Another Jesus, Part 3

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Friday, February 22, 2019 0 comments

by Charlie Wolcott

As I go through this series (part 1 is here and part 2 is here), my desire in exposing all these false images of Jesus is not to condemn anyone who believes in these figments of imagination, but to help you see if you recognize yourself falling into one of these categories and if so, to get out before it’s too late. There are few churches left promoting the real Jesus and few pastors willing to preach who He really is. I have six more “other Jesus” models to address. Next week we’ll study the real one.

A very popular model of Jesus among scientists and politicians is the Unknowable Jesus. This Jesus is one you can praise and acknowledge, but you really can’t know who he is or what he is like. His standards, if any, are unclear, and he often allows us to do whatever we desire. He is acknowledged as being out there and as existing, but he is treated like many of the ancient near east cultures treated their gods: treating religious rituals as nice rituals, but having no real bearing on their everyday lives outside of that. The “Emergent Church/Progressive Christianity” movement presses this Jesus a lot. They say both God and the Bible cannot really be known so they must be “interpreted” in according to the culture. The Greeks knew there was a True God out there but did not know who he was or what he was like so they set up an altar to the “Unknown God” and worshiped Him as they did all their other gods. When Paul came to address the Greek experts at Mars Hill, he revealed who the True God was and most laughed him out, though some believed.

Closely related is the Distant Jesus. The Distant Jesus is the one who created everything and set things in motion but left us to do our own thing. This is the Jesus that Theistic Evolutionists and most other Old Earth believers follow, whether they recognize it or not. They may claim fealty to Christ, but when they describe him, how he acts, and how he does what he sets out to do, it looks nothing like what the Bible describes of him. This same Jesus is available for saving us from hell but does not rule over every area of our lives. He is only concerned that we get to heaven with him, but not with purity, holiness, or even an intimate relationship with us. This Jesus is correctly identified as distant from those who believe in this type of Jesus, because they are so far from the real one because of their sin that they have become blind to the issue. Beware of judging others for believing in this type of Jesus, because many Christians think they can do whatever they want without regard to input from Jesus. And this one hits closer to home than many of us would like to admit if we were truly honest with ourselves.

Many Old Earthers act like cult leaders in one primary aspect: they believe in an Enlightened Jesus. This Jesus is the one who gives special revelation to certain people and secret knowledge. This usually can only be acquired through either ‘proper education,’ or personal study. It is knowledge of God and what he did that was not accessible before as the Bible was being written, but revealed to us later now that we have enough science and technology to step away from the old accounts. The Enlightened Jesus tells each generation what they are capable of understanding and as a newer, more educated generation comes around, he explains a totally new idea that fits the better education. This Jesus is never above the knowledge base of the generation and culture and constantly changes according to what the leadership decides is the best way for him to operate. Peter warned us against such notions and told us that none of the prophecies of Scripture were of private interpretation. Paul also tells us that the wisdom of this world is foolishness and contrary to what God actually teaches. So, if anyone tells you they have special knowledge of God, beware because it’s likely not true. I do believe God will speak to us in regard to our personalities and perspective, but anything He says to one person will never contradict what He says to another nor with Scripture. If it does, someone got it wrong and we should always look at self first as the one being in error. That is one thing you will never see the Old Earth crowd do.

The Worldly Jesus is similar to the Enlightened Jesus. He is the one who works and operates in and through the world’s system, as they are the solution. Many American Christians have fallen for this, especially with Trump’s presidential administration, because they have turned towards politics or using politics as the solution to solving the problems instead of the Gospel. I want to say this clearly: Trump is not the savior for the U.S. from an ever-present anti-Christian agenda. The best he can do is delay it. So while as Americans, it is good to defend our rights and our freedoms, we MUST remember that that is Americanism, not Christianity. The True Jesus said “My kingdom is not of this world.” While God most certainly uses political entities and rulers for his purposes, and while we are to honor and respect our authorities, never are we to turn to them for our answers. God always got on the case of the kings who turned to other nations for their salvation rather than to God to deliver them. And we as Christians in America need to be preparing to suffer for our faith as has been the norm for the bulk of Christianity across the world and history.

The Social Jesus is related to the Worldly Jesus. This Jesus’s primary goal is to fix the problems in society, to save the turtles or save the planet, but doesn’t worry about things like sexual purity or any moral issues. If you have listened to any of the Emergent Church/Progressive Christian teachers, you have heard about this ‘other Jesus.’ This is the Jesus of the “Social Justice Warriors.” This is the Jesus who would side with Judas that the most precious possessions should be sold and given to the poor rather than given to the real Jesus. Now I am not saying don’t do any of these things. We should care for the poor. We should be good stewards of our planet. But why? The poor will always be with us and this planet is eventually going to burn with fire. The reason to care for the poor is because we care about their souls, and we show that by meeting their physical needs. The reason we take care of our planet is so those living on it can live properly on it. But that is not the end goal. The end goal is the glory of God. Social Jesus wants to save this planet for this world’s sake, not God’s sake, and when people address morality, that is a problem for that agenda. The True Jesus never called for social reform, nor did He fix any societal problems by any political means. Any changes He made was through the preaching of the Gospel and changing people’s hearts.

The last one I will address in this mini-series is the Pantheistic Jesus. There are two flavors of this one. A number of the Prosperity Gospel preachers declare a Pantheistic Jesus. They love to talk about God and his provision, but if you listen closely, when they talk about God, he is not the Lord and Sovereign King over the universe, but a New-Age mystical energy that comes to you to give you what you want. The Divine Butler and Genie Jesus line up with this one quite well. But what makes Pantheistic Jesus separate from those two is that many Old Earthers describe him as such too. I recently finished a book titled “The Physics of Christianity” and the author, Frank Tipler, ‘defines’ God as a “Cosmological Singularity” from which all the “multiverses” come out from and return to. While he tries to claim that this Cosmological Singularity is transcendent from the rest of the universes (yes, plural), everything he describes is “God is in nature and part of it.” Many Theistic Evolutionists ultimately describe God as little more than the laws of nature, which replace the ancient gods of Greece and Rome. That is not the God the Bible describes. He is not of this world nor is He comprised of anything in this universe. He is completely separate from it, yet interacts with it.

Do you recognize any of these “other Jesus” models in your circles, in your church, or more importantly in your own life? I’d hate to admit it, but as I wrote this series, I can still see hints of some of these lingering in my own life. There are other “other Jesus” models out there, but there is only one true Jesus Christ. Next week, we’ll take a look at who He really is and we’ll start by looking at some of the names He wears.

Like Charlie’s writings? You can purchase his book Biblical Foundations here!

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