I love the Bible and I love Christianity as a religion. I love Jesus and everything he said. Sooner or later every Christiany religious person gets to the place where they’re driven to believe the Bible’s Christianity or one of the many programs, idols, nice sounding facsimile or states of mind that veer from the real thing into an alternative version.
Now I’m not saying that this makes a person not a Christian because that has to do with which Christian things they refuse to believe but sometimes a specific soul just can’t take the whole Jesus.
I’ll give you an example.
The Jesus was against the death penalty people. Admittedly, there is real complexity to Jesus’ ethics; there’s no easy peasy bible ethics. So we explain it this way…
1. Jesus is taken to be fully God and fully man.
2. In Christian thought that means Jesus is God, the same God that is in the Old Testament, the same God of the flood of Noah, the Ten Commandments, the plagues of Egypt and the Conquest of the Promised Land. All Jesus, if you will, prior to the incarnation. Not a differing being with different ethics or a different understanding of himself, man or his program for the world.
3. This means that Jesus (in his perfect deity) oversaw, implemented and personally imposed the death of millions specifically on the basis of the sins and evils against each other and as offensive to himself. It’s OK because no God worth having would not take care of this cosmic level judgment and justice type programs but it should be and rightly is a little bit terrifying.
One place where the Bible states this explicitly is here from the book of Jude:
5 Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.
God is love, yes but he isn’t less justice than he is love.
So this Jesus, in him God himself came to deal with us, to take care of our infinite problem and to save us from ourselves; all of this being to the glory of his father. But it doesn’t make him less God than God himself; he has to be the very same God, not a some new and improved build back better God of the human imaginations. So there is this alternative God and Jesus that preaches better, that people like more because he is nicer and will put up with more of their inhumanity and disgusting evils -and they love him for it. The problem is that he doesn’t exist. He is not a real thing.
The real Jesus, the real Christianity, is the one that is in the Bible. That’s the only shot at God you’re going to get. Is he a loving God? He is. He loves me. His love is perfect and I feel very secure and safe knowing him and that I am his servant and possession. But he is not a little thing to be trifled with nor a toy for the spiritual amusements of the human mind. He does not exist for the fulfillment of human desires nor does he long endure disrespect or disregard. He is patient as we might understand the patience of the all powerful God but not in the sitting around unwilling to act upon evil kind of patience that people like to impose upon him. He hates evil every day and in your heart of hearts you know as well as I do that that’s the God the Bible is delivering.
Cute, pheromone inducing gods are imps or daemon or divinities of the human imagination; they have nothing to do with the God of the Bible, you know that. The gods of the blogs? They aren’t the real deity. The T.V. preachers and lady Bible scholars? They’ve never met him. If you’re reading a New York Times bestseller? That’s not Jesus; the world can’t take him like that. He is too much blood and smoke and vapor of fire for them. Too much earthquake and storm. Too much tempest; too much drawing back his mighty sword. Too much God of the consuming flame that cannot be looked upon or touched because the mountain is holy.
Just embrace him as he is; just let Jesus be Jesus and see your love for him and your knowledge of him flourish.
He is true truth and exactly who you know and fear him to be.