There is one thing that should scare every one of us! If we are not careful we will make Jesus into a mirror image of ourselves, making him resemble a suburban middle-income protestant, a hipster wearing skinny jeans, a NRA spokesman, a global warming activist, and so on. It’s really easy to invent a Jesus who always agrees with us and who never challenges us.
Now don’t get your hopes up that you can avoid doing this to Jesus, because I’m not sure we can avoid it. We are human beings after all, who are pathologically self-interested.
But the pitfalls are consequential. If Jesus is just a mirror of ourselves then he can’t possibly save us from ourselves. He’ll always agree with us and will rationalize our decisions. It also negatively impacts how we interact with other people, especially those who are different. They is “them” and we is “us” is perpetuated.
So, we build walls, withhold grace, get defensive, and weaponize the Bible. Ever use the Bible as weapon to defend your point of view?
Why is it that we treasure life-long learning in our careers, but when it comes to our faith we resist change. Why do we think our beliefs should be solid and firm when everything else is always changing? Could it be that God is found in the those moments when the sand is shifting?
This life with God is an expanding life, a life opening to others, welcoming new ideas, revising what we think and believe, over and over again. Sometimes, as sad as it may be, the church can be the hardest place to be spiritually honest.
And to be honest, I don’t have it all figured out.
I love you and our church,
This weekend the title of the sermon is Shake Your Booty. You can prepare by reading John 5:1-18 You may recognize the title from K.C and the Sunshine Band. This Friday post expands some of my thinking from a message I preached last weekend, You’d better look again. Check it out on my sermon podcast.