Monday, May 9, 2011

My Jesus versus Your Jesus - Part 1

People’s views of Jesus are usually largely a projection of themselves. Compared to how much we know about our family and friends, the Bible provides only scraps of information about Jesus. Yet Jesus is the most important “person” in many Christian’s lives. How is it that Christian’s are able to “know” Jesus so well despite his physical absence and having little information about him available? How are Christians able to complete the scant Biblical picture of Jesus’ nature, character, personality, intentions, thoughts, attitude, demeanor, will and desires? The answer is simple: Jesus becomes a divine projection of the believer himself (why do you think most white artists depict Jesus as white?). This is why there is so much disagreement between believers about Jesus. It often seems that different believers are referring to completely different people when they say the name Jesus. “Jesus told you what!? That is not the Jesus I know! You must be deceived by the enemy.” Each individual unwittingly constructs their own Jesus, and that Jesus usually happens to favor the individual’s views and ways.

Take the rather large issue of homosexuality for example; are you strongly opposed to homosexuality? Then so is Jesus, who says gays will burn in hell, we should have laws in place against such abominations, and we should go warn gays of their folly. Do you support gay rights and believe God loves and saves homosexuals too? Then so does Jesus, who says all have sinned, we should not judge, we are saved by faith alone, and who came to preach a simple message of love. There are Christians at every possible stance on the issue of homosexuality. How many Christians believe that their views on homosexuality differ much from Jesus’ views? Not likely any.

Each individual constructs his own Jesus to provide divine affirmation for himself, that he is aligned with God. A lack of this sense of alignment creates stress for the believer, who will work to reduce this stress in conscious and subconscious ways. Consciously, the believer will work toward modifying himself toward the nature of God as it’s been taught to him. Subconsciously, the believer will work to modify his understanding of the nature of God toward his own psyche. Eventually the two entities, himself and his understanding of God’s nature, will meet at some arbitrary location in the middle, producing the desired sense of alignment. Subsequent feelings of inner peace serve to affirm the believer’s false sense of alignment with God, which is really just alignment with his own understandings of God (whatever those happen to be).

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