Jesus…on His Terms3

Using the vernacular of modern day culture, it could be said that Jesus has become a victim of identity theft.  Much has been said about the person and works of Jesus that Jesus Himself would not validate.  Brian McLaren, in his book, A New Kind of Kind of Christianity, states that Jesus, on one extreme, has been “recast 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.”  On the other extreme He is seen as, “a prize-fighter with a tattoo down His leg, a sword in His hand and the commitment to make someone bleed.”

We have a propensity to re-make Jesus into our own image which usually reflects assumptions and prejudices that are compromising and even dangerous.  We like for our Jesus to accept what we accept and to condemn what we condemn when it comes to theology, politics or social issues.  McLaren tells us further that, “in rejecting one kind of Jesus, we may unintentionally protect and uphold the white supremacist Jesus, the colonial Jesus, the Eurocentric Jesus, the Republican or Democrat Jesus, the capitalist or communist Jesus, the slave-owning Jesus, the nuclear bomb dropping America-first Jesus, the organ-music stained-glass nostalgic-sentimental Jesus, the anti-science know-nothing simpleton Jesus, the prosperity-gospel  get-rich-quick Jesus, the instructional white-shirt-and-tie Jesus, the Native American-slaying genocidal Jesus, the cuddly omnipotent Christmas Jesus, the male-chauvinist Jesus, the homophobic ‘God-hates-fags’ Jesus, the South African pro-apartheid Jesus, the Joe-Six-Pack Jesus, the anti-Semitic  Nazi Jesus, the anti-Muslim Crusader Jesus, and so on.”

Those who think they stand had better take heed lest they fall, and those who think they know may have some more learning to do.