Recently, I began reading through David Platt’s “Radical: Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream”, and I have to say, one chapter in and it has shaken me to the core.
I don’t know what the remaining chapters have in store for me, but if the first chapter is any indication, my faith will truly be shaken and I will be forced to reshape it based, not on what David Platt says, but what the Bible says my faith in Jesus should look like.
One of the major things that hit me and caused me to re-evaluate my faith was this statement, “In this book I want to show you that, with the best of intentions, we have actually turned away from Jesus. We have in many areas blindly and unknowingly embraced values and ideas that are common in our culture but are antithetical to the gospel he taught.”
Powerful. Convicting. Heart-breaking. True.
I want to take some time to explore a point that David made in the first chapter of his book and I want you, Church, to seriously consider where you stand.
“We are giving in to the dangerous temptation to take the Jesus of the Bible and twist him into a version of Jesus we are more comfortable with.”
Isn’t this the truth?
I have been there many times. I have created a comfortable Jesus, a Jesus that doesn’t pull at my heart about world issues or even local issues. A Jesus that says, “Just put some money in the offering plate. Do the bare minimum and you’ll be fine.”
A Jesus that says, “Don’t worry about that. Someone else will come along and help. Just you see. Keep driving/walking/scrolling. It’ll be just fine.”
“A nice, middle class, American Jesus. A Jesus who doesn’t mind materialism and who would never call us to give away everything we have. A Jesus who would not expect us to forsake our closest relationships…A Jesus who is fine with nominal devotion…A Jesus who wants us to be balanced, who wants us to avoid dangerous extremes, and who, for that matter, wants us to avoid danger altogether. A Jesus who brings us comfort and prosperity as we live out our Christian spin on the American dream.”
Do you see what we’ve done? We’ve taken the Jesus of the Bible and shaped Him into an image we’re comfortable with. He looks like us.
We have taken the image of the Most High and molded Him into our image.
In essence, we have broken both the first and second commandments in one fell swoop:
1. You shall have no other gods before Me.
2. You shall not worship any graven image.
And yet, we worship a different Jesus than the Bible shows. We pray to effigies and statues and worship the images of Jesus that we find in modern paintings and depictions. We may not think we do…but we do.
“And the danger now is that when we gather in our church buildings to sing and lift up our hands in worship, we may not actually be worshiping the Jesus of the Bible. Instead we may be worshiping ourselves.”
This is the real danger, isn’t it?
I’m going to flesh out some more of what David shares throughout his text as I go through it, and, like David, I want you to take this journey with me.
So, I ask you: who do you worship? who do you serve?
“…choose today whom you will serve…But as for me and my family, we will serve the LORD.” – Joshua 24:15
This is what the Sovereign LORD says.