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Author Topic: How would Jesus live today?  (Read 6544 times) Average Rating: 0
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TristanCross
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« on: May 22, 2011, 09:56:10 PM »

Scenario: Let's say that Jesus was born to a middle class family living in a small town in New York in 1990. He would be 21 right now.

Note: Since I'm concerned with how He lives, pretend He is just living here as any normal person (keep in mind that He is still God, though, and is sinless and perfect) and isn't doing a ministry in the same way He did when He was actually living on Earth.

How would He live?

What would He wear (jeans and t-shirt, suit, slacks with polo shirt, etc)?

What would He eat and drink (would He shop at the grocery stores to get products made in factories, processed food, etc)?

How would He talk (with a certain style)?

Would He go to college, go homeless, or just get a typical job (McDonalds, Walmart, etc)?

How would He have acted in High School?

How would He view technology (computers, smartphones, video games, etc)?

What music would He listen to?

How would He view the Church?

Would He get married? If so, what would He look for in a woman?

Since all American males are obligated to register for Selective Service, would He go into the service if He were drafted?

Would He watch movies or television? If so, what would He watch?

I'm having trouble relating to Jesus in these modern times because society is so much different in every possible way.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2011, 10:01:30 PM by TristanCross » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2011, 09:59:05 PM »

That's pretty interesting. A lot to think about...   Smiley
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« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2011, 10:19:01 PM »

Let me try and take a stab at this.

What would He wear (jeans and t-shirt, suit, slacks with polo shirt, etc)? He would almost certainly not wear a suit.  There is no indication in the Bible that he went around wearing fancy fabrics, or mutli-colored clothing, so we have no reason to believe he would wear fancy clothes.  I have a feeling he would probably wear a t-shirt and jeans, though possibly some other type of pants, and something like a polo shirt or a semi-formal button down shirt.

What would He eat and drink (would He shop at the grocery stores to get products made in factories, processed food, etc)? Given that it is very expensive in almost any part of the country to by unprocessed foods, I have a strong feeling that the Lord would buy processed food, would probably have eaten at places like McDonald's, and wouldn't have bothered to spend the money to shop at a place like Trader Joe's.

How would He talk (with a certain style)? Well, he would speak English with the accent of wherever he grew up, just as he spoke Aramaic with a Palestinian accent, when he was here before.  He wouldn't use foul language.

Would He go to college, go homeless, or just get a typical job (McDonalds, Walmart, etc)? He might go to college, given that the Bible shows he was well learned in the Torah, and college is the place that well learned people go.  I doubt he would be homeless.  I am not sure there is any indication he was such in the Bible, he seemed to stay at people's houses.  Though, before he started his public ministry at roughly 30, he was a carpenter.  I'd say that most likely he would get a trade like that as his career and would live in an average house, like he most likely did then.

How would He have acted in High School? He would have done his homework, respected his teachers, showed respect to all of the students, and probably joined clubs.  He wouldn't have engaged in lewd talk though.

How would He view technology (computers, smartphones, video games, etc)? He would use them for good purposes, and stay away from pornography and probably from violent video games.  He would have certainly had a cell phone, at least most likely, so that he could stay in contact with His mother better, and with His other loved ones.

What music would He listen to? Not Lady Gaga.

How would He view the Church?  Well, it wouldn't exist.  But if, somehow, it did, he would have been a member of it and viewed it as a good institution with flawed people in it, the Church not needing correction, but the people needing correction.

Would He get married? If so, what would He look for in a woman?  He would not get married, He didn't before.

Since all American males are obligated to register for Selective Service, would He go into the service if He were drafted?  I have a feeling He would be a concientious objector.

Would He watch movies or television? If so, what would He watch?  He would probably watch the news, maybe American Idol (I hate that show personally though).  He would stay away from things like Freddy Vs. Jason (probably), but would not likely be opposed to something like Cars.

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« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2011, 10:33:20 PM »

I don't want to be snarky, but isn't this an almost useless exercise? This just reminds me so much of preachers in my non-denominational churches who used to say things like, "Jesus would have done this today," and talk about CCM and stuff very specific to their own lifestyle.

Jesus lived in a very specific time. Jesus did things and lived in a way that I think would be almost detrimental to translate into today. He talked about slaves and masters and said nothing about abolishing slavery. What would that mean if Jesus was born into 19th Century America? Would he have been a hippie in the 1960s, and not just did drugs (or would he have performed his first miracle at Woodstock?)? Would he have protested about Vietnam? Would he have not talked about that issue at all?

Would he have been born into an Orthodox/Reform Jewish family?

So many factors and things to consider. Personally I wouldn't even think about this. I am curious as to why you posted it? Just wondering about what you were thinking, your rationale.
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« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2011, 11:20:56 PM »

Useless exercise? This is for my own benefit to see how I should live today...

Snarky indeed.
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« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2011, 11:34:18 PM »

I really didn't mean it that way, and I believe I already made that disclaimer.  Undecided I guess I mean that while certain aspects of Jesus' personality today would be obvious, it would be a very dicey guessing game to discuss things like technology, career, and politics. How would we know? There isn't any proof about how he would talk about politics or what kind of music he would listen to. We can make very educated guesses, but we'll probably be wrong in several ways.

