Elton John recently said that Jesus was a gay genius.
Now, Elton’s theological ramblings aren’t to be taken too seriously but I think that there’s a lot of Elton Johns out there. By that I don’t mean there’s millions of flamboyant rockers with funny sunglasses. But I do think it’s rather telling that Elton sees Jesus as a homosexual and a genius as Elton himself is a homosexual and could easily be called a musical genius. Weird, huh?
I don’t think Elton is alone in this kind of thinking. I think people often see Jesus in a narrow way, as a reflection of themselves.
While we’re supposed to see God in others, I think that too often we look for God in ourselves, for reaffirmation of our already held beliefs.
Polls differ but it’s clear that many Catholics believe that, despite what the Catechism says, contraception is fine. And some say that they don’t think Jesus cares about that kind of thing. All that means is that they don’t care about that kind of thing.
I remember a theology professor of mine questioning the existence of Hell and saying he didn’t believe in Hell because he couldn’t correlate a loving God and Hell. But what he was really saying was that if he created a world he wouldn’t include Hell. But he didn’t create the world and I think he was just upset he hadn’t been consulted.
I knew a man who once said he prayed for something and when he didn’t get it, he took that as evidence that there was no God. But he hadn’t proved that at all. All he had proved was that he was not God.
I think this kind of thinking is a natural and expected consequence of Christians untethered to the authority of the Church.
People say all the time “I don’t agree with the Church on some things.” That’s fine. To me, that’s an opportunity to do some reading, check in with a priest, pray, or talk to some religious friends. When faced with an issue where my own thinking doesn’t match up to the Church’s I think to myself - here we have two thousand years of the greatest thinking by some of the greatest minds guided by the Holy Spirit vs. something that popped into my head last Tuesday that felt kinda’ right at the time. You know what, I’m going to give the benefit of the doubt to the Church on that one.
What good is belonging to a Church that agrees with you 100 percent of the time? I want the Church to challenge me. If the Church always agreed with me I’d probably start wondering what I needed the Church for at all. But I’m not as concerned that the Church agrees with me as I am intent on making sure that I agree with the Church. What matters more, what I want Jesus to be like or what Jesus wants me to be like?
If I didn’t think that I’d be…well…Elton John. Hey, at least I’d get some cool sunglasses out of the deal.