And Who Do We Say That He Is? (You don’t say?)


This is more or less a tricky one as I believe most Christians are extremely shy and reticent to speak their minds in public.  For most of these ‘conservatives’ we can witnessed up in their pews and in corporate manner, profess the creeds of their faith.

Yet, when it comes to one-on-one in the general public, most Christians are silent.

They explain that they are NOT preachers or evangelists and that publicly they are well reserved.

And for most people, this is true. Most people are not showmen or charismatic per se, but are withdrawn and to themselves.

The sad off-spin of this is that more or less, we pay others to do what we should be doing. We don’t think we are good at it and thus, we pay ‘professionals ‘ to do our biding and preaching.

Now then, this is all well and fine, but we are ALL called to preach the good news of the Gospel.  And too, there are all kinds of ways to preach.

Writing such as this post would be one such example, but probably the greatest ‘preaching’ comes from personal testimonies.

And where some are good even in a crowded situation such as waiting in line at a supermarket, the ultimate is simply introducing the Lord to our neighbors and close friends.

Again, in today’s atmosphere, it is not consider ‘polite’ to introduce either politics or religion, but then again this is one of the Lord’s commands.

And the Lord is also clear on this:  if we are ashamed on Him, he will be ashamed of us.  We can’t have it both ways.

In these terms it is extremely important who we say Jesus is.  If He is nothing more than a personal and private deity, then we have missed the point. God is God of the universe not merely one of our own private worlds.

When Peter declared who Jesus was Jesus assured him that flesh and blood had not revealed it to him.

The same was true for us and in continuing the mission of Peter in the establishment of His church we are also to make our affirmations and declarations of the truth of Jesus.

Who Peter said Jesus was is important.  Who we say He is: is also important for our day.  The greatest damage is when we deny His presence by hiding His name from the world and others we should be a witness to.  Jesus  has made it clear that who He is to them is just as important as He is to us.  He is the Christ, the Son of God

4 thoughts on “And Who Do We Say That He Is? (You don’t say?)

  1. I was just thinking this morning… even before stopping by here… about my kid reaching out to the homeless. She is still a teen, though one year from heading off to college. She took ministry (food, prayer, and foot-washing) to the streets of her own accord about a month ago.

    Yet since that time she joined the youth group from church on a trip to LA to do short term missions with the homeless there. I didn’t go, and never have, so I cant quite picture the whole thing clearly in my mind. I am clear that the organizers did NOT drop the kids off in the streets to stay the night, but kept them in some “secure” facility and broke them in small manageable groups where they were WATCHED OVER carefully as they interacted with homeless people in their homeless habitat. (Oh man, did I just make it sound like they were tourists in a van on safari???) Well, they did meet and pray with real homeless people alright. But somewhere in this week long adventure, they also went to the beach.

    Hmmm… The beach.

    Sounds to me like just the right blend of white-middle class consumerism mixed with moral crusade. And by moral crusade, I mean a very well scripted, safety conscious, dip of the toe in “an experience of a lifetime” afterwhich you can feel morally superior.

    Am I being unfair?

    Possibly.

    But possibly not.

    I mean she spends a lot of her free time at the coffee shop that sells her a latte which is meant to make her feel like she serves the poor. It also is a nice blend of white, middle-class consumer value with moral crusade. So why not?

    I wonder… was the youth trip so compartmentalized that while on the beach if they “encountered” (I love that word… ENCOUNTERED… I never encountered a ham sandwich or a physics test, but my church friends are always either encountering Christ or sometimes the homeless… but I digress…) anyway I wonder if on the beach if they encountered a homeless person whether they drop the boogie board and the beach ball to run over and pray with, meet “where they are at” with, and otherwise serve such a person OR did they presume beach time is OUR TIME?

    Somehow I think this also is an expression of the mentality you describe. And I suspect there is more accuracy in my guesses than in the brochure that lured my kid to join this trip.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Of course. Youth groups have a way of squeezing Jesus in there somewhere whether it’s at skateland or at the movies or a ‘retreat’ or conference. And I love it as well with the encounters that ‘foster’ love and ‘sharing’ and all that other bs stuff they spout out. Thanks for the comment. Appreciate it as always.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah… I think I see it as more systemic than just a youth experience.

