Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Jesus of the Bible or the Modern, Hip Jesus??

I've started reading David Platt's book "Radical" Even in the first chapter I can tell that it is going to be a good read but hugely convicting. Here's an excerpt from the first chapter. I know it's really long but bear with me and read it. It's worth it. :)

"This is where we come face to face with a dangerous reality. We do have to give up everything we have to follow Jesus. We do have to love Him in a way that makes our closest relationships look like hate. And it is entirely possible that He will tell us to sell everything and give to the poor.

But we don't want to believe it. We are afraid of what it might mean for out lives. So we rationalize these passages away. (referring to Luke 9) 'Jesus wouldn't really tell us not to bury our father or say goodbye to our family. Jesus didn't literally mean to sell all we have and give to the poor. What Jesus really meant was...'

And this is where we need to pause. Because we are starting to redefine Christianity. We are giving in to the dangerous temptation to take the Jesus of the Bible and twist Him into a version of Jesus that we are more comfortable with.

A nice, middle-class, American Jesus. A Jesus who doesn't mind materialism and who would never call us to give away everything we have. A Jesus who would not expect for us to forsake our closest relationships so that He receives all our affection. A Jesus who is fine with nominal devotion that does not infringe on our comforts,because after all, He loves us just the way we are. A Jesus who wants us to be balanced, who wants us to avoid dangerous extremes, and who, for that matter, wants us to avoid danger all together. A Jesus who brings us comfort and prosperity as we live out our Christian spin on the American dream.

But do you and I realize what we are doing at this point? We are molding Jesus into our image. He is beginning to look alot like us because, after all, that is whom we are most comfortable with. And the danger now is that when we gather in our church buildings to sing and lift up our hands in worship, we may not actually be worshiping the Jesus of the Bible. Instead we may be worshiping ourselves."

"Radical" David Platt, Chapter 1: "Someone Worth Losing Everything For" pages 12-13

After reading that all I could say was, "Ouch" and "Wow."

Are we trying to fit Jesus into who we are comfortable with or are we modeling our existence after Christ and what He calls every believer to do and be?


Dawn said...

I am dealing with these very issues and I am 34 years old. You are way ahead of the curve. David Platt is amazing. We've heard him preach a few times in Birmingham at his church and he knocked our socks off. The crazy thing is, he's the pastor of a VERY LARGE upper middle class/upper class church, and I can't believe that his convicting preaching keeps filling those seats. Usually the 'radical' messages don't get the numbers. God is doing big things through that church body, and sometimes I imagine how my church would react to his preaching. (It'd be craziness.) American Christianity/American Middle Class Jesus is one of Satan's biggest weapons right now.

Your maturity is inspiring, and I pray my kiddos would embrace Jesus as wholeheartedly as you have, Mariah!

Natalie said...

I've had several people suggest Platt's book, and after reading this, I'm so going to get a copy :D