by Jean-Marie de Bourqueney
Translation Louise Thunin
To speak of God is to speak of the world. Our Christianity has probably often led us to participate in a form of escape from the world. To the contrary of the Gospel, it has, through its practices and its dogma, created a distance from this father-God, this odd alchemical mixture of bogeyman and Father Christmas… And yet, all we need to do is to reread the gospels, even in a very simple way, to see in them a radical choice : that of the human being. The Apostles’ Creed is a deviation from this initial choice. Read it again: Jesus, just barely born, « suffers under Pontius Pilate » and dies. What a sad programme! As if Jesus’ only goal was to be the object of a sacrifice, of a barter even between our world and the far-away one of God. To say that is to limit the four gospels to a few chapters. It’s to deny the encounters and the words of a Jesus who loves and teaches, who knocks us about, transgresses but also comforts. Christ’s complexity cannot be summed up in his cross or his tomb, even empty.
To choose Christianity is to choose God’s humanity. Our Orthodox and eastern friends would no doubt add a theme beloved to them: the divinization of man. The Christianity that we defend here is not one that crushes underfoot but one that elevates, not one that induces guilt but one that liberates. It is not one that separates the business of this world from that of heaven, either. We are called upon to to think and to act without waiting for a hypothetical second coming of Christ. If our churches sometimes commit themselves socially, it is because they are not outside of the world. We need to conceive of our personal, private lives spiritually and theologically but also within society. The city of God is also the city of mankind. God’s good pleasure does not exist like that of an absolute monarch. It joins with human happiness. Now !