The common man we write about in this series has a hyphenated nature. He is God-Man. His hyphenated nature makes it difficult to call him common, but for much of his life he insisted on his plainness. He refused to be placed on a pedestal until after he had been placed on a cross. To trust him requires we live on both sides of the hyphen with him.
He is the God-Man, the only one. To follow him means we have to meet him on both sides of the hyphen.
If he is not God, it does not matter if he died. If he is not man, it does not matter if he lived. We have to meet him on both sides of the hyphen.
Long before villain meant enemy or evil, it meant common, or plain, or merely mere, simply simple. The Perfect Villain, then, would have been the plainest, the commonest, the least of these my brethren. A sinner was an am-ha-arets, which only denoted a poor person, an ordinary man, a plain village woman.
So, to be villifed, to be made villainous, would mean only one thing. To be villified, one must be considered common.
The common man who is the center of our discussion has a unique nature. He is at one time God and Human, with a gender identity of male during his earthly life.This is not common. In fact, he is the one and only God-Human Male. To villify him is hard work. He must lose his divinity or his humanity.
In fact, every branch off the religious tree he plants, be they cult or sect, attempts to remove one or the other components of his nature; divine or human. The ostensible purpose may be to demystify him, or to make him more accessible, or render his being more radiantly awesome. No matter; we deepen his villainy when we try to move him to one side of the hyphen or other.
His uncommonness is the hyphen in the middle of his being.
There is no way to omit one part of a story if we are to tell the real story, really. Remove his divinity; it does not matter if he died. Remove his humanity; it does not matter if he lived. His whole story is required.
So, please see this application before I unload a few hundred more words on the subject. When we try to make him less human, or other than divine. we actually villify him. We make him more common, which is unnecessary, as we see, because he is the plainest of our kind. We do him no favors, nor do we enhance his Faith, when we attack either side of his hyphenated nature, God-Human. He is Human and so comprehends our flawed nature. He is Holy God, and so able to do something about our flawed nature.
Of course, many among us think we have no flawed nature at all, so there need be no God-Human to “help” us. Humankind is good and improving, with perfection just around the corner. Meanwhile, we work hard to kill the very planet where our race dwells, with no other home in sight, no way to reach New Eden if we could see it, no means to turn back the clock or drop the temperature. Perfection, indeed.
More people live in forced servitude than ever before. Poverty, racism, chauvinism: isms like the monster under the bed in a pre-adolescent’s bedroom. The nation that once asked for the poor, the tired, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free now proposes they breathe, well, somewhere else. Social evolution?
We will not extraordinary religion to pull us out of this miasma of misery. We need the God-Man.
Religion is not just submission. Life is not just suffering. This must be the best of all possible worlds. We must figure out how to live on it together.
We will need the God-Man to show us how. We dare not take away his hyphen.