What would Jesus really do?
The quote posted below is from an article, written by Mick Mooney for the Huffington Post, I read during my talk in church yesterday. Many people were impacted, challenged and engaged with the truth displayed here. My comments on the article are below. Enjoy!
Once upon a time, a mother made her son a wristband. On it was written: WWJD?This, of course stood for: “What Would Jesus Do?” She instructed her son to look at the wristband before making decisions on how to live his Christian life.
A week later she was shocked to see that her son had become friends with prostitutes, was hanging out with ‘sinners’ — even buying people who were already drunk yet another round of beers!
Worse still, he had walked into their church the previous Sunday and tore down the book store, overturned the tables and threw the cash register through the window, he then made a whip and chased the pastor out of the building, declaring he was turning God’s house into a den of thieves.
Most shocking was what happened when his mother went to picket the local abortion clinic. To her embarrassment, her son was also there, but he was standing with the women who just had an abortion, and yelled at the protesters: “You who are without sin, throw the first stone!”
The mother was very distressed, but fortunately she found a solution to this terrible problem. She made another wristband, this time it read: WWAPD? This, she explained to her son, stood for: “What Would A Pharisee Do?” She took the oldWWJD? wristband and burned it.
Since her son has been wearing the new wristband, looking at it to help him make his decisions, he has become a dedicated tither, a public prayer warrior, an active condemner of ‘sinners,’ a passionate defender of the Old Covenant law, and has a great reputation as a godly young man amongst other religious people.
Needless to say, the mother is very happy now. She only wishes Jesus would take notice and follow her son’s good example.
1. Mick has picked up on something brilliant here: a generation believed the bracelets to be about moral authority. We assume that because you wear a bracelet, you will choose to toe the line for what convention says is good and condemn what conventional christianity says is bad. In protestantism the pope was replaced by the Bible and now many people think of the Bible as a prescription for a better life which lived out, brings out the best in us. The problem is that the scripture seems to contradict itself in wisdom(see proverbs 26:4-5), but don’t worry, we call that paradox(two seemingly conflicting ideas that exist in the same truth). In other words, the scriptures are impossible to follow without the Holy Spirit to teach. Many do not use these bracelets to challenge them to do the things Jesus did, like care for the poor, preach the Kingdom, heal the sick, etc…because to us in the west, Christianity is about the 7 steps to have a better marriage and not about how to live and extend the Kingdom of God, which was Jesus’ primary message.
2. Someone has to say it and it might as well be me: Jesus turned real water into real wine that was fermented very similarly to today’s wine. The wine was considered “good,” thus it was old wine that Jesus created and the only way wine becomes old is through fermentation. It was not grape juice. Jesus’ first miracle was to keep the party going! This is awkward for many of us in the south who condemn the use of alcohol, because of the devastation it has caused in society. Instead of teaching students how to manage their freedom in Christ, they are sold a bill of goods that limit them to memorizing scripture but not living an adventurous life that Christ has given them. I am not saying go out and get a drink, but I do think that Jesus tells us to receive the Spirit (Acts 1:4-8) and ask Him questions.
3. The author has picked up once again that the Jesus displayed on television looks more like a politician than a jew from Nazareth. When Jesus turns over tables in the temple, we celebrate. If He were to walk into our economic services and demand anything, we would remove Him and have him sign a paper that was legally binding never to return to the campus again.
4. When he speaks of protesting abortion clinics, this was the moment where it got very quiet in my church. Why? It is so easy to point out the obvious and go after the structure without realizing there are people behind the structure. It is hard to seek out the directors of those programs and the people who have been through the abortion and truly show them the goodness of God, which leads to repentance. The mercy of God that triumphs over judgment. Pointing the finger is the easy thing. Loving people we disagree with is the hard thing.
5. The Pharisees who stand outside on the street corners with their mighty bullhorns and list of sins (I always find it odd that ‘democrat’ is in the list) always believe they are doing the Lord a favor by performing the Spirit’s role of conviction. In reality, its a form of witchcraft, out to manipulate and sow fear, not repentance in the hearts and minds of people. Repentance, which means the changing of the mind, never happens on those street corners. It happens when the people of God enter into the world of those who are broken, display and proclaim the good news, who actually see transformation.
6. Lastly, we want comfort! We want to feel safe and secure with our families and our jobs. The only problem is that we aren’t wired for comfort, we are wired for adventure! If you live comfortably, you most likely do not need the Comforter (Spirit). Embrace and live. Today is a new day!