Your Own Cultural Jesus

TNJ-2017-4Just today, a question came across my Facebook News Feed, I read it as, “Is following Jesus easy, or hard?” What surprised me was the number of people who said it was easy. My first thought was “Easy? If think following the teachings of Jesus are easy, you’re not doing it right.” But, it dawned on me, I read the question wrong. When I reread the question, I noticed the problem; the question asked, “Is being a Christian easy, or hard?” I thought, “That’s better; of course, being a Christian is easy, it’s following the teachings of Jesus, now that’s hard.”

I know what you’re thinking, “Are you implying being a Christian means we’re not following the teachings of Jesus?”

If you’re thinking I implied Christians aren’t following the teachings of Jesus, I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to imply there is a difference between being a Christian, and being a Follower of Jesus – I meant to say it straight out; no implying on my part.

Being a Christian is easy:

You go to church [keeping an eye on your watch to make sure it stays within the hour];
You join the Board [Because meeting two hours a month is enough ministry for you];
You sing all the worship songs [the ones you know, or like; you’ll complain about the others];
You say grace at every meal [when you’re with family, or those you’re trying to impress];
You read your bible [well, you read the verse your bible app sends you in the morning];
You go to bible study [you don’t read the beforehand, you’ll pick-up all you need as you go along];
You put your money in the plate [Making sure others see how fat the envelope is];
You pay your taxes [as long as money is used for what you want];

But, when it comes to putting your faith into action – well, that’s different, after all, that’s why the church pays the staff.

Christians think, “I give my money to the church so it can do all those things Jesus tells it to do; I just don’t have the time, and I have no desire to get messy with ‘those’ people.

Followers of Jesus think, “Let’s get out from behind these walls, ready to get messy, live dangerously, and help those in our community who need help

Being a Christian is easy, but I tend to think, if you’re following the teachings of Jesus life is not even close to being easy,

If the teachings of Jesus are not challenging you at every point in your life,
If the teachings of Jesus are not causing you to question what you do, or say,

You’re not following the teachings of Jesus; you’re following a Cultural Jesus, one of your own making, one that fits into your current understanding of the world. For example:

If you don’t truly love your enemies, those who wish to do you hard, you’re following a Cultural Christ.

if you are unable to love those who are different, those who push the you past what you think is right, you’re following a Cultural Christ.

if you find logical reasons not to feed the hungry, welcome the marginalized, care for the poor, reach those in prison, lift those who are pushed down, you’re following a Cultural Christ.

Being a Christian, following the Cultural Christ, is easy, it simply requires you to be a good church member – following the teachings of Jesus is much harder; it requires you to be pushed past what you think is culturally acceptable, and get messy in loving everyone – yes, everyone.

what do you think?

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