The following is part of a series of articles.
It is a satire.
The idea behind this series is simple: What if Jesus and his "blessed" statements - his Beatitudes - were being "collaborated" on by a modern Christian Public Relations Consultant?
“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.”
......Hmm. See, I feel like this may be a recurring theme in our consultations. What you're getting at here reminds me of the whole unfortunate "poor in spirit" thing that we had to flip around for your own good. We don't really use the word "meek" too much in english these days, but Webster had my back, and it was just as I thought: You're saying God stands in solidarity with the patiently humble and gentle. I gotta tell you, Jesus, I'm just glad I came on board to help with these things before it was too late.
This whole, well, obsession I'm seeing in your gospels with weakness (of all things) really leaves me scratching my head. Becoming the least to be the greatest? Voluntarily making yourself the lesser? I mean, that stuff is kind of a huge downer. This idea of having power UNDER the authorities, too - I can tell you right now - it's a big problem for me, and for other Christians all over. Gentleness and mildness are no good way to inherit much of anything, if you think about it, let alone the whole earth! And general passivity? That's just, like, eww.
To inherit anything requires the kind of power and authority that says, "This is mine. I claim it. It's my birthright." Those are words of conquest! They are not the domain of the docile!
I want you to imagine something with me for just a second:
Imagine if there was an action movie that featured the MEEK coming to take over the earth...
Ha! Instant flop at the box office! ...It would never work, because the meek don't demand respect and don't inspire fear, and commanding respect and fear is everything in motivating the way of this world. I know that you instruct people to not be afraid more than anything else, and I suppose I can handle that much... But it's the telling people not to cause fear that has me saying, "Slow down, buddy! We have to set some healthy boundaries!" Myself, I always thought serenity was overrated anyway.
It's a cutthroat, dog-eat-dog, survival-of-the-fittest world out there. That's just the way of things. And if you encourage people to be fearless in this world while submitting themselves to it with patient humility and gentleness, you will not have any followers left within a generation! Mark my words. I care about you, Jesus, I'm just being real. I love that you're a dreamer (really, it blesses my socks off), but I wouldn't be your friend if I didn't tell you the truth: you're coming across as a bit naive on this one.
So let's put aside this idea that you can shift our perspective or paradigm on something like this. We don't want to see everything differently. (I know, I know - that's exactly what you mean when you call us to "repentance," but worry not: we've already changed the meaning of that word too, so it just makes us feel all religious and guilty when we hear it.) What I'd like to suggest is that you shift this blessing you've offered to the meek, and shift it onto the people who are ready to face this world on its own terms. Claim blessing instead for those who are not under the silly idea that they need to subvert this world with any sort of revolutionary Way of being. If we don't switch this one up and bless the abrasive and forceful, we won't be taken seriously! How are we supposed to generate a cult of personality around the meek? How are the meek going to run the kind of successful financial organization that it takes to buy up mass quantities of land so that we can put huge megachurches on it? That's what you want us to do with the earth we inherit, right? (Well, that and remind each other that "it's all gonna burn," of course.)
Driscoll have mercy, Jesus! You're making this difficult on me today! ...Ahh. I just love you, brother. You crack me up!
But anyway... At this point, I think we've gone such a long time thinking gentleness was weakness rather than strength, and that meekness was cowardice rather than courage... It's just not very realistic to expect us to stop seeing everything that way. We have always liked big demonstrations of power and authority. They really cast a spell, don't they? Why change now?
You'll be glad to know... We are down with some "humility," so long as that continues to mean "talking about how bad we are in order to appear spiritual." We'll definitely meet you halfway if that's the sort of humility we're dealing with here. We like the humility that means "thinking less of ourselves," not so much the humility that means "thinking of ourselves less."
All that said... this one is an easy fix.
#BLESSED are the bold! The brash, the abrasive - those who never back down and who claim what is rightfully theirs when they want it - for they shall build the better institutions! Unyielding and relentless, they shall take the earth all on their own! Who wants to wait humbly and patiently for an inheritance? The strong don’t need handouts! These folks are exceptional. They have initiative.
Wow, we are really making some great progress here! I'll take a look at what you have for us tomorrow, and then make some of my own notes. See you then!