37 Shades of Jesus

37 Shades of Jesus September 22, 2014

I blame the content of this post on Homeschool Jesus.

Last week I mentioned “Homeschool Jesus” during a live video chat with Benjamin L. Corey*, Matthew Paul Turner, Zach Hoag, and my comment inspired chatroom responses about other Jesuses: “Let’s Make Bible Covers With Two Handles Jesus” (via Ben Corey), ”Cincinnati Jesus”  (eats at Skyline),  and “Hippee Jesus” (smokes a lot of weed).

I almost maintained my composure on camera.

Our chat got me thinking about all the Jesuses out there, so I made a list:

Homeschool Jesus**: Favors long jean skirts paired with white socks and sneakers.  Thinks dancing is the Devil’s Work, all technology is suspect, and the road to hell is paved with… playing cards.

Psychic Jesus: He who knows all will communicate with your deceased cat for a small fee.

Televangelist Jesus: Has Blonde back-up singers and really shiny shoes. Will accept your love offering via cash, check, credit card, or first born, and will send you a pre-blessed “Bless You Gift” worth exactly .01% of your love offering.  

Holiday Jesus: The clothing may change from swaddling to crown of thorns, but everybody loves Jesus on Christmas and Easter. (Especially if he is cooing or being raised via crane into a paper-mache sky–but hopefully not at the same time).

Tattooed Jesus: Covered with enough ink to prove he ain’t your mama’s Jesus.

Megachurch Jesus: Likes everything BIG, so he obviously hails from Texas and has a slight southern drawl—just enough to make him very charming on camera. (Wait, did I just describe Joel Osteen Jesus?)

Country Club Jesus: His fancy car isn’t a status symbol, it’s a sign of God’s favor.

Amish Jesus: Fell asleep sometime in the last millennium.

Christian High School Jesus : Measures spiritual fitness with a ruler by checking skirt length (for girls) and gap between hair and collar (boys).

Christian College Jesus: What Homeschool Jesus wants to be when he grows up.

Rob Bell Jesus: I love this Jesus, and I would very much like to buy him and Rob Bell a drink. (Not that I’m hitting on Rob Bell Jesus or anything, but I do like him a lot.)  Aliases include: Love Wins Jesus, The Life You Want Jesus.

Anti-Halloween Jesus: Heartily disapproves of jack-o-lanterns, all costumes not inspired by Bible characters, and anything ghoulish. Known to throw church parties with candy to offer a righteous alternative to trick-or-treating.

Progressive Christian Jesus: Has very strong opinions about Mark Driscoll. Uses a lot of words that end in “al”, like “missional” and “intentional”. (I’m still trying to figure out who Mark Driscoll is and what those words mean so I can hang out with him—Progressive Christian Jesus, not Mark Driscoll.)

Twilight Jesus: Teenage girls faint when he shimmers.

Beauty Queen Jesus: Only appears when he will earn points with the judges.

Politician Jesus: Closely related to Beauty Queen Jesus, possibly married to her. Only appears during election season.

Gluten-Free Jesus: He has Celiac Disease, okay? This isn’t a diet, this is serious. (I am close personal friends with this Jesus. Don’t knock him.)

Black Jesus: I did not make this up. He is from a controversial TV Show I heard about on NPR Religion podcast.

Pentecostal Jesus: Needs a translator because he only speaks in tongues.

Sweet Little Baby Jesus: 8lb, 6oz, tiny, infant Jesus, wears golden fleece diapers and watches Baby Einstein videos. (Confession: stole this one from Talladega Nights.)

Touchdown Jesus: Behold the Jesus who was struck by lightning, burned up, and resurrected a few years later. He is good friends with Cincinnati Jesus, and I hear they eat a lot of chili together.

There are a gazillion more Jesuses, and some of them I’m not going to define for fear of being, um, crucified: Tea Party Jesus, Calvinist Jesus, Pope Jesus, Tree-Hugger Jesus, Voodoo Jesus, Yoga Jesus, Evangelical Jesus, Sunday School Jesus, Ninja Jesus, Christian Radio Jesus…I could go on and on and on, but I have a feeling y’all will continue the list for me in the comments section.

This Jesuses exercise forced me to think about my own Jesus, because if everybody  has one, I must, too. I discoverd that Reba Riley Jesus is fast friends with all the other deities, loves everybody, and just wants them to play nice, get along, and be happy.

Which means Reba Riley Jesus is basically… Sesame Street Jesus.

Hey, the world could do a lot worse than living by the Gospel According To Big Bird.

BigBird

Happy Monday, people. <3 Reba

 

*The chat was about Benjamin L Corey’s new book Undiluted: Rediscovering the Radical Message of Jesus

**Homeschool Jesus, Psychic Jesus, Tattooed Jesus all make an appearance in my upcoming book Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome: A Memoir of Humor and Healing in 30 Religions

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