human spirit.

An American Ideal Gone Haywire

The truth of it is that while many Christian Americans may claim to believe all that stuff written down in the Christian Scriptures we call the Gospel, they don’t.  Those on the far left have more or less discarded Jesus, and those on the far right have discarded Jesus’ values.  The Idea and Ideal of our Christian faith has turned into the froth of droolers who aren’t bright enough to wipe the evidence off their own shoes.  We have sunk sharpened teeth deeply into the flesh of  our humanity and we are tearing it from our own bones.  I do not understand stingy Christians who are so afraid someone else might get some of what they have that they vote against their own well-being.  I do not understand the poor enabling those who steal from the mouths of their own babies.  I do not fathom any political or national system such as America’s, that claims to be the most wonderful Christian Nation in the world, stealing from the pockets of its working class, and funding wars, corporate bailouts, and systematically slashing its Constitution so as to eliminate its actual Christian elements.  While the Christian Far Right has opted out of the Darwinian conversation and turned their backs on evolution, they have fully embraced the ideology of Social Darwinism to the detriment of the Christian Ideal, which is the antithesis of anything Jesus proclaimed.

How a Christian Community Would Appear

Psalm 133 refers to the beauty of community members living together in unity, and I take that to mean in our own time a place where the community gathers–the world!  A true Christian Community contains more faiths than Christians, because Jesus has invited all into community, and that community would appear as a community that truly cares for its member/components, and follows Jesus’ mandate to care for the widow, orphan, naked, homeless and whomever needs help, and nurtures those deemed the least of the least.

Yes, there are in fact many good Christian Americans, living and acting as Jesus taught us, but it’s hard to include the Christian far right among them.  Where American Christian politicos make claims that America is a Christian nation and cause it do the opposite, a true Christian Community actually cares for its members.  It defines its members broadly and offers hope and succor to all in need whether community members or not.  No borders, no boundaries, no selfishness, no fear of others, no expectations of a high quarterly return–just a love of Jesus and the ideals Jesus expects us to live by.  We need to remember that Jesus does not care about America, or Americans, any more or less that he cares about England, Australia, Russia, China, Libya, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Mexico, Canada, or those who live there.  Jesus cares about building up the Community (Kingdom) of God, and that Community contains all that is created, and apparently, if we are to believe Jesus, especially, those we hate and fear, and we are to love each of us equally.


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