There is a huge gap between how Jesus is described in the Bible and how he’s often presented in many churches.
It’s almost as if the real Jesus (generous and loving) has been kidnapped, and a false Jesus (mean and judgmental) has been trotted out in his place.
At LifeJourney Church, we’re under no illusion that we’ve got it all figured out. But we are genuinely concerned and want to spark an honest dialogue.
Consider the evidence:
- The real Jesus taught that his followers should take a flexible approach, doing what love requires in any situation (Matthew 22:34-40; Mark 3:1-6). Many churches today teach that rules are more important than love.
- The real Jesus offered hope (Luke 4:18-19); one of his most common statements was, “Be not afraid” (Luke 12:32). Many churches today actively promote fear.
- The real Jesus defended sinners from attack (John 8:1-11). Many churches today lead the charge against them.
- The real Jesus empowered women spiritually (Luke 8:1-4; John 20:11-18). Many churches today teach that only men are worthy of spiritual leadership.
- The real Jesus encouraged simple living (Luke 12:13-34). Many churches today celebrate flashy materialism.
- The real Jesus celebrated diversity in God’s creation, including gay and transgender people (Matthew 8:5-13; Matthew 19:1-12). Many churches today call diversity an abomination. (For more info, explore these resources.)
- The real Jesus boldly crossed racial and ethnic boundaries (John 4:1-30; Luke 10:25-37). Many churches today are segregated by race and ethnicity.
- The real Jesus celebrated life and loved having a good time (Matthew 11:16-19). His first miracle was to create wine (John 2:1-11). Many churches today give the impression that fun is dangerous.
The list could go on and on. There’s a huge gap between the real Jesus and the Jesus often presented by institutional Christianity.
Here are some options for action:
- Learn more about the real Jesus. Every Sunday this fall, sermons at LifeJourney Church will contrast the Jesus of the Bible with the distorted Jesus often presented by institutional Christianity. Join us in our search for the authentic Jesus.
- Share your thoughts in the comments below. Invite others into the dialogue by sharing this page on Facebook or via email. (Comments will be moderated and must be respectful. It’s OK to disagree, but not to be disagreeable.)
- Spark a dialogue in your church by asking questions about the gap described above.
- Keep the billboards coming! Each billboard costs $584. Use this secure form to sponsor a billboard. Fill in the “Who Stole Jesus? billboard” field.
- Read more. Here are some resources that will empower you with information about Jesus.