Saturday, May 17, 2014

Does Jesus Disapprove of Modern Christianity?

If Jesus suddenly came back to earth today, would he approve or disapprove of modern Christianity?

This is an interesting, and I think in some ways important, question for us to think about an ponder. However I think it doesn't really become useful until we personalize it. Does Jesus approve of how I am living out my Christianity? Even then, though, it can be dangerous. Thinking this way can get us into a works based attitude, causing us to feel judgmental about ourselves and about those around us. 

I saw this question presented on a website called by Dr. Rena Aslan. The website apparently allows people to present a question with multiple choice answers and poll how many answer each choice. In this case there were three answers: 'Approve' which got 4%, 'Disapprove' which got 87%, and 'Depends on the denomination' which got 4%. 87% of people, a total of 34,978, voted that Jesus would disapprove of modern Christianity! That is quite a majority! 

This got me thinking, does Jesus really disapprove of modern Christianity? A lot of Christian writers will write as though he does and same with preachers. Even I have written things that make it sound like we are doing things wrong and need to 'return to "true" Christianity'. But I think too say that Jesus disapproves of modern Christianity is going a bit too far. 

Are there aspects of Christianity that He disapproves of? Probably. Are there things that Christians do that He doesn't approve of? Of course there are. However to say that He disapproves of Christianity as a whole is a bold statement that I believe goes against Biblical teaching. 

First of all, look at all the wonderful things that the church has done and started. The majority of non-profits set up to feed the hungry have a Christian background, overseas aid is mostly done by Christians, and even most public hospitals and health care is provided by Christian organizations. It is true that there are a lot of Christians that are not focused on spreading Jesus's love in the world, however Christianity as a whole has been doing a lot to further His mission. 

With that being said, there is a much bigger reason why I don't think Jesus disapproves of modern Christianity as a whole. Jesus isn't focused on what we are doing or how we are doing it. He is not looking at our results and seeing if we are meeting our 'quota'. Jesus is calling us to relationship. True Christianity consists of a relationship with Jesus Christ. If we have entered into that relationship, and if we are striving to build that relationship then Jesus approves, regardless of what we do or don't do. If you are not in relationship with Him then He is simply calling you to come to Him. he is reaching out to you and asking you to answer His call. There are surely things that you do that He would rather you not do just like there are things that I do that He would rather me not do, but what He truly cares about is the relationship. 

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