Too Many Jesuses?

randomlychad  —  August 17, 2011 — 11 Comments
'Niche market' photo (c) 2008, brett jordan - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Yesterday, I wrote of a nasty habit we (who are believers) all seem to have: proof-texting the Bible. We comb through the Scriptures looking for verses that validate our beliefs, rather than having our beliefs informed by the Bible.

I do it, you do it, we all do it. But I find it’s best to “let God be true, and every man a liar.”

Else we end up with numerous Jesuses.

You think I jest? Look no further than Amazon; where I’m sure you’ll find books containing:

The Gay Jesus (and not in the Dickensian “happy” sense)

The Married Jesus (Mary Magdalen, of course)

The Atheist Jesus (WT…? Have no idea)

The Feminist Jesus (as a married man, I’m contractually forbidden to comment here)

A Portrait of the Jesus as a Young Savior (James Joyce eat your heart out!)

The Hindu Jesus (He don’t eat no meat!)

Yes, the foregoing is entirely hyperbolic, but I believe it points to a greater problem, namely that we have a tendency to create–of which proof-texting is merely a symptom–Jesuses in our own image.

Rather than letting Him remake us in His.

Think about it the next time you sit down to read your Bible merely seeking to validate your position.

When you do, you might just find a verse, or three, about this image making business–a little thing called:

Idolatry.

What do you think?

(On unrelated note, I’m given to understand that Jason Boyett will be writing about reading to his kids today–on his Dadequate blog–and will be linking to a post I wrote last week on Harry Potter. In the words of George Washington, W00t! Thanks for the link love, Jason!)

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randomlychad

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Christ-follower, husband, dad, blogger, reader, writer, movie buff, introvert, desert-dweller, omnivore, gym rat. May, or may not, have a burgeoning collection of Darth Vader t-shirts. Can usually be found drinking protein shakes, playing with daughter, working out with his son, or hanging out with his wife. Makes a living playing with computers. Subscribe to RandomlyChad by Email

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  • A friend of mine and I talk about this all of the time. We sit and listen to preachers who take a text and never consider who it was written to. Therefore they get what Jesus says or a prophet says all wrong and miss out on what we can really learn from it. And yes, we all do it.

    • Context is indeed everything, my friend, isn't it? It's entirely too easy to put our own spin on things… Thus a "heart check" is always in order.

  • Cindy Holman

    I think we need to be careful -- or it does become idolatry. We did a course called "Starting Point" several years ago for new members and in our small group. It looked at the original language of the Bible -- and it's history -- how true and valid it has proved to be. We don't need to add or take away anything else.

    • Amen, Cindy! Amen!

  • jmonsewicz

    I think I can safely say I might have been the inspiration behind this post…just sayin. 😉 Love it as always my friend.

    • You may just have been, indeed! ;-)(And it was just all kinds of awesome how it dovetailed with some other themes I dealt with this week).Thank-you! You're very kind!

  • Looking at the context seems to be too hard for some people. It takes a little bit of work and many seem to have been trained to be lazy/sloppy semi-theologians. And sometimes it's hard to help them see what they are doing.

    • For sure, Matt! Thanks for dropping by! Good to have you back around teh intarwebs. 🙂

  • Great stuff but you forgot about hunting Jesus, MMA Jesus, ninja Jesus, and Rambo Jesus. They all use his clearing of the temple as inspiration for their Jesus.

    • Good call, Rob! Maybe if I do another post align these same lines, I can work in--on account of the whip of cords--the \”Indiana Jones Jesus?\” 😉

  • Great cmoomn sense here. Wish I’d thought of that.