of a Gadfly
by Max Maxwell
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A woman asked the Gadfly to offer a critique of Christianity.
The Gadfly said, “What would you have me say? Would you have me tell you that the church is a tree, which also produces poisonous fruit? Perhaps you would care to hear that proclaiming Jesus as God is a crime against truth? Or would you have us know that to make heaven the exclusive property of the believers is unholy and a sin? Each spring life sings a song of rebirth to all things. Yet the pious believers in death are still able to wander through the glories of life’s renewal without notice or understanding. What will my words do that life cannot? But there is another whose words have already laid the foundation for the end of Christianity.
The woman asked, “Who is this person?”
The Gadfly answered, “It is Jesus, who said that to love your neighbor as yourself is the fulfillment of all the law and the prophets. More than all the crusades, more than the holocaust, more than every act of murder, tyranny, and untruth ever committed by Christian hearts and hands, these words stand as the indictment against the wrong of corrupting a man into a God. Yet, I tell you that wherever there are Christians who pick up their cross and live out the kind of love, which Jesus taught, you will find something sacred and beautiful in the world. But remember, this love is the essential song of life. And it has always been and shall ever be the death of Christianity. The seeds of grace and truth, which thrive in the hearts of the most faithful of Jesus’ followers, are themselves the undoing of the Christian story of Jesus Christ. For love is the glory of all life and the blessings of salvation given freely to all humankind. As the sun shines on every heart, and the rain gives life to all people, so love redeems all whom it touches. And thus, the most powerful criticism of Christianity is love. For every act of love is the overturning of the Christian gospel.”
A pastor spoke up and said, “What are you saying? How can this be? A Christian who is full of loving kindness is a witness to the truth of Christianity, not its destroyer.”
The Gadfly responded, “Such a Christian is no more a proof of Christianity than a Buddhist, who is full of loving kindness, is a proof against it. Love is not a Christian, Buddhist, or Islamic truth. Love has no religion but itself. This is why the religions cannot help but place love high up in their hierarchy of venerations. For love is superior to them all.”
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© Copyright 2014 Kenneth J Maxwell Jr.