        I think my church, and actually whole networks of churches and Christian colleges and other entities and agencies (book publishers?) are designing a consumerist faith for us. I used to work in a Christian book store. One of the tasks assigned to me as an agent of customer service was to imprint names on Bibles. You know what I mean? Go get your Bible out and look at it. There is a HIGH probability that down in the lower right corner on the cover of it, imprinted in gold leaf mashed into the fine leather (imitation or otherwise) is your name.

        Mine has it too. And I never REALLY gave it much thought until I started imprinting names on bibles for customers as part of my job.

        Oh sure, I gave it SOME thought. It went something like this: Cool.

        Yeah. That much thought.

        Okay, maybe I also thought it would help identify MY Bible from the others if they were sitting next to each other on a church pew. So it was functional too.

        But by the time I was imprinting names, the covers all become designer colors and fashions. When I was a kid, they were almost all black, but now you can choose from 31 … scratch that… 131 flavors of color. So there is no real FUNCTIONAL NEED to have your name imprinted on the cover. Not REALLY.

        But I went into the back room and set up the imprint machine and loaded it with the name Jennifer, but accidentally misspelled Jennifer with a Q! Oops!!! And once it imprinted, there was not going back. Jennifer had a Q in it for good.

        Do you think Jennifer wanted it?

        What do you think I did with it?

        No. Go ahead and ask…

        No. I went and got ANOTHER Bible out and readjusted the imprint machine so that Jennifer was spelled correctly, all lined up perfect and everything, and then sold that one to Jennifer. But the one with Jennifer with a Q…? Well, there are NO Jennifer’s out there who want a Bible with Jennifer with a Q on the cover. Not even one. And so that $60 Bible went in the dumpster where a homeless dumpster diver MIGHT find it.

        Hmmm…

        And you might think it don’t happen much. But at graduation time, your church and ALL THE OTHER churches you drive past to get to your church every Sunday will send in an order for a stack of Bibles to present to their graduating seniors. And of course, they want names imprinted on all of them. And of course we make them get the spelling right for each one. You cant just presume that its Ashley and not Ashlee. And even then, it is possible, and sooner or later happens, that Jennifer gets a Q. And in that ocean of Bibles, even wasting one is too many.

        Forget the $60. We consumers are so bent on the money! Ever watch that antiques road show? Seriously, pay attention to your own guts while watching sometime. The expert will go into all the detail about this quilt that was hand stitched by the soon-to-be sacrificed virgin daughter of the volcano prince, and how the blue dye from the Oxford Flower, which only blooms once every seventeen years, is embroidered in it, and how it was created in either the year 1872 or 1883, and sold to a wealthy business man in Cleveland who stored it away where it was forgotten until….

        And you can listen to all that fascinating detail about how rare and awesome that quilt is, but the whole time you just want to know HOW MUCH???? And as soon as you hear him say, In today’s market it could fetch between %6000 and $8000..” You are done caring about all that detail… Just like that.

        Well, forget the $60 we would have charged for that Bible that now has Jennifer with a Q imprinted on it. In stead, think of William Tyndale who died burnt at the stake so that you could have a Bible printed in the English language so that you could actually read it for yourself – something you haven’t done since you were a kid. Think of all those ancient copyists who painstakingly copied the Bible by hand, and often by candlelight so that it could be spread around the world. And think of Jesus who died a terrible death, and the story was written down so you could be saved.

        And now think of Jennifer.

        She and her mother came into our store and got the exact shade of purple color leather Bible because it matched her shoes that matched the outfit she got for Easter Sunday.

        The fact that she got her name on it at all has more to do with her own vanity than ANYTHING else. And we have Tyndale, all those copyists, and Jesus serving that vanity now.

        And my church drives this bus.

        Liked by 1 person

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