Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Personal Jesus

Remember the song "Personal Jesus" (Depeche Mode, also Johnny Cash's rendition)? Lyrics have been rumbling through my head as I think about my message this Sunday during a series my church is in called "American Jesus." Series is exploring the cultural version of Jesus in America with the Biblical version. Similarities, differences, etc.

Anyway, it's interest that one of the key phrases of the Church has been "a personal relationship with Jesus." Yet - this phrase is not found in the Bible. Now I believe in the concept of a relationship with God (creation/Creator), but there is a huge danger in our culturally formed idea of a "personal Jesus." For one, He becomes anything I want Him to be. We each have our own Jesus, and my version is valid, your version is valid, etc. Another danger that is rampant, in my opinion, is that we abandon the Gospel message of COMMUNITY. We say things like "I have a relationship with Jesus, I don't need the Church community." But this kind of thinking is anti-Gospel. In fact, the entire message of the Bible is COMMUNAL in focus. This is radical for our time. Because if we take it to the extreme (which I believe we should) it means that MY LIFE impacts YOUR LIFE and vice-versa. Because we are a BODY, as the Bible suggests. Jesus speaks communally about the Church, Paul does, as well as the other NT writers.

Something to think deeply about ...

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