Contrast the affluence of most of us with the radical life of John the Baptist. Contrast Micky D’s and locusts. Tommy Hilfiger, Armani and Camel hair. Wouldn’t you like to meet the old chap aka ‘the Forerunner?’ What do you think he would say to us? If the fire-breathing old Baptist were to get a hold of today’s American congregation, what would he say?

9 thoughts on “Repent

  1. I can’t even fathom what John the Baptist would have said. What would St. Francis have said? By the way, real camel hair itches unbelievably.

  2. Repent from what is the question that intrigues me. My suspicion is that it might not be what we think at first blush.

    What did the Forerunner really mean by “repent” 2000 yrs. ago?

    As your god awful smart fellow Anglican, N.T. Wright, would say, it’d have something to do with the “kingdom of God” that’s at hand. If it was at hand then, what about now?

    Indeed, I think Christians of all stripes, liberal, conservative, et al, would be mighty surprised.

  3. You’ve tempted me into opening my “mouth” again with your post, Father Neo, or maybe Constantine’s the culprit. Either way…

    You’ve hit the nail on the head by posing the question “repent from WHAT?” In fact, that’s probably the identical question the Pharisees were asking themselves when they received the mandate from John the Baptist. They believed they had it all already. In their minds, they were sure they were “in like Flynn” and probably wondered what more they could possibly need or do. Sadly, their pride in themselves and in their religion (as pride will do) prevented them from seeing that pride itself was what they needed to repent of. I can imagine how offensive they must have found John’s command, especially when coupled with the commandment to be baptized. The Jews used baptism (by another name) as a cleansing ritual, so to be told both to repent and to be cleansed must have been doubly insulting to someone who was confident in his own cleanliness.

    Personally, I think John’s command would have the same effect on religious people of all persuasions today if he were here in person. What, who ME? What could I possibly have to repent of? I’ve already been baptized, and I go to church, and I’m a good person, etc., etc.
    (Oh, my!)

    (Don’t get me wrong here, Constantine. I’m not pointing the finger at YOU. You just happened to trip my trigger with your comment.)

  4. any body read, “The Scandal of the Evangelical Conscious: Why are Christians Living just like the Rest of the World?” by Ron Sider? JB would find plenty of material there.

  5. I think that John the Baptist would probably have the same beef with the religious hierarchy of our day that he did with the religious hierarchy of his day. When I hear of the antics of so many of the more successful pastors of this generation it makes me wonder at times if I have been blinded by the light of the neon “sucker” sign flashing on my forehead.

  6. I love that we are all agreeing that it is crucial to think on the question: Of what shall we repent?

    What did John tell his listeners?

    “But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.

    “What should we do then?” the crowd asked.

    John answered, “The man with two tunics should share with him who has none, and the one who has food should do the same.”

    Tax collectors also came to be baptized. “Teacher,” they asked, “what should we do?”

    “Don’t collect any more than you are required to,” he told

    Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?”

    He replied, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely—be content with your pay.”
    And, when John asks Jesus who he is, Jesus replies by saying, look at all the outcasts being healed, the good news is preached to the poor.

    Given their responses, it seems prudent to suppose that much of what we ought repent of is religious hyprocrisy and love of money.

    Seems to me.

    Angevoix, where’s your blog? I can’t get to it right now…

  7. Fr. Neo,
    Chris Martin here. Current CCU student, roommate of Ryan Tafilowski, and future student of YOU! I really appreciated the chapel experience you brought to us today. I was raised in a liturgical church, and I miss that in most of the contemporary evangelical churches I have gone to as of late. Thanks, and I look foreword to dialoguing with you.

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