Some people view the coming of Jesus as the launching of some kind of purity culture where we should become obsessed with personal sins.
But what if the story is more interested in the usurping of power, the annihilation of controlling people, and the end of deceit to achieve noble ends?
Like this cartoon attempts to illustrate, Jesus is pointing forward to the greatest display of apparent powerlessness. The Jesus story is clear that it isn’t a show of strength, but the display of what appears to be weakness that defeats the principalities and powers that dehumanize people.
My concern is that the church is the perfect culture for the principalities and powers to play. In fact, I claim the church is a power that often gives in to the forces of evil that the story of Jesus exposed. My experience and observation is that the church is a safe haven for abuse, manipulation, control, bullying, and strong-armed tactics that chew people up and spit them out, leaving countless voiceless victims in its wake.
Until we see and admit that the gravitational pull of all institutions is towards the dehumanization of people, and until we exercise due diligence in addressing it, then the forces of evil win.