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Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Try to look on the bright side of life

I always thought most people's ideas of Jesus – assuming he existed – were a bit of a joke, but get this.

A poster at a church in New Zealand depicting a jokey Jesus on the cross – due to be put up tomorrow – is likely to get Christian twitching.

The cartoon Jesus, is to be erected by St Matthew’s in Aukland. The figure on the cross is saying, “Well this sucks. I wonder if they will remember anything I said . . .”

Perhaps they should have him singing that song from Month Python’s Life of Brian, "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life".

“Tomorrow, which is also April Fools’ Day [and also Maundy Thursday in the Christian calendar], St Matthew’s in Auckland will put up its first billboard of the year, designed to use humour to encourage debate and discussion,” reports the UK Christian think tank Ekklesia. “The poster also draws attention to the tendency of some in the churches to focus exclusively on Jesus’s death as the expense of his teachings.

“Christians who believe that Jesus’s words and example of love and forgiveness should be central to their faith have frequently expressed concern about the actions of some churches who they feel do not take their Bibles seriously, particularly with regard to issues of justice.”

Ekklesia quotes Glynn Cardy, vicar of St Matthew’s, as saying: “There is a great tradition in the Eastern Church of cracking jokes at Easter. Laughing proclaims that despite the realities of suffering and death, the power of life, love and liberty is stronger. The tenacity of the human spirit is God given, and will not be overcome by the forces of oppression.”

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