A “come to Jesus moment” in popular culture has come to mean to face a day of reckoning about circumstances that have been ignored to the point where they can no longer be disregarded. The image draws from fundamentalist Christianity where “Come to Jesus” meant, and still does mean a moment of reckoning with God and an acknowledgement of one’s short comings.
Though no longer a fundamentalist Christian, I still think that the bromide, “Come to Jesus” still has value if one can approach the matter with a critical view, not only of the bromide itself but of the one who is using the bromide. In other words, if one can overcome an innate, ego-driven aversion to “self” awareness, especially when it comes to matters of faith. For most of my life the concept of “come to Jesus” has meant “come to viewing the world as I do” and now I see clearly the narcissism and tyranny of this mind set. And, it has nothing to do with Jesus. It has to do with an ego which exercises so much control over an individual, or group of individuals, that the narcissism inherent in the desire is not apparent. At some point this dishonesty, this “bad faith” is likely to give rise to a powerful voice who will articulate the repressed anguish and rage of millions who are in the grip of this daimonic energy and promise to “Make America Great Again.” Oh, my….Hmm. What could I have reference to there?
The issues before us as a species are, and always have been spiritual and that is where “Jesus” comes in. But by “spiritual” I do not mean the superficial sense with which I was indoctrinated. By “spiritual” I refer to a dimension of the human heart that lies beneath the surface, down in the guts where words like “spiritual” fall short of actually apprehending the matter. It is too convenient to keep “spiritual” on a superficial level of conscious, rational intent where we can have a false certainty of what we are doing and then, often, lamely announce, “God is leading” or “God has raised this man up.”
By “spiritual” I mean coming to a place where we recognize, and feel, that ultimately, we are implicated in a cosmic mystery which we can never totally understand with our rational mind and those “certainties” which consume us just might not be any more valid than those who have other contradictory “certainties.” To put this in terms of my country’s interminable Congressional grid-lock, it would mean that Republicans and Democr ats would each recognize they see only “through a glass darkly” and resolve to put aside their petty differences and focus on monumental challenges that our country faces. But when certainty grips any one party and/or their constituency, there is no solution because that would require the humility of recognizing, “Uh oh, I was not as much right as I thought I was.” That would mean acknowledging from time to time, “I was wrong” which is something that Donald Trump, and many of his followers, are characterologically incapable of doing. This would require spirituality that was something other than self-serving dogma. This would require something other than the “prayer meeting” hosted by Congressman Louie Gohmert in his office last week where the evil forces they were trying to cast out of Congress were the one’s who were inspiring their self-indulgent display of hypocritical piety. “With devotions visage and pious action we sugar o’er the devil himself.” (Shakespeare) Oh my, how wonderful it was to know that I was pious and to give others an opportunity to see it on display!