aefenglommung (aefenglommung) wrote,

Today's Moment of Eisegesis is brought to you by . . .

. . . Dave Neckers, presenting the Extended Cabinet report to the Indiana Annual Conference. His concluding illustration -- which was appreciated by many people, from all theological persuasions, was simply, utterly mind-boggling. He said that Jesus Christ is "sitting at the right hand of the Father," and we are to note from that that he is sitting down, calm and untroubled, not pacing anxiously over the fate of the Church. So we need to chill out and not worry.

I agree we should trust in God and not worry. That message is given several times in the NT, particularly by Jesus himself. But hearing His Superintendency produce this illustration made me wonder, "Does nobody understand what the words actually mean?"

To sit down at the right hand of the Father is meant to evoke the image of a king holding formal court, wearing his diadem and his formal robes, declaring the law, giving judgment. The chancellor, vizier, high bailiff, champion, lord high justiciar, what have you -- the most honored person, speaking for the king oracularly to lay down the law, is the one "seated at the right hand" of the ruler of majesty. The meaning of the phrase is to say that Jesus of Nazareth speaks for God, ruling the world and declaring judgment as the rightful executor of God's will. This is because he is Christ, the anointed one, the Messiah. This phrase is placed in the Apostles' Creed between the phrase "he ascended into heaven" and "he will come again to judge the living and the dead." Between the accomplished glory and the coming glory, the absent-in-the-body but present-in-the-Spirit Jesus has already taken up the rule of the world. He is in active command, not chillaxin'.

If I heard this from some backwoods revival preacher, I would smile, perhaps. Hearing it from somebody in Neckers's position makes me cringe. So much for all our fancy degrees and exalted positions. As Dave the Dude said in Pocketful of Miracles, "Don't nobody know nothin'?"

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