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Jesus is to Blame

GoatHe’s our most socially acceptable punching bag. You try it: pick a social issue, work out which position is unfashionable, and then show how it’s the fault of the church/the religious people/that Jesus who started it all. The beauty of this game is that you win every time – even if fashions change! You can always pin it on Jesus...

There’s a couple of reasons why the blame is so easily laid on him. The first, sadly, is that far too often his followers are guilty as charged. Jesus may have laid out a compelling moral vision for human society, but none of his fans seems able to achieve it, and some fall far short.

Secondly, it’s undeniable that Jesus has managed to get his fingers into just about every pie. Love him or hate him, you have to admit that his influence on the world is second to none. Toss in a couple of thousand years of people debating over his teachings, and it’s no surprise that he can be enlisted in support of all kinds of ideas.

Sometimes Christians will get upset when they feel Jesus is copping it unfairly. Regardless of whether they have a point or not, there’s a good chance that we’re all missing the point. Jesus didn’t just expect to be blamed; he wanted it. Not because he had self-esteem issues, but because his goal was to take all the blame in the world.

He’s our scapegoat: the Bible coined that term, and it did so to point to Jesus, the only one who can take the blame, and make our wrongs right.

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