We covered the first ethic (ethic of secession) a few days ago. The second ethic in Colossians Remixed is the “ethic of community.” Walsh and Keesmaat quote Rodney Clapp, who states that the early Christians “were about creating and sustaining a unique culture…and they were determined to be a culture, a quite public and political culture, even if it killed them and their children” (p. 179; emphasis mine). The last line sticks with the reader. Losing one’s own life for a cause is difficult to perceive but to also put one’s children in harm’s way is seemingly inconceivable. The writer of the paper is indifferent about this statement, but it makes the reader think about his or her family’s commitment to the cause of Christ. The Jesus painted by much of American Christianity, frankly, is not worth dying for and especially not worth putting one’s children in harm’s way.
Jesus is no longer worth following, or, at least, the Jesus painted by twenty-first American Christianity is not worth following. He is not exciting. He does not energize. Many in America have made Jesus into a prosperous, white-collared North American in order for anyone to pay interest. On the other hand, the Jesus, who Paul espouses, is exciting and challenging. Through Paul’s epistle to the Colossians, Brian Walsh and Sylvia Keesmaat in their book Colossians Remixed: Subverting the Empire bring to light a first-century Jesus, who is the Lord of the whole world and an alternative to Caesar and his empire. Based on this type of Jesus, the authors do well to remind the reader of a few things that he or she should take into account. They take this first-century, subversive message of Jesus and apply it directly to followers of Christ today. This Jesus is worth following.