dashboard jesusWho does the average American Christian worship?  Ray Ortlund says it often many times isn’t Jesus:

Our little Jesus is popular because he is useful. He makes us feel better while conveniently fitting into the margins of our busy lives. But he is not terrifying or compelling or thrilling. When we hear the gospel of Jesus Jr., our casual response is “Yeah, that’s what I believe.” Jesus Jr. does not confront us, surprise us, stun us. He looks down on us with a benign, all-approving grin. He tells us how wonderful we really are, how entitled we really are, how wounded we really are, and it feels good.

Jesus Jr. appeals to the flesh. He does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him. He is not able to understand them, much less impart them, because Jesus Jr. is the magnification of Self, the idealization of Self, the absolutization of Self turning around and validating Self, flattering Self, reinforcing Self. Jesus Jr. does not change us, because he is a projection of us.

I’m reminded of a song that was popular my senior year in high school by Depeche Mode called “Personal Jesus.”

The chorus of this song goes:

Your own personal jesus
Someone to hear your prayers
Someone who cares
Your own personal jesus
Someone to hear your prayers
Someone whos there

As Ortlund says, this is “Jesus, Jr.”  Projecting ourselves onto who we would like this Savior to be.  This is not the true, Biblical, bold, all-sufficient Savior, Lord of the Universe, who holds the keys of death and hell in His hands.

Alpha and Omega and the King of Kings. 

Compare Depeche Mode and society describes Jesus with how the late Rev. S.M. Lockridge describes Him.

Is that the Jesus whom we know, or is it our own personal jesus?

HT: Rob Harrison for the Ortlund post

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