My name is Keith Giles. I love to write so that people can know Jesus and experience His life in their own.
So, I started this blog to help people understand who Jesus is, and how He reveals what the Father is really like.
This is a safe place to talk about all those questions you've had about the Bible, and Christianity. It's also a place to learn how to put the words of Jesus into practice.
Thursday, October 27, 2016
SAYING GOODBYE TO STAR-SPANGLED JESUS
"God made man in his own image and man returned the compliment." - Blaise Pascal
Christians in America have a problem. They've created for themselves a version of Jesus that doesn't really exist.
This Star-Spangled version of Jesus is pretty much the exact opposite of the one we find in the Gospel record.
This Americanized Jesus is anti-immigrant whereas Jesus was an immigrant.
Their Jesus is pro-war even though the actual Jesus was called the Prince of Peace and told us to love our enemies rather than kill them.
Their Jesus is patriotic even though the real Jesus never pledged allegiance to any nation, and came to bring all nations together as one loving family under His own banner of agape.
Their Jesus is a blonde-haired, blue-eyed capitalist, even though the real Jesus was a brown-skinned, brown-eyed Jewish man who would most likely be racially profiled by airport security.
The Americanized Jesus wants to be your co-pilot on the road to the pursuit of happiness, but the actual Jesus told us to surrender all that we own and take up our cross to die to ourselves on a daily basis. He also said not to trust in money but to freely give to whomever asks of us.
The red, white and blue Jesus is totally ok with torturing our enemies and bombing other nations, whereas the real Jesus told us to treat others as we hope to be treated, and that those who live by the sword will die by it themselves. He also said we should bless those who persecute us and pray for those who want to harm us.
Yankee Doodle Jesus is often compared to the American soldier because both were willing to lay down and die for your freedom. However, only the real Jesus actually died without attempting to kill as many other people as he could before he did so. He just surrendered his life out of sincere love for both those who loved him and for those who were nailing him to the cross.
The imaginary Americanized Jesus loves America more than every other nation. He blesses this nation more than He blesses the rest. Clearly, He has a plan for them that is more wonderful, and more special than any other nation. But the real Jesus loves all the nations equally. In fact, his love isn't for the national entities, but for the human beings who find themselves living in those places. They are all made in the image of His Father. He died for each of them. He blessed all of them equally. And if those who live in America are more financially secure than other nations, this should be taken as a sign of responsibility to care for those who are not as financially stable, not as a sign of our favored nation status with the Almighty.
The real Jesus is concerned about the poor and even suggests that the way we love them indicates how much we actually love Him, or not.
In short, many Christians in America actually worship a version of Jesus that doesn't really bear any actual resemblance to the real Jesus we see in the New Testament.
I once believed in that Star-Spangled Jesus, but not anymore.
My faith is now firmly centered in the Jesus we read about in the Gospel record. He is no respecter of persons. He recognizes no political system. He regards no nation any different from another. He loves everyone. He died for all of us. He invites everyone into His family and calls all of us to join in the great invitation to sit at His table.
There is only one Jesus. He wears no colors but His own.
Let's follow Him.
NOTE: My new book, "Jesus Untangled: Crucifying Our Politics to Pledge Allegiance to the Lamb" is available now on Amazon!