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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

"Pass the Jesus, please."

I read a recent article that contained the following statement:

I recently received an email from a person claiming to be a Christian, yet one who does not believe in Jesus. I was shocked. How could a person call himself by the name of Christ, yet not believe in Him? This person wanted to help me experience the power of God in my life, yet without Jesus Christ. That is impossible! Without the cross there is no Christianity. Without the cross we have no hope, no salvation. The cross stands at the very center of our faith and even at the very center of human history. We would be nothing without it.” (emphasis is mine)

Here is someone who wanted to experience the “power of God” in their life, and yet to do this without Jesus Christ: to experience Christianity and yet not really believe in Jesus.  To me this is really not very surprising, despite the fact that the above author “was shocked”!  In fact, I don’t think this type of thought process is really all that uncommon amongst those in my demographic (Generation X’ers).  So, I guess, in a way, I can relate.

It really isn’t that hard to understand this perspective when you consider the fact that most of us view all “religions” as being pretty much the same thing.  That is, each religion seems to be basically different perspectives and different views of spirituality.  I guess this is not really a “new” view – it’s been around a while.  It’s just that these days, more and more, it is the norm.
And then we take this a step further.  Religions and spirituality is more than just picking our favorite and going with it – why stop there!!??  Why not take what appeals to you from each different religion and combine them to provide your own unique approach to life and spirituality.  Religions, then, are like the many different variety of foods on a long buffet line:  Just take the things that appeal to you and move on to the next thing.  And who can blame a person for this approach?  With the internet and the immense free flow of information a person can spend an afternoon and educate themselves on all the major religions and even dabble in some of the offshoots.  In fact, we can even talk in chat rooms and on message boards with real live representatives of these religions: a real Muslim, a real Hindu, a real Catholic, and any variety of Christian offshoot you can think of.  Religions, then, have become a massive spiritual schmorgasborg for those who have a range of spiritual appetites.  So, if you want to enjoy a little of the love of Jesus, but don’t really care for that nasty wrath of God recipe, then just take what you want from the Christian side of the buffet and move on to the next desirable dish.

So, is it really all that surprising that a person would inquire about experiencing the “power of God” without really wanting that much to do with Christ?  Is it really all that surprising that there are many “Christians” out there who don’t really believe in Jesus?  Not really.