Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Apostle James - a rebuttal to Liberal Protestant stereotypes and ideology

After reading James Kiefer's little bio for the Feast of St. James over at Mission St. Clare, I was struck by several ways in which James goes against some of the "stuff" we hear in "mainline" churches today:

  • + "Jesus chooses the marginalized." James and John appear to be from a successful fishing business, owned by their father with multiple boats and hired men. James was probably affluent by the standards of that time and place. The Apostles were a decidedly mixed lot, but "inclusion" did not mean "limited to certified victim groups."

  • + "Jesus affirms us just as we are." James is transformed, dropping his old life to follow Jesus. 'Nuff said.

  • + "Jesus rejects male anger and passion." James and his brother John were nicknamed "Sons of Thunder" by Jesus himself. Several incidents reported in the Bible indicate that James had passion and drive. Jesus did not reject James but corrected his temptations to violence and selfish ambition - pretty much as godly fathers and adult men train up boys.

  • + "All baptized people are equal and entitled to all roles in the church." James wasn't just a member of the chosen 12 Apostles, distinct from the larger group of "disciples" and certainly from "the crowd." He was also part of a special group of three (with John and Peter) who Jesus called out, privately, to witness key revelations and miracles.
  • + "The church should reflect what the culture is teaching." On the contrary. James' execution was a "crowd pleaser" and stimulated persecution of the church by the culture and its elites. The church prayed against what was happening.

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