Monday, October 12, 2009
I Thought I Knew You
There are lyrics to a song called I Thought I Knew You that go like this: “I thought I knew you but I wasn’t even close.” There are millions of people who think they know Jesus but they aren’t even close. Sunday morning between 11:00 and 12:00 is probably the worst hour for idolatry in the United States. Millions across America gather to worship an image of Jesus they have concocted in their minds. He is not the real Jesus, far from it. Mel Gibson’s answer to those who criticized his film “The Passion of the Christ” was, “My Jesus is the real Jesus, not yours.”
The Bible declares that in the latter days there will be many false claims about Jesus. The author of The Da Vinci Code tried to convince millions that Jesus fathered a child to Mary Magdalene. A modern concept of Christ is an ultra feminine Christ. There is a Jesus who abides in the blue states who is a pacifist and recycles all his coke cans. There is a Jesus that lives in the red states who is chomping at the bits to retaliate against the terrorists in an all out war of wars.
In 1998, the president of the Mormon Church, Gordon Hinckley, spoke of a Jesus who “appeared to the boy Joseph smith in the year 1820” near Palmyra, New York.
Elizabeth Clare Prophet has written a book claiming new teachings of Jesus have been found to verify his teaching “on the feminine potential of both man and woman”.
Jesus has become a sort of magical cure-all whose teachings are misconstrued to satisfy any person’s fancy or incredible belief or even absurdity. We become his creator and he becomes a convenient instrument for our use. He is a democrat, a republican, a pro-abortionist, pro-homosexual, liberal, conservative, etc. ad nauseum.
The post-modern Jesus is portrayed as someone who wants to fulfill all of our dreams. His ultimate purpose is to bring satisfaction into our lives, to make us feel comfortable and to improve our self-esteem. He is a Santa Clause figure intent on spoiling us with all sorts of material gifts. He is a friendly uncle who would never share a harsh word with you. He bled and died so that we would experience great individual happiness, live in a large house and drive a BMW.
Phil Driscoll has his ideas about the emergent Jesus, “There is a strong drift toward the hard theological left. Some emergent types [want] to recast Jesus as a limp-wrist hippie in a dress with a lot of product in His hair, who drank decaf and made pithy Zen statements about life while shopping for the perfect pair of shoes. In Revelation, Jesus is a prize fighter with a tattoo down His leg, a sword in His hand and the commitment to make someone bleed. That is a guy I can worship. I cannot worship the hippie, diaper, halo Christ because I cannot worship a guy I can beat up.”
The real Jesus is a divider. He came, not to bring peace, but a sword. He stirred controversy everywhere he went. His entire ministry was dedicated to exposing the lies of Satan and revealing truth. He loved the truth because he loved the sinner. The real Jesus spoke harsh words regarding the cancerous sin in our society. The cancer is terminal and Jesus offered a cure. He was confrontational. He was painfully honest with everyone. He was unaffected by political correctness or unreasonable tolerance.
If I were to visit the doctor tomorrow and the doctor discovered I had a terminal cancer, I wouldn’t want him to fail to inform me of the reality of approaching death. I would want to know the truth so I could prepare myself and my loved ones. A doctor who decides to spare his patient by obscuring the truth is doing him no favor.
Jesus’ message was very unpopular. Christ’s message was painfully honest. Sin is deadly. Sin brings death. There is only one cure, one hope. We do our lost loved ones and lost friends no favor by choosing politeness over honesty.
Let us commit to worshipping the real Jesus. He is not found in the self-help section of Barnes and Noble. He is found in the four gospels.