If You Love Me

If You Love Me

Institution and family (or tribe, or community, or friends, take your pick) are two sides of the same coin. Both mechanisms rely on ancient forms of currency to maintain control.

The most obvious form of human currency is currency itself, money. But friends and family, just like big institutions and powerful kings, use other mechanisms of control to maintain what they perceive as wellbeing, safety, and security. 

The worst of these is violence—but the most insidious is the infamous “personal relationship.” The merchant class calls it “networking.” Sociologists refer to it as “reciprocity.” 

That’s why Christians love to boast about their “personal relationship” with Jesus Christ. What their theology proclaims is a less than mystical obsession, not with love, but their own self-importance They want to be insiders. They want influence over the crown. 

Lonely Americans want to be the mother, brother, or sister that Jesus turns away in Luke 8. (Luke 8:21) They want to be his insider. His Peter. They want to be the guarantors of security.

But security for whom? 

Much later, in John (21:17), Jesus warns his betrayer, “I’m not interested in your love. I'm interested in the work.”

The educated class in the United States is easily fooled by Western imperialism, because they have been groomed from a young age to believe in themselves, their lives, their feelings, and the centrality of their relationships.

They are incapable of hearing Scripture, which is not about their feelings and has no interest in their personal lives. 

The God of Scripture is neither relatable nor relational. He is instructional.

“Do this and you shall live.” (Luke 10:28)

That’s good news for the poor. However, for the well meaning colonial, it is confusing. They need their tyrant to be a “decent man who cares deeply” about the people of Gaza, while funding and supplying Gaza’s extermination. How else could they feel good about living out their lies? 

 It is not complex. You are self-righteous.  

Shall I pause, now, for you to extrospect? 

You sound like Tobit, habibi. A well-meaning, upstanding, almsgiving do-gooder who complains to God, “I have had to listen to undeserved insults.”

Yes, Tobit. Yes. You blind fool! God is insulting you: because the Bridegroom did not come to call “Tobit the Righteous” to repentance. 

Father Marc discusses Luke 5:34-35 (Episode 524) 
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