13/ We are enthused by Jesus’ companionship with those whom others despised, and inspired by his compassion for those in need.
This follows on closely from the previous line. Jesus dined with publicans and sinners, prostitutes and tax collectors. All the reprobates and riff raff you find in every society. He was even kind to roman army officers!
This inclusivity is reflected in one of the few statements by St Paul that I like to quote: “Ye are all one in Christ Jesus: freeman and slave, Jew or gentile, male or female, black or white, gay or straight, rich or poor. “ Or words to that effect, slightly amended for the 21st century. If only it were true. As it is, the Church (“the body of Christ”) is a very exclusive body and much happier dining with itself than with outsiders and outcasts. (Prove me wrong, do! Even anecdotal evidence would be a pleasure to read; if you send it in I shall probably publish it.)
Notice the use of the words enthused and inspired. This is how a team feels after a session with their coach. It’s the effect any charismatic woman or man has on their listeners. The relationship I’m describing here does not imply divinity on Christ’s part. He is no different in the Zingcreed view than any other great historical figure such as Marx, Plato, St Paul, Mohammed, Darwin. Like them he has very many human flaws, and we should acknowledge that so we avoid the pitfall of bowing down before him and worshipping him.
Of course the Zingcreed blog maintains that Jesus never said he was divine anyway, nor did he expect his listeners to worship him. To follow him – maybe; to do what he said – definitely. To start a new religion – definitely not!