Friday, June 09, 2006

Prefab Jesus

Read this article the other day and it just rang some bells, hope it does for you...


"Have you accepted the pre-packaged, hermetically sealed, only 19.95 if you act now, Jesus! Why I’m sure you’ve heard of him! He’s a very serious man who always seems to be carrying sheep. He doesn’t tolerate long hair on boys, smoking or dancing. He’s very strict about what people wear and cares a lot more about what denomination you belong to than he does a silly thing like your soul. Maybe you’ve heard of him.


Is that the Jesus you imagine? Is that who you’ve lived your life ignoring, worshipping or reading about? It’s not true, you know? We’ve created God in our own image because, I believe, the wild, passionate God-man presented in the Biblical narrative is much more than our modern, syrupy sweet Christianity can handle.


As Author Wilbur Rees once wrote:

“I would like to buy $3 worth of God, please, not enough to explode my soul or disturb my sleep, but just enough to equal a cup of warm milk or a snooze in the sunshine. . . . I want ecstasy, not transformation; I want the warmth of the womb, not a new birth. I want about a pound of the Eternal in a paper sack. I would like to buy $3 worth of God, please.”

We can’t, nor do we want to, handle the real Jesus. And our depiction of him would be laughable if so many people didn’t believe that it were true. The problem, many times, isn’t that people who hate God despise the God they know, but that they despise a god who truly does not exist. They despise a god who is some twisted form of the actual Creator, dreamt up by religious zealots. In other words, many people who turn away from God have not truly turned away from Jehovah God, but some perverted depiction of God.

So, maybe the reason our churches are shrinking isn’t because the world is in “such bad shape,” but rather because our faith is in such shambles. We’ve exchanged love and relationship for tracts and door-knocking. We’ve traded the eternal God for a hand puppet. We’ve reduced Jesus to a figurehead. God forgive us".

4 comments:

dinsy said...

We all make god in our own image, because we can't grasp who God really is or what He is really like, we can only go with what we can understand and what we can imagine based on that.

Shallow, "me-centred" people are going to make shallow gods. If your god is nothing like God, if he is selfish instead of loving, taking instead of giving, out for revenge and punishment instead of firm but gentle correction, rule-driven instead of grace giving, you won't hear or see God because you won't know what to look for/listen to.

So God cannot refine your concept of Him, and you are left with the - at best petty, and at worst monstrous - god that a lot of people think is all there is. Who can blame them for rejecting the false god, sadly they often don't find God Himself.

Dave said...

wow!! thats about the size of it, well said dinsy, it follows that the jesus we take to people is the jesus we have made and conformed to our image, I ask you, who would want to follow a jesus like that?

christian lies said...

NOT me.

Shannon Byous said...

Me either, Dave! (the Christian Lies Dave, that is)

 

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