About Jesus Steve Sweetman
Gods In 2011
to the 1960's, I'd say most people in the western world understood God
to be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Because of the influx of Islam, secularism, humanism,
philosophies of tolerance, ecumenicalism, new age thinking,
multiculturalism, to name a few, into the west, this is no longer the
case. The God of the Bible
that supposedly died in the 1960's according to Time Magazine has been
resurrected in the 2000's as an all-purpose generic god that is supposed
to satisfy those of all religious, cultural, and philosophical
a few occasions in the past I have "counted Gods" in some
Christian gatherings I attended. I
would count how many time God was mentioned in relation to how many
times Jesus was mentioned in the meeting.
In one joint Evangelical gathering that began at 6 o'clock and
ended at 7:30, the first mention of Jesus outside of songs and Bible
readings came at 7:05. It
took 65 minutes before the name of our Lord and Saviour was mentioned. By
the end of the meeting, the final score of my counting of Gods was, God
29, Jesus 5.
haven't counted Gods for a while so I headed off to a popular Christian
conference speaker's web site to count Gods again. Her
message lasted 25 minutes. Outside
of a couple of quotes from the Bible and a quote from another author,
the final score in her message was, God 78, the Lord Jesus Christ 8.
You might think "Lord Jesus Christ" being three words
might score more than 8 mentions, especially in light of God being only
one word. That wasn't the
case. She said Jesus 7
times, Lord 1 time, and Christ 0 times.
as crazy as I'm sure you think I am, I believe the resulting statistics
of my craziness tells a sad story. We
simply talk more about God than our Lord Jesus Christ, and in today's
generic god world, that's no longer acceptable.
Most people don't consider this to be an important or practical
issue, but I certainly do.
be clear, and I wonder if clarity matters any more, the God Christians
serve is the "God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ".
(Romans 15:6, 2 Corinthians
1:3, Ephesians 1:3, 1 Peter 1:3) He
is not an all-purpose generic god. He
is specific to being the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ.
If we blur this truth by limiting the use of the name Jesus in
our vocabulary, as I believe we do, we misrepresent the God of the
Bible. As an aside, I
believe most of us simply think in terms of believing in God or Jesus,
not representing God or Jesus. The
ramifications of this failure isn't good.
John 20:21 Jesus said, "as the Father has sent me, so I am sending
you". This may be too
technical or nit-picky for many, but according to Jesus' own words, God
the Father sent Jesus into the world as His representative.
In like fashion, Jesus sends you and I into the world as His
speaking, we represent Jesus while Jesus represents God the Father. That's
one reason why we're called "Christians" and not "Godians".
Therefore, we should speak about our Lord Jesus Christ more than
we presently do so the world is clear on who we serve.
By the way, we are to "serve" Jesus, not just believe
in Him. The
apostle Paul said that he both "belonged to", and
"served" Jesus. (Acts 23:11) Serving Jesus seems
to be something else that has been lost in our thinking in recent years.
Himself has placed the Lord Jesus Christ in the center of all there is,
until such time when Jesus hands all things back to His Father. (2
Corinthians 15:25 - 28) In
today's vernacular, this means that "God has given Jesus top
billing". We should do
the challenge. You try
counting Gods and Jesus' during the next sermon you hear. I
understand that as you count, there are times when the context insists
you say God instead of Jesus, but when the score is 78 to 8 in favour of
God over Jesus, there's something a bit strange about that.
Peter 2:8 in the NIV characterizes Jesus as being "a stone that
causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall".
The KJV puts it this way. Jesus
is "a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense". Simply
put, Jesus offends people.
That's clearly seen these days.
Christians can talk about God all they want in politics, in
government, on talk shows, and in society in general, but when we talk
about the Lord Jesus Christ, bullets fly from all directions. Most
Republicans in the present race for President of the
very name of the Lord Jesus Christ is offensive these days, but that's
no reason to stop talking about Him as some so-called Christian leaders
suggest. To avoid offending
people, these leaders suggest we emphasize God over Jesus, and remove
all crosses from church property. President
Obama, who claims to be Christian, demanded that all crosses be removed
from the room in a