Now is the time to follow Christ's path of action and impact.

In contrast to Christ's message of inclusive freedom,
today's understanding of the Christian message
provides a foundation for 'our' division from unbelievers,
other religions, and those with a different viewpoint.
Somewhere, somehow, we have strayed.

The Christian church insists on its defensive posture,
on the rectitude of its position, on separation from the world,
and often from those whose ideas vary in detail from its own.
This is in denial of the inclusiveness of its creator
and the all-embracing love of God.

This position forms the root of religious conflict.
It has undermined the message that Jesus once proclaimed.
It is this self-centred doctrine that separates us from God's purposes
that makes a god of individuality, makes an idol out of Christ
and a curse out of Christianity.

As inheritors of that message, we endorse the position of power.
We cry "crucify", and destroy those standing in opposition.
We claim victory over sin, the world and the Devil.
We proclaim conquest instead of service;
power rather than humility.

It is this divisive doctrine that sent Jesus to his cross,
that hid his radical teaching in a sacramental gloss,
smothered his challenge in holy sentiment,
turned its back on Christ.

Yet somehow God works through our blindness
to open our eyes to what lies beyond
the hidebound religious narrative,
and brought light to the world.

For we can only call ourselves Christian
if Christ has had a formative impact on our lives.
"Believing in his name" is a neutral concept
unless associated with consequential action;
a return to the values he proclaimed.

Christ came to serve, not to be served,(Mt 20:28)
but Christ's church calls for obedient service.
Jesus rejected the trappings of power
but the church embraced them eagerly.
Jesus rode a donkey not a charger
but the church insists on warfare,
on conquest in his name.

Somewhere it all went wrong.