With Great Power, comes Great Responsibility
Oh Spiderman – how did you get to be so wise? He listened to his elders, paid attention to experts and learned from his mistakes. That’s how!
For those of you who never read the comic books or saw the movies the basic story goes like this. Spiderman (Peter Parker) was raised by his Aunt Mae and Uncle Ben in New York City. One day he was bitten by a radio- active (or bio-engineered depending on the version) spider and gained super human strength, agility and the ability to spin webs out of his wrists.
After his uncle loses his job and the Parker’s are faced with the possibility of losing their house young Spiderman decides to join an underground fight club to make some extra money. His uncle notices a change in Peter’s attitude and delivers the now famous line. At the end of the night the club is robbed and Peter has a chance to stop the thief but doesn’t. As he is running away the thief stabs Uncle Ben. Because Peter Parker didn’t feel it was his responsibility to stop a robbery, even though he had the power to do so, his uncle died.
From that point forward Spiderman made it his mission to steward his power responsibly.
One of the most powerful institutions in North America, outside the government is the Christian Church. Some would say it is even more powerful than government.
But Jesus never taught his followers how to steward power. His only teaching on the subject was to give it away and just serve people. And not just to serve but to serve to the point of giving up your own agenda, a kind of spiritual death to self. “Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it” Jesus (Matthew 10:39).
The Christian Church is in a position of power that it was never intended to have. Unfortunately recent history has shown that the biggest hurdle many good people face when trying to serve others is none other than the Church. Church politics, arguments over doctrine and structure determine who’s “out” more than who to serve. Jesus corner stone teaching, best known as the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew chapter 5, 6 and 7) is inclusive and humble. Not exclusive and superior.
I get a lot of flak from people on this blog aimed at my Christian bias. One of the things I have noticed about it though is that it almost always comes from people who have been wounded by a powerful church. The message of Jesus is not a message of institutional power. It is a message of service and humility. Much of the church today looks nothing like Jesus intended. My challenge to everyone, believer or not is to read the Sermon on the Mount and ask yourself this question; “Am I living this life?”
And because I know some of you might not have a bible, here it is, just click the forward and back arrows to go to the next chapter.
I welcome your feedback!