What is the Christian claim?

In John Stott’s popular little book Basic Christianity he says  “The Christian claim is that we can find God in Jesus Christ.” I love this statement. Based on my experience however, this wonderful statement is not as simple as it seems.

Here are the top five things from my Christian experience that seem to make this “claim”  somewhat obscure.

  1. Christian Subculture (for many this is simply called church where the word “Jesus” can mean many things based on whether or not you are a conservative, liberal, Calvinist, fundamentalist, redneck, white collar, blue collar, Etc. )

    • Is the Christian claim… that we can find God in Christian subculture?
  2. Christless Judgement (judging others like Christ as if you have not been, are not being and will not be judged by Christ)

    • Is the Christian claim… that we can find God through our highly perfected form of  “fruit checking”, “sin policing”, and “meddling”? {I remember the nickname given to me  by a couple of the locals in one of the communities I pastored  was “The Sin Buster”}
  3. Standards (they seem to give a false sense of purpose after your relationship with Christ dies. After our love for Christ has been replace with the love of standards we begin to impose our love for standards on as many unsuspecting victims as possible)

    • Is the Christian claim…  that we can find God through standards?
  4. Leadership (You need leadership to tell you what to think and believe)

    • Is the Christian claim…  that we can find God through our perfect Christian leadership?
  5. Programs and Systems (Having a problem? We have a solution.)

    • Is the Christian claim…  that we can find God through our programs and systems?

None of these things are bad in and of themselves in my opinion. Subculture, Judgement, Standards, Leadership, Programs and Systems all have their place of course. Wherever God’s image bearers are you can expect to find these nesting things. They are just things that I have found being prescribed by us to broken people as a means to redemption long before they encounter the real Jesus.

Lets work on that.

If we can let the truth that Jesus  is a person and not an “idea up for grabs” we should be able to find comfort in “The Christian claim… that we can find God in Jesus Christ”. Lets allow the lost to find and be found by the real Jesus first then what grows out of that will be of much better use for His kingdom. 

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