Pope Francis could help create a global revolution by renaming Christianity 'Abba's Way.' Even mentioning the idea in one of his viral statements would start the ball rolling. Everyone knows the revolution is in the air. Everyone knows it cannot be the same thing over and over. In the first chapter of the Gospel of Mark Jesus identifies the revolution as the nearness, the at-handedness, of the deity.

He actually says we should repent and believe this good news.

The deity Jesus says we should make contact with the friendly, positive, nonviolent protagonist of the only prayer he taught, the Lord's Prayer.

It starts, "Abba whose home in heaven is." We are to make earth like heaven. Decent. Just, Fair, Tolerant.

Misnomer

Jesus came to proclaim a universal way of life. The collision between this message and Rome resulted in Christianity. It was and is a giant misnomer, a name that should be changed.

The pope should call Christianity Abba's Way.

No-brainer

Two things would happen if the pope actually renamed Christianity. The degree of consternation within the ranks of conservative institutionalists would be epic. The exhalation of breath that the world would emit would shake the very foundations of the planet. No rebranding matches this.

And none would be so "right on." Finally, we could use this culturally-loaded expression with accuracy.

Beyond reformation

The great thinker, Edith Hamilton, long ago concluded that Christianity had lost its mojo by compromising its way with the Roman state in exchange for becoming an official religion. This compromise may have been necessary at the time, part of the fate of things. It did not end with the Reformation.

It is on its last legs today and the time cries out for the renaming I have suggested.

Christianity is not universal. It is increasingly, if unfairly, identified mainly with its present fundamentalist label. It's mainline is fading into secularity and spirituality.

Way of life

That Jesus propounded a way of life is beyond question. It is as clear in the text of the gospels as the creedal antiphony is clear in the epistles of Paul.

The New Testament is schizoid, divided between the primitive profession in the first chapter of Mark and the seductive message of Paul. Paul's letters make no reference to Jesus as a living, human character real or imagined. He is the evangelist of the Christ of faith.

Will the Pope spring?

I think the Pope has already renamed Christianity. It is implicit in everything he says and does that he regards Jesus as a universal guide for all people and would not make membership in the church a qualification for those who would lead lives dedicated to tolerance, helpfulness, and democracy.

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