Monday, October 8, 2012

Not-So-Personal Relationship with Jesus

Over the weekend I enjoyed some wonderful road trip conversations, ones that mirrored some of my readings in a collection of letters from Teilhard. One big theme emerged from these, and I think it's super-relevant to us today, and this week. But first, read yesterday's prayer - beautiful? I love Berry. Use that prayer to screw your head back on after I blow your mind:

Personal Relationship with Jesus is Overrated. 

Jesus just wants to chill.
First - it's John Wesley's Methodists who are credited with inventing the "personal relationship with Jesus" model of spiritual/religious life in the late 18th century. So it's a pretty new concept, and it was developed to fly in the face of religious tradition as a form of rural revival. So it's not like the personal Jesus cult is a time-honored tradition, it's just really popular with a loudly Christian minority. 

But here's my big point. I don't need more friends. Seriously. If Jesus is just our friend then we would not consider him a universal savior, we wouldn't build a religion around him. Making Jesus God into a Dude Bro dramatically cheapens the power of the Jesus stories.

The question being asked by Millennials is:

"What about this historical figure, Jesus, is worth adoring?"

The extensions of this question include "Why accept a creed of adoring Jesus?" and "For what reasons would I ever submit to a Jesus organization?"

If christian organizations answer that question with historical stories and parables from Matthew, Mark, and Luke, then they will lose millennials (and all believers).

So what about the Jesus story is worth knowing? Let's find out this week.

Hint: read yesterday's prayer.

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