|Don’t see Jesus here…|
I often hear people speak of Jesus as if he is some kind of marshmallow treat – soft and squishy with no nutritional value. Usually when I hear the name of “Jesus” in this context I get the chills, as if the person is talking about someone I don’t know. It is the same feeling you get when you hear a person speak about someone you love as if they know him intimately, when really they have just met him.
These people usually have good motives. They want to affirm that Jesus taught some nice things and he was surely some kind of “enlightened” being or a prophet of some kind. But at the same time they want to downplay the idea of Jesus as God. This point of view is becoming more and more accepted as it becomes more unpopular in our culture to assert that one religion is “superior” to another.
Relativism has seeped into our bones so much so that we are unwilling to assert anything that might conflict with another person’s point of view. In fact, this trend of thought is becoming so common that most people don’t even bother to adhere to a certain religion. If all religions are basically the same, then why not create our own spiritual practices and set of beliefs and stick to ourselves? It makes sense if this logic is true.
But the truth is that Christians do believe that Christianity is superior to other religions.
Now, before you get your knickers in a knot, let me make it clear that I am not saying that Christians are superior to adherents of other religions. I am not saying that Christians are better people. I am not saying that Christians even have a better relationship with God than other people. There is nothing superior about Christians in and of themselves.
When Christians make any claim that indicates that Christianity is superior, we are not making a claim about us (or we certainly shouldn’t be). We are making a claim about Jesus.Let’s think about this logically. If we truly believe that Jesus is God then what other religion on earth comes close to claiming that God came down to earth in the form of a human being, making it possible for us to become like Him? We do not believe that Jesus is a Buddha, attaining enlightenment through spiritual practice. We do not believe that Jesus is a prophet like Muhammad. We do not believe that Jesus is one manifestation of God among many appearances of God in human history. No, we believe that Jesus is the Word of God. We believe that Jesus is the unique, unrepeatable incarnation of the Creator of the universe.
It does not offend me when people of other religions assert that their religion is more true than mine. I do not agree, but it does not offend me.
What is more offensive to me is the assertion that it is all true and that any declaration on the part of a religion that excludes the truths of other religions must be left behind. It is as if people believe thinking this way is outdated. “The world is full of greys and you are seeing things in black and white,” I hear them saying to me in patronizing tones.
Where does Truth come from if not from God? I believe in Truth because I believe in God. I believe in Christianity because I believe in Jesus. I believe in Jesus because I believe He is God. I believe He is Truth incarnated.
I do not assert “my” truth above the truth of others. I know that I see the world through my own partial glasses. I am blind and stupid. I cannot see truth unless God helps me to see it. Just because I believe I belong to the religion of Truth does not mean I believe that I personally have a monopoly on Truth, (although this is the way some Christians behave).
I also do not believe that because my religion happens to contain Truth incarnated that other religions do not contain glimpses of this Truth, (glimpses they may see better than most Christians in some cases)! Other religions are full of truths, facets of the truth, that are found completely in the diamond of Jesus. Many Muslims, Hindus and Jews probably know Jesus better than I do and don’t even know it!
The truth I assert above all others is not my own truth.
The truth I assert above all others is the Truth of Jesus.
Truth is a person.
He ain’t no marshmallow treat!