Some people thought that he was a drunkard and he hung out with prostitutes. Maybe he might have met some people at a strip club and talked about God with the women who worked there. Maybe he wouldn't have gone that far and he would just speak with the women outside the club.

Some people use this exercise to say that Jesus would have been a liberal or conservative or he would have only listened to CCM, or classical music, or they say that he would have only read the classics and none of this modern trashy lit. But we end up morphing the person of Jesus into our narrow understandings of moral behavior and our own personal opinions about life.

There is a difference in asking, "What can I learn from Jesus about how I should live my life today?" and "How would Jesus live if he was here today?" There is no substantial proof to answer the second question in terms of technology and events that occurred after he died, and we run the risk of putting Jesus into a box. Of course I have no problem about discussing how we should live today as Christians, though.
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« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2011, 11:43:02 PM »

Some people thought that he was a drunkard and he hung out with prostitutes. Maybe he might have met some people at a strip club and talked about God with the women who worked there. Maybe he wouldn't have gone that far and he would just speak with the women outside the club

Those "some people" aren't Christians...
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« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2011, 11:58:29 PM »

I understand, and what is your point? He talked to some very unsavory people -- who knows how far and how deep his ministry would extend today? What's to say that he wouldn't go into a strip club one night with the guys after work at the factory, and speak with the women and encourage them to "sin no more" and walk with God? (There are Christian groups that minister in nightclubs -- they dance and mingle with the people, but I don't believe they drink to keep their heads clear) Maybe he wouldn't, though. I would feel strange making those kind of assumptions.
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« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2011, 12:03:23 AM »

I don't know, but I do know He lives in the tabernacle at my parish. That's the important thing. (I'll come back to that.)

As to the "WWJD?" factor, it is impossible to say. We have very little information to go on. Even less to know what is analogous between the 1st century and the 21st century. So Jesus gave us a Church, which teaches us the principles by which we should live.

I'm not trying to be snarky, but to turn the concept of "How should we live?" into "How would Jesus live if He was incarnate today?" is a highly Protestant way of approaching the question. It comes from the same forensic-reconstruction mindset that plagues Protestant biblical interpretation, striving to extract every bit of minutia because it's all we have to go on. But it's not: we have a Church.

If we're out to live a Christlike life, then we need only to acquire the Holy Spirit by living in the Church. We need Christ physically living and abiding in us through the Eucharist. Then the Spirit will tell us how the externals should manifest themselves. It would be working backwards to start with the externals and wait for the internals to come later.

So in short, it is a useless exercise because it's the wrong way of approaching the question.
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« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2011, 12:04:54 AM »

Thank you bogdan, you said what I meant to say, albeit much more clearly.  Smiley
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« Reply #10 on: May 23, 2011, 12:05:21 AM »

Useless exercise? This is for my own benefit to see how I should live today...

Snarky indeed.

Sermon on the Mount.

Oh yeah, and make sure you are killed by the State for following the instructions in the above.

Jump the snark here?
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« Reply #11 on: May 23, 2011, 12:08:38 AM »

I find your questions fascinating, Tristan, and I hope that pondering the answers is to your spiritual benefit.

However, I too worry that this useful exercise for keeping our own behaviour in check can degenerate into putting Jesus into a box, the six faces of which are normally comprised of our own prejudices.

I wonder whether we would answer these two questions the same way:

1. What would Jesus do?; versus
2. What would our Lord and Saviour, being the second person of the Most Holy Trinity in the flesh, the same God whose footsteps were heard in Paradise and caused Adam and Eve to tremble do?
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« Reply #12 on: May 23, 2011, 12:09:44 AM »

it is a useless exercise . . .

Nice post, but really it boils down to this.
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« Reply #13 on: May 23, 2011, 12:11:30 AM »


What music would He listen to?
This. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLtKbqEIY58&

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« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2011, 12:14:28 AM »

I happen to find Trader Joe's to be quite affordable.  Smiley
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« Reply #15 on: May 23, 2011, 12:33:12 AM »

it is a useless exercise . . .

Nice post, but really it boils down to this.

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« Reply #16 on: May 23, 2011, 01:51:02 AM »

I prefer d.c. Talk's version of Jesus is Just Alright...

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"2. What would our Lord and Saviour, being the second person of the Most Holy Trinity in the flesh, the same God whose footsteps were heard in Paradise and caused Adam and Eve to tremble do?"

WWOLASBTSPOTMHTITFTSGWFWHIPACAAETTD?  Should we say each letter, or try and pronounce it as a word?  Also, should we put it on one wrist band in really tiny print, or make people wear several in the right order on their wrists?
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« Reply #17 on: May 23, 2011, 01:58:57 AM »

"2. What would our Lord and Saviour, being the second person of the Most Holy Trinity in the flesh, the same God whose footsteps were heard in Paradise and caused Adam and Eve to tremble do?"

