BY DR. STEVE DUNN
One of the earliest challenges that faced the Christian Church was to spiritualize Jesus until there was no flesh and blood left in him. Two schools of thought, the Docetics and the Gnostics, taught basically taught that Jesus was somehow not subject to all the things that make someone a human. They taught that Christ merely assumed the appearance of a human body, denying the reality of the humanity of Christ. The early church passionately resisted these heresies because they contradicted the apostolic message of a bloody cross and an empty tomb, reducing those critical truths to little better than heavenly holograms. They removed Jesus from the real world, making his saving hope unnecessary and therefore meaningless to everyday people.
The 21st century church is in danger of removing Jesus from the real world (including the church itself.) This time, however, not by denying his incarnation but by ignoring it. We have become more concerned with comfortable fellowship than with the mission to introduce people to the life-changing person of Jesus. We have been satisfied with gathering behind our walls–conducting worship in the name of Jesus but resisting the transformation that this Jesus died on a cross to make possible. Sacrificial servanthood has been replaced easy and sanitized good deeds. We have been content with confining Jesus behind the door of the church instead of following him into the streets to meet the least, the last and the lost.
We have removed Jesus from the real world where people are harassed and helpless like sheep without a shepherd. Instead of compassion and caring that introduces people to the one and only Savior of the World, we give the world political statements–supporting political candidates whose values pervert the very gospel Jesus brought into the real world that needed real solutions and genuine transformation.
© 2016 by Stephen L. Dunn. You have permission to reprint this provided it is unchanged, proper authorship is cited, it is in a publication not for sale, and a link is provided to this site or to www.drstevedunn.com. For all other uses, contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org