I frequently visit other web logging sites to read what other people think concerning theological matters.  A member of my family has a site that I stop in to read now and then and I always feel a certain need to nicely challenge her train of thought.  This is a smart girl who I feel is being led astray by some very conservative Christians.  Often I make attempts to cajole her into thinking about Christianity from a historical, social, and scientific viewpoint because, as is everything, these are part of God.  More times than not she doesn’t answer direct questions that I pose.  This is fine because perhaps she just isn’t ready to answer them.  At the same time though, I worry because she may just take my questions to others to get stock, conservative Christian answers.  Recently, a friend of hers (perhaps a youth pastor?), has taken up the hobby of answering my questions for her.  I find this annoying because I didn’t go to his web logging site and try to pose these questions.  No.  I posed them to her.  Either way, he tends to answer with answers I’ve heard many times over from conservative Christians.  Somehow, their answers always seem to barrell down to the book “A Case for Christ” as well as others that fall under that “A Case for…” moniker.

Recently I placed a remark in her web log entry concerning the past election.  Part of my remark was this:

And to those others of you that believe this election is mandated by God, you’d better reform your ideas about Christianity because I’m quite sure that Jesus would’ve railed against this administration much like he was a living protest against the Roman Empire.

Then, in no time, my shadow swooped in to answer to my post before she could.  I should’ve known this would happen.  I made an inference crossing spirituality and history.  Much like hybridizing Christianity and science, this brings a certain ire from the conservatives.  I was responded to in the following manner:

Jesus was never “a living protest against the Roman Empire.” Jesus protested against the religious leaders, Pharisees, of that day. Jesus didn’t come to reform the government or anything like. Jesus protested sin and all who live in it, including me, you, Bush and Kerry.

I felt that his answer, although partially correct in its assumption, was not wholly right.  My idea that Jesus was a living protest to the Roman empire came from various religious and historical sources (college classes, books…).  It all came back, though, clear as a sunny day to me, yesterday.  While listening to the sermon at church, given by Rev. Canon Marianne Borg, I was stunned to hear this brought up in such a serendipitous manner.  She flatly stated that:

Augustus Caesar was known as the Prince of Peace, the Lord of Lords, and was also thought to have been birthed by a virgin.  Jesus was endowed with these names in direct conflict with Caesar.

Historically speaking, though, Augustus Caesar brought the Roman Empire together and was the impetus in how it flourished culturally.  Jesus’ birth during Augustus’ reign was then a symbol of a new “Kingdom of God” that broke all boundaries.  Jesus’ very existence as the Prince of Peace was in protest to the leader of the empire of the day.  Although Rome flourished, as America does (did), there were still the poor, destitute, and the downtrodden (slaves and free) that fought against the rule that they felt kept them down.  Jesus was their answer to a greater kingdom promised them.