I posted something on Facebook the other day:
A real man gives up one night stands for a woman he can’t stand one night without.
I thought the sentiment was awesome. Then somebody else responded with something really biblical and kind of out of context, saying that the sentiment was not very spiritual. I had been Jesus-juked.
As some friends and I were talking about a football game a couple of years ago, the talk turned to our favorite teams. One of the guys piped in, “I only root for Jesus.” A classic Jesus-juke!
For the uninitiated, a Jesus-juke is when someone takes an innocuous comment and turns it hyper-spiritual. For example, I saw a bumper sticker the other day that said, “Jesus for President.” Really? You want the King of Kings and Lord of Lords to take a job demotion and become President? I am sure the person had good intentions, but the idea is just kind of silly.
To be honest with you, I think a Jesus-juke trivializes who Jesus really is. If we have to try so hard to inject him in every situation and every conversation in such forced, awkward ways, what does that say to the people who hear it? Don’t we come across like the guy that almost every church I grew up in had? You know him, the one who says proudly, “I don’t smoke, and I don’t chew, and I don’t associate with those who do.” They walk around with their ecclesiastical robes pulled tight around them, nose looking down on the “sinners” they see. And they see plenty of sinners. Everybody is a sinner but them, apparently.
Do we really think that is a good representation of the God we serve? When Jesus walked this earth people were drawn to Him. They sought Him out, wanting to hear what He had to say. I sincerely doubt that if He was as judgmental and joyless as some of His modern followers, people would have gone out of their way to avoid Him. I know I would have.
Now somebody will Jesus-juke this and say that I am liberal on sin. Nope, in fact, I think I’m fairly conservative. I firmly believe that God has a standard by which His followers must live, and it is clearly drawn out in the Scriptures. However, that doesn’t mean that I follow everybody’s personal interpretation of sin.
For example, for me drinking alcohol would be a sin. The Bible doesn’t say not to drink alcohol. In fact, Timothy was told to take a little wine for his stomach, and Jesus turned water to wine. And if you try to say that Jesus made grape juice you are wrong. Read the passage with an open mind and you’ll see it was wine, plain and simple, not Welch’s. But for me, because of my background and some of my past, alcohol is a no-no. I don’t drink out of a personal conviction. For me it is sin, for you it might be okay. You and God have to work that out.
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved. (1 Corinthians 10:27-30)
Here’s the thing: we need to give people freedom to be who God makes them, not who we want them to be. God will work out the sin in their life, it is our job to love others and show them the way to live by how we live. Not by how we talk, how we live. Make sure your life isn’t a bad example of what Christ wants us to be and, if you let your actions preach, you won’t have to!
And for crying out loud, quit Jesus-juking… Jerry