March 08, 2004 | Graham

What would Jesus do?

That is the question that came home with my girls from Sunday School the other day branded across a couple of book marks. The Oxford Diocese of the Anglican Church seems to have asked themselves the same question and come up with the answer “Get on the net!”
As a result, and after three years of planning (I know it sounds like a long time, but they are Anglicans) they are launching an “i-church” (just a slight marketing suggestions guys, but are you sure this doesn’t sound just a little egotistical, e-church might be better) and have advertised for a “web pastor”. I will be following their efforts with interest. Building communities of interest on the Internet is what On Line Opinion and National Forum is about and a church community is little different from any other sort of community so we will have lessons to learn from them. For example, how do you successfully pass the plate around in cyber space?
They say that there are more people alive today than there have been in the whole of previous human history. If you regard the occurrence of a Christ or Buddha or Mohammed as governed by the laws of statistical probability, then there is every chance that their reincarnations, or equivalent, are out in cyber space tossing ideas around via email. Imagine the synergy they would create and the size of the audiences they could reach.
I’ve been surprised that Jesus, or someone like him, hasn’t turned up on a blog roll somewhere. When it comes to political communications Christ has been one of my more unlikely role models. Not only did he have a gift for the great phrase and image, as well as the political non-answer, but he was innovative in the techniques he used to get his message out. If the best natural amphitheatre was on a lake he would use a boat as a podium, and he virtually seems to have invented door-to-door sales, sending his disciples out to proselytize two by two.
But Christ’s biggest advantage was natural – he was born in Palestine, a country on the social, cultural and political tectonic plates between East and West. This amplified his message into most corners of the Roman, Greek and Eastern worlds. The beauty of the Internet is that every spot on the globe now has those natural advantages. Writing this in Brisbane Australia, it can potentially be read by, and influence, people in any country in the world. If Christ was around today, it wouldn’t have taken him three years to get his church onto the net, he’d be there now. Heck, three years is enough for a life time’s ministry.
Not that I would be super critical of the Church. One of the keenest sponsors of On Line Opinion has been the Catholic Church through Fr Michael Kelly and Church Resources, the publisher of a number of eJournals, such as Cathnews. I owe a lot to Mick for his support, and we all owe him because as the founder of Jesuit publications he is responsible for Eureka Street magazine. And I did notice the other day that you can receive weekly guidance via the ’net from that “A” list member of the media friendly liberal high priesthood – Bishop John Shelby Spong.

Posted by Graham at 2:06 pm | Comments (4) |
Filed under: Uncategorized


  1. Hmmm. So you are suggesting a wisdom filter? Actually, I’m not sure that filters would make much difference. Seems to me that there are not that many more “superstars” of any sort around than there have ever been, just that they get to talk to larger audiences than before and therefore make more money (or gather relatively greater fame).
    Maybe there are more of them when they are harder to find because every local audience needs its guru? Am I arguing myself out of my proposition?

    Comment by Graham Young — March 8, 2004 @ 10:45 pm

  2. Presupposing Jesus ever existed – which is not certain. Or that he said, and did, that which is credited to him.
    Jesus, Budda et al lived in ignorant and credulous times. Perhaps we do too, but I suspect their reception would be a lot different today!

    Comment by Beau — March 12, 2004 @ 4:02 pm

  3. I don’t think there is any doubt that Jesus lived. Too many people say he did for it not to be true, and not all of them Christians.
    My triumvirate would obviously use different means today to spread their message, and I guess they couldn’t be so pre-eminent. We live in a non-sacramental age. We don’t believe in God Head anymore. What we see in Christ or Buddha or Mohammed is not just the person but the intersection of that person with time and place. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for prophets in our intersection. We’ve had Marx, we’ve had Mao, we’ve had Gandhi and I am sure that there are others out there. Imagine if Mao and Marx could have been on the same email list serv as Trotsky!

    Comment by Graham Young — March 12, 2004 @ 9:00 pm

  4. The appearance of an incarnate God-Man has nothing to do with statistical probability.
    There have been many such beings throughout history especially within the context of Religion and Spirituality in India.
    We semitic westerners (Christian, Jewish and Islamic) are crippled by our insistence that Jesus and Mohammed were the only Divine Incarnations or Spiritual Realisers. The rest of have to wait for ever more until “jesus” comes again.
    But what if “jesus” really means the radiant conscious light (ananda or love-bliss) in which everything and all beings arises. Such love-bliss being in effect our always already real condition before we in each moment “fall” to indentifying our”selves” with our mortal meat-bodies only.
    Some of the most remarkable Spiritual Realizers and Teachers that ever lived appeared in the last century. Sri Ramakrishna, Swami Vivekananda, Swami Nityananda, Swami Muktananda, Shirdi Sai Baba, Rang Avadhoot, Narayan Maharaj(an extraordinary being) plus others.
    Meanwhile the most extraordinary God-Man that ever lived is alive here and now. His name is The Ruchira Avatar Adi Da Love-Ananda Samraj. Which losely translated means The Radiant Divine Incarnation, The Primordial Divine Person Who Freely Gives the Love-Bliss of the Heart To All Beings.
    And He is much much more than a generator of good ideas. Please check out:
    Grace Shines
    John Forth

    Comment by John Forth — March 15, 2004 @ 11:21 am

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