SuperChristians: More Pious than Jesus
The phenomena of the SuperChristian is, for sure, nothing new. Just read the mid-second century document, The Marytrdom of Polycarp. Not only did his entire martyrdom mirror that of his Saviour, he was accused of being an atheist (for not believing in the gods of the Romans), served Christ flawlessly for eighty-six years, and found the persecuting crowd unworthy of his time.
Today I seem to meet a lot of modern-day SuperChristians. Sure, in the gospels they might be condemned as “Pharisees,” but, of course, they really do love Jesus. So who is a SuperChristian? How about someone who doesn’t drink or go out partying? I have always found this interesting. Do these people know Jesus was a Jewish man in the 1st century? Have you ever been to a Jewish wedding? Well, back in 1st century Palestine, these weddings were “off-the-hook” as we young wannabe-gangsters say. Jesus himself famously gave the best stuff at the end of night, even after everyone was already tanked (John 2:1-10). It is amusing to watch the lengths these SuperChristians go to explain that passage. And if John’s gospel is too mystical for you, the relatively anti-semitic Gospel of Luke furthers the Lord’s party animal instincts: “For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and “sinners.” (Luke 7:33-34).
This isn’t a post about whether Christians should drink or not – I don’t care. I write this as I watch the conclusion to the Iowa primaries and see one pretentious Baptist minister and a Mormon ideologue finish in the top two spots on the Republican side of the spectrum. As Mike Huckabee, who is anti-abortion, anti-homosexuality, anti-gun control, and pro-capital punishment won the first of political orgies for the 2008 American elections, I continue to wonder in amazement about that “crucial evangelical vote.” What do these evangelicals really think about the teachings of the person they call Christ? Did Jesus have a picket saying “I made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve!”? My mind just isn’t wrapping around it anymore. Could you imagine the little Palestinian revolutionary saying that he is both “pro-life” and “pro-death penalty”? Could you imagine the so-called Son of God telling people that prayer is between themselves and God, but at the same time making official state “Prayer Days” and demanding prayers to be “brought back” in schools (whatever that means)? One has to wonder why evangelicals don’t read into the reason behind Jesus’ constant prayers of solitude – not to mention various explicit commandments to do so.
And how about that martyrdom complex? Even the earliest Christians, as we see in the example of Polycarp, martyrdom was the sign a “true Christian” – someone who was totally “souled out” for Christ. Some of the earliest Christian writers even went so far to say that if you were not martyred, you were barely a Christian. Today’s persecution complex is much more tame, but still extremely prevalent. If hardship comes towards you at the hands of others, you must be doing something right – Satan and his minions are testing your faith. I am amazed how often I hear an evangelical speak of being persecuted in some way. Maybe they are, maybe they aren’t – but they sure let everyone know about it.
So who is a SuperChristian? Do you party less than Jesus partied? Do you picket with more passion than Jesus picketed? Do you support causes that alleviate the immorality of the world so Jesus doesn’t have to hang out with the scum of the world the next time around? Do you pray louder than Jesus prayed? Do you annoy everyone around you more than Jesus did, just so you get your just desserts? If you answered yes – you are a SuperChristian.