Jesus is … Aussie!
Most of you will have seen the art of Reg Mombassa. This former band-member of Mental as Anything has won fame for his paintings, notably published on Mambo Clothing’s T-shirts. His Mambo Theology pictures explore the spiritual side.
On one hand they display a certain insight: imagining Aussie Jesus casting out gamblers from the casino or multiplying pies and beer when they ran out at the footy. On the other hand, his art is often blasphemous and rude. And he always subverts the biblical accounts of Jesus’ life.
In a recent biography, Mombassa says he believes Jesus was a real, radical preacher. But,
“I think some of his more obsessed and deluded followers concocted a belief system from his teachers afterwards.”
Ironically, he says he’s never read the Bible from cover to cover, but claims,
“I’m very familiar with it through secondary sources, Bible comics and …Sunday stories and films. And I’ve read lots of books about the Bible …” [The Mind and Times of Reg Mombassa by Murray Waldren, pp293-94]
Mombassa says he’s interested in what happens when you die. And he claims to understand the real Jesus. But ironically he admits he hasn’t read the Bible properly!
Like too many Aussies, in forming their opinions on important questions like the reality of God and life after death, Mombassa has relied on vague Sunday School memories or second hand hearsay.
Check out the primary documents for yourself. Start with the Gospel of Mark.
Sandy Grant, St Michael’s Cathedral, Wollongong