Paring The Claws of the Lion of Judah

Ok, this one’s a bit lengthy. I give you forewarning in case your attention span is feeling a bit short this evening. This essentially says that the meek and mild Jesus that so many teach about today is not the Jesus of the Bible. Neither is Christianity a meek and mild faith for the fainthearted.

“Official Christianity, of late years, has been having what is known as ‘a bad press.’ We are constantly assured that the churches are empty because preachers insist too much upon doctrine — ‘dull dogma,’ as people call it.

The fact is the precise opposite. It is the neglect of dogma that makes for dullness. The Christian faith is the most exciting drama that ever staggered the imagination of man — and the dogma is the drama… This is the dogma we find so dull — this terrifying drama of which God is the victim and the hero. If this is dull, then what, in Heaven’s name, is worthy to be called exciting?

The people who hanged Christ never, to do them justice, accused Him of being a bore — on the contrary; they thought Him too dynamic to be safe. It has been left for later generations to muffle up that shattering personality and surround Him with an atmosphere of tedium.

We have very efficiently pared the claws of the Lion of Judah, certifying Him ‘meek and mild,’ and recommended Him as a fitting household pet for pale curates and pious ladies. To those who knew him, however, he in no way suggested a milk-and-water person; they objected to him as a dangerous firebrand.

True, he was tender to the unfortunate, patient with honest inquirers, and humble before heaven; but he insulted respectable clergymen by calling them hypocrites; he referred to King Herod as ‘that fox’; he went to parties in disreputable company and was looked upon as a ‘gluttonous man and a wine-bibber, a friend of publicans and sinners’; he assaulted indignant tradesmen and threw them and their belongings out of the Temple; he drove a coach-and-horses through a number of sacrosanct and hoary regulations; he cured diseases by any means that came handy, with a shocking casualness in the matter of other people’s pigs and property; he showed no proper deference for wealth or social position; when confronted with neat dialectical traps, he displayed a paradoxical humor that affronted serious-minded people, and he retorted by asking disagreeably searching questions that could not be answered by rule of thumb.

He was emphatically not a dull man in his human lifetime, and if he was God, there can be nothing dull about God either” (Dorothy Sayers).

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