Sunday, July 6, 2008

Redeeming Jesus?

Recently a summer intern at our church shared about a ministry he is involved in at college. He said the premise of their work is to, "redeem the name of Jesus." Although I really like what they do (basically anonymous servant ministry), I have a fundamental problem with the idea that we - you, me, anyone - can or needs to redeem the name of Jesus! Is it not misguided to think the name above all names needs redeeming from mere men? Is it not a bit off to think that the Creator of everything is in need of our help? Is something missing with this thought?

Do not get me wrong, their work is awesome and I love the passion this guy has for the work he embarks upon. And to think of a bunch of college kids making an intentional effort to serve others is also great... did I mention this group is made up of college kids!

My issue is that I think the name of Jesus is safe, it is beyond our reach, and not in any sort of jeopardy. What needs redemption is the name of Jesus' followers. In a book called Unchristian, the authors basically state that those outside of the Christian faith see Christianity as something different than what Jesus originally had in mind. They also see us (believers) in regards to what we oppose, instead of what we are for; this is a serious issue for a later post.

So for my friend the intern, I am challenged by his work and praise him for it, BUT... it is not Jesus that needs redemption, it is His followers. May we all work on redeeming the name of Christian. May we work at serving, loving, sharing, giving, and caring. Let us light and candle and not curse the darkness for the glory of the Lord.

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