Pentecost +9 - Year C
Colossians 2:6-15, (16-19)
"Christ" is a special code word. While not supposed to be compared to philosophy, if Christ does not captivate our philosophical bone and bent, this Christ may not survive the rough and tumble of life or it may become uber-philosophical and codify all contradictions away.
"Christ" as a category is not to be deceitful. The most adamant Christ-followers seem willing to stretch anything in order to accomplish a goal of more baptisms.
"Christ" and human traditions are put in conflict with one another. Hard to know what "fully human" means if human experience is to be so heavily discounted. This justifies cultural missionaries.
"Christ" is exempt from the elemental spirits of creation. Hard to know what "fully divine" means if creation is not to be listened to. This justifies environmental rape.
"Christ" is G*D's excuse to forgive. Remember how unforgiving G*D can be - No Mercy, No Forgiveness. This feels like face-saving. Poor old G*D can't just start forgiving again or showing mercy again - some intermediary step was required by G*D and Jesus fit the bill. Consider that the whole bloody atonement thing is about G*D looking good in G*D's eyes and isn't about Jesus at all. G*D could have said, bring me a hundred more foreskins (1 Samuel 18:12-30 - since G*D has been acting like Saul, G*D might as well use a Saul-like subterfuge) and felt justified in getting back on the steadfast love wagon. Or simply, again, acknowledged not living up to G*D's best, repented behavior, regretted absence, set another sign alongside a heavenly bow, and proceeded - imagine such a one acting on one's own for one's own integrity.