Nicene Christianity is the religion of Christmas and Easter, the celebration of a Jesus who is either too young or too much in agony to shock us with his stunning message. The adult Christ, the adult Jesus who calls his followers to renounce wealth, power and violence is passed over in favour of the gurgling baby and the screaming victim. As such, Nicene Christianity is easily conscripted into a religion of convenience, with believers worshipping a gagged and glorified saviour who has nothing to say about how we use our money, how we treat our neighbours or whether or not we go to war. The ingredients of Jesusâ€™s religion were enthusiasm, urgency, compassion and love. He cherished children, the sick and the despised. In his eyes, the return of a stray lamb to the sheepfold, the repentance of a tax collector or a harlot, caused more joy in heaven than the prosaic virtue of 99 just men.
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