Throughout the ten thousand years of chronicled human history, three repetitive actions have continually pushed their way to the forefront:
- Human beings resolve conflict through war
- Women are considered inferior to men
- Children are property and can be treated any way deemed necessary for maintaining order and discipline
Only in the past seventy-five years has the concept of equal rights for women and the possibility of child abuse even been considered.
Although we consider our species to be continually learning and growing, at the core of our actions–our relationships with each other–we are still neanderthal.
This is why the character, personality and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth are so radical, even to this day. In a world where children were considered “chattel,” Jesus demanded, bring them to me because they are the symbol of heaven.
He warned that anybody who offended one of these “little ones” should have a millstone hung around his neck, drowned in the deepest sea.
And when trying to describe the temperament and energy of believers, he suggested that we find the heart of a child.
Even though in his day this teaching in itself would be enough to have him ridiculed and perhaps murdered, our society has not progressed much beyond believing that our offspring are community property which can be split down the middle into “visitation sessions.”
We leave our children confused over the term family because they often find themselves having to call a half-dozen or more people grandma or grandpa. And we make them privy to our “love struggle” instead of granting them the security of growing up in peace and finding themselves.
We are a wicked generation, mocking the foolishness of the past while keeping souvenirs.
This is also true with women. Jesus doubly astounds his disciples by going to Samaria–a forbidden area for any good Jew to even enter–but while there, talking to a woman in broad daylight, and using her as a conduit for revival. It left them speechless.
Also, forgiving a woman caught in adultery in the midst of an all-male audience was certainly not a popular choice, and having his ministry underwritten financially by three women of means raised a few eyebrows over the water being drawn from the community well.
I have always felt that Jesus made a mistake in not having a female disciple. But he quickly corrects this after the resurrection by appearing to Mary Magdalene first, making her the messenger to tell his disciples that he was raised from the dead.
Please do not come into Christianity thinking you can use Jesus to undergird your misogyny or disdain for children. Matter of fact, you can judge a nation by how much equality is given to the women, and how much true respect is offered to children.
We don’t need to “harden” our schools. We don’t need to tell our sons and daughters that they must be surrounded by guns or they won’t be safe.
It is our concern, love, mercy, tenderness and watchful eye that is the source of their protection.
If you’re going to be Jesonian, you need to stop living with a caveman consciousness toward children and women, while holding an I-phone in your hand.