Sunday, May 27, 2007

Our "Woos-ified" Jesus

I am becoming more aware of, and more concerned about, the picture of Christ that we -- His children -- reflect to the world. "Niceness" has become, at least in the American Christian sub-culture, the consummate virtue, trumping courage, boldness, and honesty. For the most part, the good Christian man is sweet and docile. Rugged, 'biker-dude' masculinity is passe.

But what about Jesus? I considered the lyrics to what has become one of our standard praise choruses in the church:
"Jesus" is the sweetest name I know
And He's just the same ... as His lovely name
That's the reason why I love Him so,
"Jesus" is the sweetest name I know.

Substitute any other man's name in the verse above. What do you get? I'd call it "A Paean to a Pansy."

Jesus was not "sweet" and "lovely." He was a rugged and thoroughly masculine man. A lumberjack, a work-and-sweat laborer. When a carpenter built something in ancient Israel, he didn't run down to the lumber store. He cut down a tree -- by hand -- and proceeded from there. No Skil saws or power tools.

Similarly, Jesus' friends were heavy dudes. Fishermen who worked all night with hands and shoulders and backs. Do your homework and see for yourself how these people lived.

And yet, we portray Jesus and His disciples as soft and lovely, in our music and in our art.

Listen, folks. Jesus Christ is no wimp, and we give Him an insult if we portray Him as such. Christian men need to become the most manly people on the planet. Don't let either the world or the wimps in the Christian establishment define YOUR Christianity.

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