Monday, March 10, 2008

Pastor Chit Chat

Lunch the other day. Pastor chit chat day. Pastor chit chat lunch.

More Christlikeness. More talk about this. A pastor friend saying he doesn’t want to be like Christ in the sense that Christ is God. Of course not. That’s impossible.

Therefore he cannot mean that. What he means, after interminable chit chat, is that he would like to be generous and forgiving and loving and patient as Christ is. He is a follower of Christ, after all. So of course he would like to be like him in his human characteristics.

He wants to be like the human half.

And so I ask. Is that the right half or the left half? Is that the top half or the bottom half?

He just looks at me.

Christ is God through and through. He is human through and through. Do you believe this?


Then let’s not talk about Christ’s human half. Okay?


Then he brings up the fruits. He talks about the fruits of this theology. He asks if I detect any arrogance or any sense in him of someone who thinks he has the power of God. Or is trying to obtain the power of God.

No, I say.

Well, then, he wants to know. The teaching can’t be terrible, since the fruit is fine.

You mean we can teach anything we like, as long as the results are good, I say.

No, he says. Thinks for a bit.

Christian means “Little Christ,” he says.

No it doesn’t, I say. Look it up. It means slave of Christ. Follower of Christ. Not little duplicate of Christ.

He looks at me.

But a follower of anyone wants to be like the person they follow, he says.

Oh, I don’t know, I say. I don’t. I’m a follower of Jesus, but I don’t have any desire to be like him.

Let me ask you something, I say.


When we say we want to be like someone, what about that person do we want to be like?


For example, Jesus’s beard. When we say we want to be like him, are we likely to mean we want a beard like his?


Or the color of his eyes?


His celibacy?

No, not me.

Isn’t it true that when we say we want to be like someone, we mean that we want to be like them in some essential way?


Don’t we mean that we want to change ourselves so that we are like some different or differentiating characteristic of that person?


What is Christ’s most differentiating characteristic?

What do you mean?

Isn’t his most differentiating characteristic his divine nature? His unique divine nature?


Well, then, I say. You must mean that you do want to be like God.

No, I don’t.

Yes, you do.

No, I don’t.

Yes, you do.

No, I don’t

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