Transhumanist Advent: He touched the man's ear and healed him
IMAGE: PHOTO JESUS TOUCHING EAR PAINTING
Recent trends indicate that organized religion is declining in many developed western nations (source). One way to respond to trends like that is to become zealous about defending faith. This approach often has disastrous results as religious zealousness pits its own righteous desires against others (including their own). Ultimately, it divides the Body of Christ through contention. An example of this is Peter’s defense of Jesus as he was arrested. The defense of Jesus was a righteous desire. Unfortunately, his zeal that lead to contention was out of line.
Currently, I’m saddened and ashamed of all the ears being cut off in the name of religion today. Swords are drawn on various sides as authoritative exercises of religious institutional power cuts off members who are hurting. And swords of indignation are swung at the flaws of religious institutions. We even see this play out in families where faith can become a contentious wedge rather than a healing balm.
Contrast this with Jesus’ response to Peter and Malchus as he stops Peter and heals Malchus’ ear. Can we see in this example how Christ is perhaps calling us to put away our religious and institutional weapons and instead see and heal the suffering of others? Will we stand up to destructive zealotry and say, "No more of this!" as we then seek to be healers? With so many who are hurting today, we have a much greater need for healers and peacemakers than we do for zealots. I think we all have the responsibility to find ways to put injured ears back on and begin listening to one another.
Abraham Joshua Heschel in "God in Search of Man: A Philosophy of Judaism" makes this observation:
Perhaps the challenge for religion today is for it to produce more healers than zealots, to listen rather than attack or contend, and to re-commit ourselves to better emulate the works of Jesus, the Master Healer.
- Caleb Jones