The Danger of Shaping the Lord in Our Image
Ecclesiastes tells us there is nothing new under the sin. Idolatry is not a new sin, but it is perhaps more insidious now than ever before.
From Ask Dr Brown. The essence of idolatry is that we create a god in our image, confusing His nature with ours and thereby conforming Him to our standards. This, in turn, creates a vicious cycle in which we continue to degenerate spiritually and morally as we become like the lifeless idols we create….
We can do the very same thing with the gospel, lowering it to our standards, thereby creating a new, non-offensive, non-troublesome Jesus who bears little resemblance to the Jesus of the Scriptures.
This is illustrated in a great quote by Natasha Crain from her book Faithfully Different. (It was posted by a friend on Facebook.)
She wrote, “Because progressive Christians ultimately have the same source of authority as secular culture – the self – the way they see the world often dovetails with the way those who consider themselves irreligious see the world. … When the self is in charge, Jesus can start looking an awful lot like what modern culture thinks He should look like….”
Today’s Jesus is a woke Jesus…
In this new version, the Lord didn’t come into the world to redeem sinners as much as to fight for social justice….
This is what happens when we read the Bible through the lens of self rather than denying self and taking up our cross, thereby finding a wonderful, new identity in the Lord.
But it is not only “progressive” Christians who create their own Jesus and their own gospel.
Just think of the slave traders and slave owners who, in other respects, were God-fearing, good Christians, taking the Bible very seriously in many other areas of life. Yet they participated in this barbaric practice, quoting the Bible to justify their sin. How revolting.
Or consider the antisemitic Christian leaders through the ages who persecuted Jewish people to their death (and I mean that literally, at times offering them baptism or death). And they did this in the name of Jesus too, as if showing their loyalty to Him. How sickening.
More subtly, consider how we can create a Republican Jesus. Or a Democratic Jesus. Or a super-patriot Jesus….
The truth be told, the Jesus of the Gospels does not fit into any of our earthly or religious categories. Instead, both His words and His example shatter our conventions and challenge our traditions….
May He change us, and may we never attempt to change Him.
Join us in praying that people today would worship the true Jesus, in spirit and in truth.
(Excerpt from Ask Dr Brown. Photo Credit: Canva)
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