Author: Richard DeMoss
Source: the Bold and Unashamed blog – 3.25.2013
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. (John 1)
The Word. Jesus Christ. Over the years he has been known by His many names. The Only Begotten. The First-Born. The Son of God. The Son of Man. The Prince of Peace. The Anointed One. The Bread of Life. The Morning Star. The Lion of the Tribe of Judah, and hundreds of other titles that describe His character. But within the last century, a new name for Jesus has been created. This name for the King of Kings is not found in the pages of His word, but within the walls of our modern churches. This new Jesus has invaded our minds and lives, changing the way we view ourselves and others. Like Victor Frankenstein, our culture has created a monster, one that threatens to destroy everything true Christianity was and is. What is this monster’s name?
American Jesus is far from the Biblical Jesus that hung on the cross and has the power to save. American Jesus is a plague that threatens to destroy the future of Christianity. Who is this American Jesus?
AMERICAN JESUS: A CHARACTER ANALYSIS
American Jesus never speaks up. He is forever tolerant of other’s actions and lifestyles. American Jesus never points out someone else’s faults; he only encourages them to “live their best life now.” He would never “shove himself down another’s throat.” He lives his life in silence. His favorite verses are, “Don’t judge,” and “Turn the other cheek.” If someone else disagrees with his beliefs, he merely points out that everyone’s path to Jesus is different, and that they may be following Christ in their own way. American Jesus goes to church on Sunday morning and loves the worship service. His favorite worship song?
“God, you are love. God you are great. God you are mighty. God you are peace.” (Repeat 40 times.)
When the Pastor’s “challenge” is given, American Jesus sits and glances at his watch. How long will this take, he wonders. The speaker’s message of “God is love, He loves you as you are and doesn’t expect you to change” moves American Jesus. How wonderful it is to be loved of God! What a good reminder. After the service American Jesus tweets about how good God is, then proceeds to live the rest of the week out in however He sees fit. He can’t make it to Wednesday night prayer meeting, because, well, the basketball game is on. He makes no sacrifices for God, pays no mind to God throughout the week, but it doesn’t really matter. God loves and accepts him as he is. He feels pretty good about himself. He goes to church, he loves everybody; he believes himself to be about as Christlike as it gets. He even left a gospel tract on the Starbucks table where he and his friends had coffee! He is really doing things for God!
– Mustard Seeds and Mega-Churches
The only time American Jesus ever speaks out is when He sees others “Judging.” American Jesus hates judging. Any Christian who speaks out against sin or sinful lifestyles gets an earful from American Jesus. How dare they play God and judge someone else! That is NO way to love someone to Christ! Shame on them.
– Praying for Richmond, VA
American Jesus is comforted by his friends at church on Sunday. He did the right thing, he’s sure of it. But something nags in the back of his mind. Maybe he DOES need to change somethings about his lifestyle. Maybe that “judgmental” Christian has a point.
Oh, but wait, his favorite song is next.
“God, you are love…”
Get the picture? Sound familiar? I’m sorry to say, it sounds very familiar to me. All too familiar. American Jesus has invaded our culture and turned us into Christians that bear no resemblance to Christ at all. American Jesus is leading people, sure, but he’s not leading them to Heaven.
– Tolerance, Intolerance, and Truth
AMERICAN JESUS VS BIBLICAL JESUS.
What is the difference between American Jesus and Biblical Jesus? I hope you brought your Bible. Hold on tight.
American Jesus would have never acted the way Biblical Jesus did.
Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly. (John 4)
Did Jesus seriously just call out that woman? Did He just tell her of the sin she was in?
Biblical Jesus offers Grace and Mercy, but only when paired with showing the sinner her need for the Savior. Why do you think she ran into town and said, “Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?” instead of, “Come see this man who told me he loved me a whole awful lot.” He established the need, he didn’t pull any punches for the sake of being tolerant.
– An Appeal to Churches to Use Bibles
Biblical Jesus had many things to say to the religious leaders of his day. He called them, fools, hypocrites, blind guides, whited sepulchers, murderers, a generation of snakes. Wow! American Jesus would have needed to wash his mouth out with soap after all those potty words. Biblical Jesus did not hesitate to call evil evil, even when it was found in those in leadership positions!
One huge example used by modern day churches in defense of a tolerant Christianity is the account of the woman caught in adultery:
And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
What an amazing story of redemption! What love Christ shows to the woman. What an example for us, that we should love those who have been bound by sin, and show mercy to them. But American Jesus forgets the next part of that passage.
When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
Jesus does not condemn the woman. He offers her mercy and forgiveness. But what else does He say?
Go, and sin no more. Not “Go ahead back to what you were doing.” Go, and sin no more. You know better now. You have been forgiven. You may not live as you have been living. When meeting Biblical Jesus, you may come as you are, but you may not stay as you are.
Not only did Biblical Jesus speak boldly, He acted boldly.
And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written , My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.
That doesn’t sound like American Jesus, does it? John 2 says He even made a whip to drive all of them out of the temple.
Biblical Jesus was pretty serious about this whole “Christianity” stuff. Biblical Jesus was ready to stand for what was right, even if it made Him some enemies.
And it definitely did make him some enemies.
The most important distinction between American Jesus and Biblical Jesus is what it cost. Biblical Jesus was murdered, put on a cross for our sin, paid our penalty so that we could be free. Jesus’ claims made his enemies so angry they murdered Him. What does American Jesus get? A big church, a nice car, and a televised program every week.
While American Jesus promises prosperity, Biblical Jesus promises persecution.
Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
(2 Timothy 3:12)
Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept My saying, they will keep yours also. (John 15:20)
American Jesus and Biblical Jesus are polar opposites. Believe it or not, Jesus said this would happen.
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. (Matthew 7:15)
Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron.
(1 Timothy 4)
So who have you been worshipping? American Jesus, who has no more power to save you than the Easter Bunny? Or Biblical Jesus, Jesus Christ as He truly is, equally holy and loving? Are you being bullied by other “Christians” and are now ashamed to speak out for Christ for fear of being labeled intolerant? It’s time we stand up and decide to be bold and unashamed, speaking the truth in love, and speaking it boldly. Biblical Jesus, Jesus Christ, the King of Kings is our example, and to be a “Christian” is to follow His leading, not the leading of some hipster, tolerant, all-loving, no judging Jesus who is being preached from way too many pulpits.
– The Seeker-Friendly Way of Doing Church
THOU SHALT HAVE NO OTHER GODS BEFORE ME. American Jesus is a false god. It’s time to stop worshipping him.