› Forums › Spiritual Theology › 1.1: The Way of Jesus vs. Interpretations of Jesus › Reply To: 1.1: The Way of Jesus vs. Interpretations of Jesus
AnonymousDeleted UserSeptember 15, 2020 at 11:15 pm
Imagine with me, if you will, that two men are staring at a yellow fire hydrant, except that the one on the left is looking at the hydrant through a lens that is tinted blue. And the one on the right through a lens that is tinted red. Now, imagine the confusion that would ensue if you were to approach the two and ask what color the hydrant is. Their differing answers may even result in blows — because the realities that they represent do not take into account that their reality has been distorted by the lenses that they hold.
The writings of both Howard Thurman and Kristin Kobes Du Mez highlight this reality well, helping us to recognize that our realities are skewed and altered by our experiences. By the narratives that we surround ourselves with. In Jesus and John Wayne, Du Mez highlights the power and wealth that White Evangelicals have comforted themselves with — even back to the beginning of our nation. Contrasted with that, we see Thurman’s Jesus and the Disinherited, a volume that points out how minority groups can relate to a God who lived a life that was more similar to them than not.
At the end of the day, I think it’s important to come to that realization – because each of us comes to the table with different lenses that affect how we see and approach God. Lenses that are colored by our gender, by our socioeconomic status, by the color of our skin, and how we were raised. The stark contrast between the two views of Christianity and Jesus is a perfect illustration of how this can work, and of the importance of being able to put down our own lenses and see the world through the lenses that other people have to offer to us.