I often wonder what Jesus was getting at when he asked his disciple, “Who do you say that I am?” Was Jesus testing the waters, trying to figure out if the people and his friends understood the nature of his divinity? Was he trying to figure out if his rabble rousing was about to get him killed? Was he concerned with how his identity was formed by the community? Or was he simply wondering what people thought about him?
One week after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary school, there seem to be so many failures in the ways that our theology is playing out in the public sphere. And while quick responses, blog posts, sound bytes and tweets are important in this moment, as they emerge from varying political and evangelistic agendas they also expose some of Christianity's devastating aspects.
There is a particular authority that comes from privilege. When a white man steps into the place where he belongs, he has an internal power with which he was born. He is entitled. Like royalty, he sits on the throne naturally, because that place is caught in his blood. But an entirely different power emerges from women who have been told that they are not allowed to speak in church—and suddenly rise behind the pulpit. Something flares up from deep inside of them, and when they have a safe space, the words can come out of them with force and fury.