Tuesday, March 20, 2007

"A Parody of Jesus"

On Sunday, my pastor made in interesting statement in response to a comment we hear often in today's world, that being the phrase, "I like Jesus, I just don't like the Church/Christians." His response was that people who say that don't really like Jesus. Rather, they like the parody of Jesus that is often portrayed; the soft, cuddly Jesus who just wants to bless everyone and would never ask you to do anything to risk your comfort. How backwards is the general conception of Jesus?

In reality, Jesus asked, correction, demanded that all who would come after him to die. As Bonhoeffer would say, we have created a death-less (or a cross-less) Christianity, which, he would argue, is not Christianity at all. Jesus is offensive. If the people who say they like Jesus, but not Christians knew that Jesus called them to lose everything, family, friends, comfort, wealth etc., to follow him, I doubt they would like him so much. If there is one thing that Jesus threatens, it is selfishness, which automatically offends the selfish.

Now, to be clear, was Jesus loving? Yes, more than any other person ever. Is the church perfect? Absolutely not. Are we as the church responsible for being better witnesses to the world? Absolutely, yes. But can we please stop pretending that Jesus was a human sized kitten?


Chip Burkitt said...

I'm not sure that people like is the cuddly Jesus. With recent cultural splashes made by The Da Vinci Code and The Lost Tomb of Jesus, I think it could be that what people like about Jesus is his humanity. It's really funny in a way because the want to throw out all the first-hand accounts of his life (the gospels) and still pay him some kind of complement.

Anonymous said...

I would argue with everyone and say that Jesus was a nice little kitty. . . . . .yeah