WWOLASBTSPOTMHTITFTSGWFWHIPACAAETTD?  Should we say each letter, or try and pronounce it as a word?  Also, should we put it on one wrist band in really tiny print, or make people wear several in the right order on their wrists?

Hahahahaha -- I didn't think of that when I typed it. I like it. There should be a necklace.

What I'm trying to say is that we must remember that Jesus is God, ineffable, inconceivable, ever-existing and eternally-the-same.
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« Reply #18 on: May 23, 2011, 02:05:32 AM »

What I'm trying to say is that we must remember that Jesus is God, ineffable, inconceivable, ever-existing and eternally-the-same.

Except when He is conceived and changes, mysterious huh?
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« Reply #19 on: May 23, 2011, 02:13:05 AM »

What I'm trying to say is that we must remember that Jesus is God, ineffable, inconceivable, ever-existing and eternally-the-same.

Except when He is conceived and changes, mysterious huh?

Buuuutttt ...

Quote from: Divine Liturgy of St John Chryosostom
O only-begotten Son and immortal Word of God, who for our salvation willed to be incarnate of the Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary, who without change became man and was crucified, Christ our God, trampling down death by death, one of the Holy Trinity, glorified with the Father and the Holy Spirit -- save us!
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« Reply #20 on: May 23, 2011, 02:54:22 AM »

What I'm trying to say is that we must remember that Jesus is God, ineffable, inconceivable, ever-existing and eternally-the-same.

Except when He is conceived and changes, mysterious huh?

Buuuutttt ...

Quote from: Divine Liturgy of St John Chryosostom
O only-begotten Son and immortal Word of God, who for our salvation willed to be incarnate of the Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary, who without change became man and was crucified, Christ our God, trampling down death by death, one of the Holy Trinity, glorified with the Father and the Holy Spirit -- save us!

Head scratcher. Ain't it. The whole becoming incarnate and conceived and growing and having a mutable body and emotional life and all . . .

As I say, RCs have Aristotle, EOs have (neo)Plato.
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« Reply #21 on: May 23, 2011, 02:56:33 AM »

What I'm trying to say is that we must remember that Jesus is God, ineffable, inconceivable, ever-existing and eternally-the-same.

Except when He is conceived and changes, mysterious huh?

Buuuutttt ...

Quote from: Divine Liturgy of St John Chryosostom
O only-begotten Son and immortal Word of God, who for our salvation willed to be incarnate of the Theotokos and ever-virgin Mary, who without change became man and was crucified, Christ our God, trampling down death by death, one of the Holy Trinity, glorified with the Father and the Holy Spirit -- save us!

Head scratcher. Ain't it. The whole becoming incarnate and conceived and growing and having a mutable body and emotional life and all . . .

As I say, RCs have Aristotle, EOs have (neo)Plato.

*akimori makoto likes this*
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« Reply #22 on: May 23, 2011, 03:23:37 AM »

He would live in complete obedience to the will of His Father. His lifestyle and teachings would offend the masses and attract few followers. He would be ostracized and persecuted by the prominent religious and political leaders of our time.

As Solomon said, "There is nothing new under the sun." Therefore, regardless of the day and age, Christ would live the same and He would have the same impact.


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« Reply #23 on: May 23, 2011, 03:53:18 PM »

Scenario: Let's say that Jesus was born to a middle class family living in a small town in New York in 1990. He would be 21 right now.

Note: Since I'm concerned with how He lives, pretend He is just living here as any normal person (keep in mind that He is still God, though, and is sinless and perfect) and isn't doing a ministry in the same way He did when He was actually living on Earth.

This really misses the point of the incarnation. It also misses the point of how we are supposed to live as Christians. I personally think "WWJD" is the wrong question to ask. In any given situation, He would show Himself to be God in the flesh and Lord over all things, and we are supposed to show Him (not ourselves) as Lord.

The question should be "How can I best serve Him where I'm at?".

Quote
How would He live?

Out of love for God and neighbor.

Quote
I'm having trouble relating to Jesus in these modern times because society is so much different in every possible way.

2,000 years ago, Jesus didn't care what anyone wore, what anyone did for a living, or any of that other stuff as long as it was done in love of God and neighbor and was not inherently sinful. I don't think His opinion has changed. We're not supposed to imitate Christ in our jobs, clothes, diet, or use of technology. We're supposed to imitate Him in His love for us.
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« Reply #24 on: May 23, 2011, 11:47:30 PM »

I like to picture Jesus in a tuxedo t-shirt because it says "I want to be formal, but I'm here to party."
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« Reply #25 on: May 23, 2011, 11:47:57 PM »

I like to think of Jesus like with giant eagles wings, and singin' lead vocals for Lynyrd Skynyrd with like an angel band and I'm in the front row and I'm hammered drunk.....
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« Reply #26 on: May 23, 2011, 11:48:17 PM »

(proxies for Cal Naughton, Jr......)
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« Reply #27 on: May 23, 2011, 11:50:15 PM »

 Cheesy
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