I’m ready for a modern day Jesus movement. I was picking berries when I began humming to the Lord, “I really wanna see you. I really wanna know you, Lord,” and then I got to the “Hare Krishna” part and I sighed. John, what’s the deal? Jesus isn’t cool enough? I know, I know. Jesus is not fashionable. What IS fashionable is, “Yeah, yeah, it’s all cool. Spiritual paths are all leading to the same place. Isn’t it great to not be tied to any one particular name or religion? Get out of that small-mindedness and come up higher where we all are one and enjoy the variety of all paths. No one is better than another. The Way isn’t a person or a name. The Way isn’t ONE WAY. No, it’s above it all that….”
The words remind me of something I read in my early twenties in a book on open marriage. “It’s not necessary to commit yourself to one person. Sharing is caring. Grow up, and get over your petty jealousies. We are all just struggling to find our way, and we should love one another freely. Free love is unconditional, and generous, and open. Why would you want to limit your love to ONE person for the REST of your life?”
Here’s the rub. The open marriage idea was kinda gross. And putting Jesus on the same plane as all the other gods is too. The other gods did not carry a massive wooden cross and get brutally nailed to it willingly to take upon themselves what was needed for my redemption. Nor do other gods claim to have created the current universe we inhabit. So, to cheer them all on as equals, and praise them and thank them with a tip of a wine glass, like we are ALL on the same plane, is about as gross as the open marriage idea.
In the Jesus movement, there is praise and talk of his goodness. There is a celebration of our redemption, our freedom, and our love for our Savior. The awkward embarrassment, and apologetic tones used when discussing God and Jesus are blown away by our enthusiasm. If you are a Christian, and behave like a Christian, you can expect to be hated for your Christianity. And we understand fully, that to love him means we will be hated. If you are a Christian, but do not behave like a Christian, do not claim that the hatred directed at you is because of your Christianity.
I feel a little bad for Jesus. He wasn’t cool, I don’t think. But he had something wonderful that drew people from Roman soldiers, to nervous Pharisees, to the neediest blind, diseased, and lame. Even rich Zacchaeus climbed a tree for a chance to lay eyes on him. So somehow, the participants in the Jesus movement will have to have something current Christianity doesn’t.
Something wonderful, and beautiful like Jesus had. Love? Yes. But it can’t be that free love yuckiness that promises freedom only to leave you feeling empty and used. No, it’s got to be the Way. The Jesus movement that actually follows him, hears him, loves him, and sees him in ourselves and others. Our Treasure is not cheap. Our Treasure is costly, Holy. And the goal of our love is the prize of His pleasure.
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.
For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.
When Jesus came by, he looked upat Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.”
If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar
If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
You will be hated by everyone on account of My name, but the one who perseveres to the end will be saved.
Oh that men would praise and glorify his goodness in all the earth!
Without Faith it is impossible to please him.
I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.