Jesus Christ: lifeline or label?

I’ve long been a fan of Blimey Cow over on YouTube, but one of their recent videos was a real wake-up call for me. The video, titled “Let’s Take the ‘Christ’ out of ‘Christian’!”, gives a humorous insight at what Christianity would look like if we kept Jesus out of it. But it did get me thinking about how I’ve treated my faith for a good bit of this year: as a label.

With all the internet arguments (read: heated debates) I got into came the need to step outside of ‘Christian’ principles every now and then. Whether it was dancing around parts of Scripture I didn’t fully understand, or trying to push the blame for some things onto groups I thought were more guilty, or calling people out for being ‘bigoted’ when more often than not I was doing the exact same thing… I’ve been reading through John’s Gospel these last two weeks, something I had neglected to do until now, and more and more it stands out to me that the things Jesus asked of those who would follow Him didn’t always include what I was doing. I was trying to hold to a faith while leaving out its very Author and Perfector (Hebrews 12:2), and it wasn’t getting me far at all.

I once heard it said that in a survey, many people put ‘Christian’ down under the Religious Views section because they wanted to be seen as ‘good people’. I remember thinking, that’s insulting to both parties. It insults the Christian because it suggests there’s not much special about their faith, and it insults the non-Christian because it suggests they can’t be ‘good’ unless they follow the teachings of Jesus. Not to mention, the things Jesus said were enough to get him killed in the least pleasurable way possible. Did the people who strung him up there on that cross consider him ‘good’?

So I guess the main message we can learn from this is that if we just want to keep one element of Christianity, we’d better make it Jesus. Without him, the other things aren’t worth anywhere near as much. Thank You, Lord, for grace and forgiveness even though we deserve none of it. Help us to keep our focus on You.

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