Does Jesus Really Matter?
There’s been a lot of talk of Heaven, Hell, and everything in between. As of late–and this is nothing new–many popular Christian leaders are challenging mainstream Christianity’s understanding of these things. While these subjects are uncomfortable, especially Hell, they are necessary. Why?
>Because in the end, nothing else matters.
The trend seems to be to create a sort of faith that doesn’t ‘offend’ or ‘judge’ anyone. After all, the logic is, we know God would never judge anyone. To do this, you must begin to water down Jesus because he said plenty of offensive and judgmental things that don’t get a lot of airtime–if you’re trying to create a feel-good faith.
>That means we must decide how much Jesus really matters.
The focus of this trend seems to always come down to the same thing: being good, doing good, and making the world a better place. This is often put in the context of healing: heal hearts, relationships, and even the environment are often the focus. Overall, I agree. But it’s the vanilla version of Jesus that doesn’t seem right.
If being good and making the world better is the goal, wouldn’t it be more effective to leave off any mention of God or Jesus?
Since discussing God and Jesus can so often be divisive, why not create a new secular humanist faith that avoids all that? One that’s totally dedicated to promoting good deeds and good will among all. This would probably be more readily accepted. Coexistence and harmony between all creation—man, animals, and environment—would create universal peace and a heavenly state. Who could argue with that? This less offensive, more congenial religion would probably have more impact on society and culture as a whole.
>All we have to do is leave God and Jesus out of the equation.
Sounds familiar? Isn’t this an application of Christianity that is some quasi-universalist, pseudo-Buddhist, completely indistinct Frankenstein of a religion in which, although it claims so, Jesus is not really essential?
So what do you do with statements of Jesus like:
“…I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” -John 14:6
This implies that without acknowledging Jesus as supreme and central, you’re actually lost. This Jesus always gets explained away to fit the Frankenstein faith. It just doesn’t seem right.
Ultimately, everyone must decide for himself or herself.