Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola, in their landmark book Jesus Manifesto, make the cogent point that the modern church, which is supposed to bring Jesus to the world, has instead suffered a major disconnect from its Master. As a result, many Christians really have no workable concept of who and what Jesus was and is. In addition, we seem to have lost sight of the single most important question Jesus asks of us:
…..we feel a massive disconnect in the church today, and we believe that the major disease of today’s church is JDD: Jesus Deficit Disorder. The person of Jesus has become increasingly politically incorrect and is being replaced by the language of “justice,” “morality,” “values,” and “leadership principles.” The world likes Jesus; they just don’t like the church. But increasingly, the church likes the church, yet it doesn’t like Jesus. . . . . . . Something is wrong when it’s easier for some Christians to think of the world without Christ than the world without Bach or the Beatles or Bono. When we dethrone Jesus Christ from His rightful place, we tarnish the face of Christianity and redefine it out of existence. . . . . . . Can our problems really be caused by something so basic and simple as losing sight of Christ? We believe the answer is a resounding “Yes.” Answers other than Christ to the problems of the church today mean that we are more into solvents than solutions. For that reason, this global, Google world needs a meta-narrative more than ever and the Jesus Story is the interpreting system of all other systems. In this hour, the testimony that we feel God has called us to bear revolves around the primacy of the Lord Jesus Christ. Specifically, we need to decide how we are going to answer one question. . . . . . . “Who do you say that I am?” is the question required of every generation, and every generation must answer it for itself.
Perhaps you think you have already answered this question. But have you really? What do your actions, your worldview, how you approach and live your life tell you about this vital issue? Does it seem that you have answered Christ’s eternal question in one way, yet your life reflect that you have answered it in another way? I know that when I spent several days prayerfully reflecting on these themes I was quite surprised, and dismayed, at what I discovered.
Why not spend some time looking at your answer, and your life? It may prove an eye-opener.
© L.D. Turner 2011/All Rights Reserved
- Ed Stetzer Interviews Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola (frankviola.wordpress.com)
- Interview with Modern Reformation Magazine (frankviola.wordpress.com)
- Separating Benefits from the Benefactor (frankviola.wordpress.com)