I'm terrified that if my eyes are opened to see everything in the light of truth, I will also see that the way I see the Jesus, whom I claim as Lord, is but a dim reflection of reality.
| posted 3/13/2012
We've trivialized him. Have you seen the milk commercials? The slogan "Got milk?" is emblazoned on TV screens and billboards, reminding us of our need for a nutritious beverage. Given our culture, perhaps the spillover was inevitable. I've seen the T-shirts proclaiming a spiritual parody of the ads: "Got Jesus?"
Wow. As if we can begin to compare our need of a Savior to milk.
If an animal is domesticated, it is here to serve me. My needs are central. Of course, this might not always appear to be the case at first glance. I once heard someone ask what an alien would think after landing on earth for the first time in the center of an American city park. Dog owners leading around their little precious fur-bearing gems and picking up after their every little indiscretion. The alien might ask, "Who has domesticated whom?"
Yes, yes, I can hear your protests, and believe me, they are my own. Jesus Christ cannot be domesticated! I understand that. And my point is simple. While Christ cannot be tamed, I have effectively done just that, but only in my head. I domesticate him in the way I think about him, letting him into my life, but only so far, until my control is threatened and, in effect, I send him back to his room.
When you domesticate an animal, you place limits on its location. You fence it in so that it can serve you. Have I not done this in my attitudes about Christ? Have I not invited the most holy, powerful, creative entity in the universe into my life and then relegated him into a slot so that he can participate in my life when it is most convenient to me or when I am hungry?
Some of you are offended already. It is not my purpose to spit on the image of Christ. My purpose is honorable; it is to exalt him, to find him as the grand treasure that he is and to challenge myself (and you along the way) to see him every day, to a greater extent, in reality.
To do that, I must peel away, layer by layer, the belittling mental images that have clouded my vision like a mature cataract blocking away the brightness of the sun's rays. If I tramp on the feet of God's family, it is with the hope that we may discover and savor the wonder of all that Jesus is.
If you are a Christian, my hope is to rattle the cage of your faith a bit, to challenge you to think critically about how much the Jesus you serve resembles the real deal, the Jesus of the Bible. I hope that you will think of this as a conversation with a friend, a fellow seeker, honest enough to ask tough questions. I am an imperfect fellow, stained from my own experiences, both good and bad. Think of me as a comrade in arms, nestled down with you in the same trenches of life, whispering together about some of the questions that have dogged humans from the beginning.
Here's my problem. I'm terrified of putting this down on paper. There. I've admitted it. I am painfully aware of my shortcomings, both spiritually and intellectually. How is it that I possess the boldness to proceed into waters that scare me and threaten to derail my own faith?