Tuesday talks with Tony Campolo by Lisa Hunt-Wotton
Several years ago I was very lucky to be able to spend some time with Tony Campolo and his lovely wife Peggy on one of their rare visits to Australia.
I had several questions that I wanted to ask him about sexuality.
Because of his renown as a Sociologist and also because he is an amazing story teller, I grabbed my friend Josh and we set up a studio space in order to record the conversations. I use the term conversation very loosely because once Tony starts talking he gets on a roll which is why I wanted to grab it on film. He is an amazing communicator. I actually only got to ask one question in this session but I have more video which will be released in the coming weeks.
Dr. Anthony Campolo is a speaker, author, sociologist, pastor, social activist and passionate follower of Jesus. He was also the former spiritual advisor to U.S. President Bill Clinton and leader of the Red-Letter Christian movement, which aims to put emphasis on the teachings of Jesus. A prolific author he has written more than 35 books. Dr. Campolo and his wife Peggy live near Philadelphia and have two children and four grandchildren.
Does our Sexuality Define Us?
In this Video, Tony spends about 25 min chatting with me about how our sexuality defines us and the differences between men and women. He talks about how society has suppressed different attributes in male and female but how Jesus incarnates the best attributes of both male and female.
Note: I apologise for the green screen and the fact that it hasn’t been edited. It’s a little problem called funding. Enjoy.
Lisa: Does our sexuality define us as a human being?
Tony: Yes it does.
Jesus represents what Carl Jung wanted people to be. There is a thing called being a ‘complete actualised human being’. Interestingly that comes about in Jesus, he doesn’t come across as the stereo typical male. There are images of Jesus being tough for example when he escapes the crowd who are about to throw him from a cliff, in the Temple when he takes on the Jewish market stall holders. Then you get Jesus saying ‘look at those lilies over there, aren’t they lovely’. He looks at Jerusalem and he sees it as a woman, and he describes himself as a mother hen.
He is everything that a man should be and he is everything that a woman should be. Carl Jung says that the culture that we live in has taken what it means to be human and has said to men – these are the ways that you are allowed to be human and all these other ways we will assign to woman. This is how we think that you should be a man and we say to woman this is how as far as society dictates, that you can be a woman.
So part of our humanity is suppressed. Men have suppressed in them gentleness, kindness, sweetness, empathy, caring. Women have suppressed assertiveness, strength of character, commitment to philosophical ideas. Why are men so interested in the metaphysical and the women the physical. Men can totally detach from the physical realities of life women cannot. Women are very sensitive to the physical realities of life.
The great thing about Jesus is that he is both concerned about the spiritual dimensions of human existence and also the joy and the peace and the love that people should have. Jesus is also concerned with the physical aspects of life, healing the sick, the raising of the dead the healing of the blind. Jesus refuses to separate the physical from the metaphysical. Jesus is the combination of both. In order to become a complete human being women need to reclaim the traits that society have suppressed in them and men the same. Jesus is the perfect combination of principles, law, order AND grace, mercy and empathy toward the person.
Only the miracle of the spirit will enable us to become whole people. Jesus came to make us whole. Our sexuality does define us because society has told us how we should be. Jesus came and said, be like me. We can recover the dimensions of our personality that culture has suppressed. If we are going to be complete human beings we have to recover those parts of humanity that society has suppressed. The gospel empowers us to recreate the lost part of our humanity.
To men I say become like Jesus, to women I say become like Jesus. There is neither male or female we become one in Christ Jesus.
Featured Art by: Ekaterina Panikanova
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