Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Which Jesus do Christians Love?

The growing number of Caribbean people who claim to love Jesus is nothing short of astonishing. Thousands of people across the region ensure that they attend church somewhere at least once each year(particularly at the close of year) for although vast multitudes do not practice the teachings which the Ministers of the churches say people who love Jesus must, they are convinced that (despite their disobedience) they do love Jesus. In fact many who attend church only at the end of the year claim to love him just as deeply and sometimes more than those who frequent the regular services. Although they do not attend as often as faithful church members, they drop in occasionally in order to maintain some semblance of a contact with Jesus in order to remind him that though he does not see them there very often and are sexually involved with someone to whom they are not married( in the Caribbean premarital sex is the gravest of sin for which one can burn in Hell throughout eternity just as mass murders would) They are nevertheless still very much in love with Jesus.
The Caribbean is, in fact, an ocean of palm-treed, floating theocracies. It is nearly impossible to attend any function at which there isn't someone prepared to begin the proceedings with a word of prayer. Even the island Carnival, the festival most rife with drunkenness, nudity, readily accessible, free sexual intercourse and vice is launched with a church service and a word of prayer on some of these islands.
But in the midst of it all, Jesus is still somewhere on the people's minds; he is simply not at the front of it until the last blast of the soca rhythm is stilled. After Carnival, Jesus will take center stage again.
The Caribbean is the head quarters of Jesus, he is everywhere, and no one dares say he does not love or believe in Jesus, or such person would immediately be considered an ignorant fool (even if educated one) who has definitely lost his way and is certainly headed directly for the pit of Hell... and that's not all... one must not only believe in Jesus, one must also possess a belief in the existence of real, living spirits, demons, devils and ghosts,(particularly the Holy Ghost). Belief in the sure existence of a Holy Ghost is inevitable if one is to be held in any regard by thousands of Caribbean people, even if one holds doubts that other types of ghosts exist. One must believe that there are angels flying all around. Although these angels cannot be seen by frail mortal eyes, Caribbean people know they are there, some having testimonies of having been rescued or visited by at least one, and something is terribly wrong with the mind of anyone who refuses to believe such things. Loving Jesus must be incorporated into this train of accompanying beliefs. It is impossible to love Jesus and not have this reservoir of connected beliefs stored somewhere in the consciousness, or the Christian community would be convinced that your claim of loving Jesus is simply not credible.
But let us look at what we know about the times in which the Jesus so loved by Caribbean people is said to have lived.
Jesus, they tell us, lived on Earth over two thousand years ago in the Middle East. The Middle East is a real geographic place with real people. The place has not, to a large degree, experienced many changes since that era. Most of the people who live in vast areas of the Middle East still dress and live the way Jesus would have dressed and lived. Fortunately the Caribbean was colonized by capitalists who were able to transition the Western World out of the first Century.
In the days that Jesus is claimed to have lived there were no toothbrushes, it had not yet been invented, not even in the primitive imaginings of humans at that stage of social development. There was no toilet-soap ( any type of aromatic substance would have been out of the affordability of the average person) There was no ready access to clean, fresh water, even to this day water is a scarce commodity in the Middle East.There was no hair-comb that could have cause human hair to look as groomed as that seen in pictures of Jesus hanging in our grandparents' dining room.
In the days when Jesus is said to have lived there were no dentists and no dental-labs, there was no skin-lotion and no deodorant( keep in mind that people walked or rode for days on the backs of animals through sweltering deserts).There was no washing machine, no hair spray, finger nor toe nail-clips, no scissors for cutting of the hair, shaving creams nor razorblades.He would have lived at a time of many incurable, transmittable diseases ( science has brought about the only credible cure for diseases known to humanity) and men died young; their lives were fierce, brutish and short.
Caribbean people are unable to imagine a Jesus who looked and functioned like the people of his time, such imaginations are outside the pale, such thinking is sacrilegious and downright dangerous, how dare anyone suggest the Jesus experienced the absence of these modern day conveniences. His father must, must have found a miraculous way of keeping him unaffected by this lack if this is how things were in the first Century. His father must have, must have miraculously preserved his teeth, his hair and the hygienic qualities of Jesus and his twelve disciples, because it is difficult to love a Jesus with an image unlike the one which has been etched, not only on the wall of our grandmother's kitchen but also on the walls of our psyche.

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