Saturday, June 20, 2009

Most Wanted: Dead or Alive

Recently, via David Keen, I saw some survey results in the Express. Apparently, 3000 Britons were asked which dead person they would most like to meet. A third said Jesus.

Spot the glaring error. Yes, Jesus isn't dead, he's very much alive!

It's interesting though, that so many people expressed a wish to meet him. Given this statistic, you would expect our churches to be packed to the gills with people wanting to meet Jesus, and yet, I don't think that's happening. So what's going wrong?

Is it that people genuinely don't know that Jesus is alive? If so, then the problem is with our proclamation - the message is not being heard. At the very heart of Christianity is the good news that Jesus is alive - because if he's not, then we might as well pack up and go home (1 Corinthians 15: 14-19).

Is it that people like Jesus but not the church? This is sometimes the baseline and foundation for more emerging forms of the church, seeking to reach those who have been hurt by Christians, but still want Jesus. Jesus is attractive, but then there's those hypocrites in the church who are harder to deal with.

It's characteristic of our spiritual pick and mix culture, where you can have a quarter of Buddha, and a handful of Jesus (the sermon on the mount), and a dash of yoga, and a pint of Kabbalah and mix it all up to your own desire. You can claim to be in with Jesus and have nothing to do with the church. But that's not how it works. We're not saved to be lone rangers on our own - we are made members of the Body of Christ, together with all other followers of Jesus. The church is God's gift, as we support and encourage each other along the way.

Whatever the reason, it's good to see that people are interested in Jesus. Dead or alive. We have the good news of Jesus who died and was raised, who is alive for evermore. How can we not tell this to everyone?!

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