My friend Josh the Calvinist and I were talking last night about guys in the church. Statistics show that there is a large spread between men and women in the church. Women outnumber men considerably. We were talking about why that is, and of course we would bring up things that various writers and pastors have suggested about this.
Josh mentioned a sermon he heard by Matt Chandler where he was talking about the different Jesus’ that we worship. He suggested that the much of Christian music really focuses on a boyfriend sort of love for Jesus. He says that it would not be unexpected to hear the lyrics “ooo let me pet your beard oh Jesus!”
Mark Dricoll says something similar in a different sermon where he says that we have feminized Christ a little bit. He’s white usually. He has a perfectly flowing beautiful hair with product in it and a well washed tunic pulled about him. He sits down with children and reaches out to butterflies. He is super sensitive and has the most beautiful blue eyes.
While I think that these things are true, I think that we have a tendency to create our different Jesus’ and love a certain kind or certain aspect of Jesus more than others. Here are a few that I can think of.
This is the Jesus in the sky who runs everything. There is some comfort in believing in a Jesus who runs everything and moves everything and is hanging out there in the azure blue, looking down on all of us and holding up the strings to the world and making it work. The comfort lies i thinking that Jesus is always on your side. The strings work in your favor if Christ is really good and if something doesn’t go well for you, then it actually must be good for you, you just don’t know. People like Cosmic Christ because it is a comforting idea.
This is the Christ that Matt Chandler and Mark Driscoll were talking about: beautiful hair, white skin, cuddling with small dogs, perhaps drives a Prius and may be a bit more effeminate than the average guy is comfortable with. Kids like this guy because he likes small animals. Women like this guy because he is the man they’ve been looking for.
Yeah, this is a very popular Jesus right now, right? The socialist, revolutionary, man for the poor, Che Guevara and Robin Hood all rolled into one with a holy book sort of Jesus. We like a Jesus that cares about the things that we care about. We like the Jesus who is fighting for the poor against the rich, but we never think that he is fighting against us. I like the Pro-poor Jesus, but don’t like to think that as a result he is anti-me. I like to think that I am doing “enough” for the poor by picking up a hitch hiker and putting a little more money into a micro-loan.
This image of Jesus comes from Kevin Smith’s movie Dogma, which is awesome. Just throwing that out there. Buddy Christ is the Jesus we all want to hang out with. No more of that “Knock it off Jesus is coming” attitude. Instead Jesus is a guy that meets you where you are, will stand smiling while you get high and winks at your sins because Hey, we’re all human. Buddy Christ is a Christ that meets you where you are. I think there is some merit in that, but ultimately he isn’t a Christ that wants you to get better.
I know all of these Jesus’ have a bit of truth in them. I know that they all have their lies and pitfalls. I know we like to love certain aspects of Jesus and gloss over others. I know I have issues diminishing the bigness and cosmicness of Christ and rather embracing the Buddiness and Liberation Theology Jesus.
Here’s to the constant hunt for the real Christ.