The question was posed in my YOUTH 201 class: where might Jesus hangout in our culture and modern era? At which lunch table demographic might we find Jesus?
At first the question quite frankly seemed irrelevant to me. I passed it off as another one of the professor’s opportunities to have his students interact, and understood that purpose. But secondly, I saw the question as unanswerable: His ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8). Are we asking ourselves what would be best thing for Jesus to do in our culture? I simply do not know. My only source of knowing what is good is the example of Christ; He can alter my understanding at any second and convict me otherwise with any exemplary action. But, we do have a source of knowing what is good, and that is found in the Scriptures.
So I listened to some responses to the questions and passively nodded and went on in agreement. The answers: “He would go to every table.” “He would go to the tables with the most brokenness.” “I think He would sit in the middle of the room in meditation and wait for people to engage Him.” I had to stop my passive thought… What are these people talking about? I am sitting here in one of the classrooms of the largest Christian colleges in the world, and these people are rattling off these answers with bold confidence, and what is their basis? Where is the scripture?! Where is the real Jesus?! Now I understand the amount of speculation that goes along with this question, but if we are going to go out on a limb and hypothesize “What Would Jesus Do?”, should there not be, not just a mere hint, but an overwhelming amount of Biblical support?
If we aren’t drawing claims from the Bible, then we are drawing them from our own preconceptions. And whether we like it or not, the Jesus that is defined by our perceptions, opinions and prejudices is not the real Jesus; it is an idol of our minds and hearts. I believe the answering to this question has revealed the danger of our Jesus culture. It is great to say WWJD, but who is your Jesus? If you have your Jesus wrong, then you will be trying to live out your idol rather than the Jesus of the Bible.
A future post will be centered around affirming or negating the answers proposed by my classmates: Jesus would “…would go to every table… go to the tables with the most brokenness… He would sit in the middle of the room in meditation and wait for people to engage Him.” And we will see just how Biblical this Jesus is that we have constructed. I am not trying to be cynical, only careful. I know the parasite of the “Christian Critic” that is sucking out the joy from the church today, and I am not attempting to imitate them. My goal is to simply test and affirm every thing Biblically.