Where Is Jesus?

A tragedy occurs at a major college – and instead of mourning a tragedy, we’re quick to find blame. Don Imus uses very poor judgment in an off-handed comment, and gets people fired up about shock jocks and media misuse… as if it were something new.

In United Methodist circles, IRD, a conservative think-tank, is being accused of being in bed with Rupert Murdoch media outlets and having a questionable director (admittedly, having an ex CIA employee these days isn’t very convincing or even good P.R.). The “liberal” factions produced a book United Methodism at Risk a few years ago (I received one as an alternate General Conference delegate) that preached tolerance yet was intolerant of those who varied from their opinion, plus had some obvious factual errors in it! Renewal Groups haven't renewed much other than increasing cyncism and poor morale.

What in the world do these things have to do with anything substantial? College kids getting killed in school is tragic – how does blame help? Shouldn’t we be mourning senseless deaths instead of blaming a lack of gun control or school officials for letting someone “slip though?” Senseless death and tragedy is nothing new in a world that desperately needs renewal and redemption.

And why is just Imus catching all the flak regarding his comments in a news program? What about Al Franken, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Alan Colmes? Are they newsmen? Hardly. They, like Imus, are entertainers at best… and not very good ones. But awfully insulting at times. What Don Imus did was awful. I could say the same about the other “newsmen” listed above.

Ever go to a UM “renewal group” website? Check them out. See what’s missing? The name Jesus. On the IRD site, it occurs in a quote being critical of the Igniting Ministry campaign and not mentioning the name Jesus… yet IRD’s home page doesn’t mention Jesus either! Jesus doesn’t occur in their greeting from IRD’s president. Nor does it appear in their purpose statement. The home page of Good News’ website doesn’t have the name “Jesus” anywhere on it. The Confessing Movement’s page at least says “Christ Centered.” The Unofficial Confessing Movement’s home page has “Jesus” twice, but only in quotations.

Are we just becoming a club that is about “Jesus?” And is our center about becoming politically active instead of making disciples of Jesus Christ?

The issue of homosexuality threatens to split our denomination. Politics threaten to divide the Christian Church in America, and is becoming the new allegiance of faith, i.e., only “real” Christians belong to this or that party. Jesus said “Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, but render to God the things that our God’s.” Can we serve two masters? Aren't these minors when compared to making disciples of Jesus Christ?

We’ve given the renewal groups their chance – on both sides of the aisle. They haven’t delivered, but they are succeeding in watering down the faith by having little or NO Christology in their ministry or mission. Christianity without Christ is... well, it's not Christianity.

I used to think that this song was “pithy”… until I really listened to it. And then I realized that my use of “pithy” was no better than the accusations I have raised above about “Jesus.”
Give Me Jesus
by: Fernando Ortega

Verse 1:
In the morning, when I rise,
In the morning, when I rise.
In the morning, when I rise,
Give me Jesus.

Give me Jesus,
Give me Jesus,
You can have all this world,
But give me Jesus.

Verse 2:
And when I am alone,
And when I am alone.
And when I am alone,
Give me Jesus.

Verse 3:
And when I come to die,
And when I come to die.
And when I come to die,
Give me Jesus. -
©1996 Izzy Sol Songs



Anonymous said…
That is my favorite hymn ever...God Bless you!