This is me and two of my fellow fools for Jesus just before we performed a clowning routine on
Colourful, eh (am I pretty in pink?)
Ironically, this morning someone showed me a book of less colourful photos of the Jesus Army which has just been published: one of those arty style books of black and white photos, ‘one man's voyage of discovery’ style.
In this case, it seemed like ‘one man’s voyage of discovery with a group of obsessive fanatics who’ve taken all leave of their senses’ if the rather sinister feel of the dark, forbidding photos of strange looking people (being ‘religious’ i.e. odd) was anything to go on.
I think the photographer was genuinely trying to express the Jesus Army ‘as it is’. And the worldly wiseman who wrote the preface was trying to be generous when he admitted that we don’t like being called ‘a cult’ – though he wasn’t generous enough to find a different epithet.
Ok, so we continue to have ‘cult status’ in some circles. If that means we’re totally committed, so be it. We live in a culture that sees any commitment as anathema, so I guess it make us stand out.
But what I object to is the insinuation that being totally committed to Jesus means we must be – well – fools. Religion, apparently, must equal delusion. What’s more, we’re sinister fools, because we’re trying to suck others into our delusion.
Let me say this: some of the most intelligent, sensitive, incisive, generous, deep, impressive, compassionate, creative and wonderful people I know are in the Jesus Army.
If they’re fools, they’re wise fools.
Rather like Jesus.
And let’s face it, art hasn’t been kind to Him (all those effeminate, miserable, stained glass windows... it’s a PR disaster!)
All of which reminds me of something Jesus said:
God will bless you when people insult you and say cruel things about you, all because you are a follower of the Son of
.. You are in for trouble when everyone says good things about you. (Luke & 26) Man.
I’d rather be a clown for Jesus than anyone else’s wise man.