Manage episode 221486819 series 2389948
What Would Jesus Do In The 21st Century?
WWJD in today's world? If Jesus Christ was alive today, how would he handle where we currently find ourselves?
Growing up in the fundamentalist Christian Church, I constantly experienced this question. "WWJD" was worn on bracelets, shirts, and seen on stickers all over the congregation. This phrase was preached and taught as some sort of doctrinal question to which we were expected to have a pretty good answer. In the church, "What Would Jesus Do?" was often treated as way of pointing out a "wrong" instead of identifying actual practical steps.
In other words: if a person was seen treating others disrespectfully, our "church leaders" would ask us to consider "What would Jesus do?"
When we were not spending enough of our mental energy focused on converting others to the Lord, we were asked "What would Jesus do?"
Constantly, we were asked to be "Christlike". Supposedly, judging our actions against "What would Jesus do?" was said to be a surefire way to achieve this goal. In the youth groups where I grew up, achieving this goal of being "Christlike" was seen as an incredibly admirable quality.
According to the church, I actually did a pretty good job! When I was about eleven years old, I was voted "Most Christ Like" for the year in our Upwards Christian Basketball league. I received the "White Star Award" trophy which is currently collecting some dust in my parent's attic. In general, this is how the question of "What Would Jesus Do?" was treated: it was some sort of prize to be achieved.
What WOULD Jesus Do?... For Real.
Asking what Jesus or any great historical figure would "do" is a powerful exercise. You see, here is where Christian churches seem to miss out: they rarely actually put critical thought into what Jesus would actually do based on the "real" examples we have in the Bible of Jesus actually doing things. If we take the Bible as an accurate representation of Jesus' life (or, at least, the character of Jesus), we can gain some valuable insights about what Jesus would actually do if he were alive today.
Why is it a good idea to ask "What Would Jesus Do?" If we are approaching this question more strategically and philosophically, why is this even a valid question? Why should you (especially if you have no relationship to Christianity) even care?
If you want to read more posts like this one, check out this post on the Law of Attraction on the blog:
Well, consider the impact of the character of Jesus.
Whether he is "real" or not, the impact of Jesus on our world cannot be denied. In his name, popes have launched crusades. Presidents have been elected. Inquisitions have been pursued. Televangelists have been made wealthy. Lives have been changed for the good. Marriages have been saved. Politics are affected. Christians have been killed by lions in Rome. Little boys like me have spent countless hours in various churches across the world, asking themselves "What would Jesus do?"
Studying the impact of Jesus is important work for anyone to do whether you are interested in history, philosophy, theology, or any number of disciplines... His life has echoed through time. In fact, if Jesus is not a real person, his life is all the more interesting! Have you heard of the book "The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross" by John Allegro? This book furthers a fascinating theory that "Jesus" was actually a code name used by early "Christians" to disguise the psilocybin mushroom so that their secret sacrament would not be discovered by the un-initiated. Following this theory, the character of "Jesus" was created by early Christians to share the lessons being taught on psychedelic mushroom trips. There is actually a similar theory about Socrates: that the famous philosopher was just a fictional creation of Plato.
Regardless of whether or not Jesus actually existed, it is worth our time to ponder the famous question of What Would Jesus Do. The answers can lead in some powerful directions.
What Jesus Would Do:
Jesus spent an enormous amount of time preaching about an important topic: righting the wrongs of religious teachers.
You can read a lot more about this topic at this post on the blog: