Follow Jesus

Too many Christians want to put Jesus on a pedestal and worship him rather than accept his instructions to “Follow me” become his disciple. Orthodox Christian teachings declare Jesus to be fully human and fully God. Only looking at Jesus as God is a heresy popularly known as Jesusolatry.

Yet, other Christians prefer to focus on Jesus’ humanity and how he was a model for us, a new Adam. He fully devoted his life to the service of God even unto the point of death on a cross. However, rather than that death being some sort of redemptive sacrifice to appease an angry God, it was more along the lines of Martin Luther King Jr. going to Memphis even though he knew he might be killed there. He did what he needed to do and stuck to his principles. Not all Christians accept the doctrine of substitutionary atonement. There are much better ways to look at Jesus and his death. I don’t believe Jesus needed to die in order for God to forgive us of our sins. God is love, gracious and merciful. Always was, always will be.

I say these things from a mainline Protestant theological point of view. Mel Gibson’s film does a disservice to progressive Christians with it’s theme of redemptive violence.



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