- Love God
- Love each other
- Take care of each other’s needs
- Follow in faith
- You cannot earn God’s favor
10 July 2016
Updating Jesus – American Jesus
Greetings Dear Reader,
We constantly need to be vigilant about remaking God in our image. A simple Google search for pictures of Jesus will reveal that we seldom show him as a first century Jewish carpenter from the Middle East. In most pictures he more resembles a European. There is also Black Jesus, Buddy Christ, and American Jesus.
Too much of what we assume about following Christ is actually an American version of Christianity. Whether it was intended or not many of the trappings of American Christianity do not reflect what the Gospels command us to do as Christ followers. I realize that I repeat this often but the Gospel is very simple:
We Americanize Jesus to be on our side in politics, social issues, and religion. We force him to theoretically bend to our religion. We think we are better than others. We do not make the needs of others our priority. I am not speaking in anger here. I am trying to speak plainly.
We cannot say that we are Christ followers if we try to fit Jesus into our mold as Americans. Our American history is littered with failures and abuses. We have great potential but we do not live in a Christian nation. We use God for our own purposes.
I must assure that I live the Gospel and not the mandates of a church that has left it behind. Not all churches are bad. Not all churches fail to live the Gospel. The preponderance of politicized Christianity, however, consistently ignores the weightier matters of the Gospel.
It is my obligation to keep the Gospel universal. It is not about prosperity or possessions. It is about love and generosity. It is about faith and following. When we try to use God for our own purposes we only hurt the message and diminish our own standing.
My God – Jethro Tull
People, what have you done?
Locked him in his golden cage, golden cage
Made him bend to your religion
Him resurrected from the grave, from the grave
He is the God of nothing
If that's all that you can see
You are the God of everything
He's inside you and me
So lean upon him gently
And don't call on him to save you
From your social graces
And the sins you used to waive, you used to waive
From the bloody church of England
In chains of history
Requests your earthly presence
At the vicarage for tea
And the graven image you know who
With his plastic crucifix, he's got him fixed
Confuses me as to who and where and why?
As to how he gets his kicks, he gets his kicks
Confessing to the endless sin
The endless whining sounds
You'll be praying till next Thursday
To all the gods that you can count
Wishing you joy in the journey,
Mat 13:52 So Jesus said to them, "That is why every writer who has become a disciple of Christ’s rule of the universe is like a home owner. He liberally hands out new and old things from his great treasure store.”
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