So that’s why I like Nicodemus. I am proud of someone who stepped out of the system and said I know everybody is saying this about you. I don’t know. Tell me what you are saying yourself. And I think that is probably one of the best ethical statements one can make.
The Sermon on the Mount was Ghandi’s “go to” text for the Jesus way of non-violent resistance. These three chapters (5, 6, and 7) of Matthew’s Gospel crystallize the most valued ethical teachings that have been attributed of Jesus.
Jesus says in his society there is a new way for [people] to live:
You show wisdom, by trusting people;
You handle leadership, by serving;
You handle offenders, by forgiving;
You handle money, by sharing;
You handle enemies, by loving;
And you handle violence, by suffering.
You are no longer Jew or Greek, no longer slave or freeborn, no longer “male and female.” Instead, you all have the same status in the service of God’s Anointed, Jesus.
It isn’t so simple as Christ versus Culture as some of my fellow Christians frame it. Sometimes culture is a better option than Christian doctrine. One might say, that sometimes Christ is culture over against Christian doctrine.
Ecclesiastes and Job offer a minority view to the covenants and theology of the Law and the Prophets. It is a minority view that challenges the majority view that life has a plan and a purpose. The minority view says, “Probably not.”
You can never make significant change unless you’re kind of crazy. You might need to drop some acid to get to that level of consciousness. That or read the Hebrew prophets with new eyes. Or both.