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40 in 40: Lesson #38

Route 40

40 in 40: #38

I grew up in the bowels of American Evangelical Christianity.

My parents are devout Christians, my grandparents were devout Christians, my great grandparents were devout Christians. My Aunts and Uncles, with a few exceptions, are devout Christians.

You get the picture.

I heard the message of Christianity all the time. It sounded something like this:

  • Believe the right things
  • Be good and do good things
  • Get into heaven

At some point as an adult I realized something that seemed scandalous to me: the Christianity that I was taught growing up was not the message that Jesus himself taught.

For someone who called himself a Christian this was earth shattering. Wasn’t Jesus the guy who created Christianity?

Lesson #38

Jesus didn’t come to start a religion. Jesus came to free people from things that enslave them.

Jesus himself described why he had come by quoting a passage from the Psalms:

The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.

If you study Jesus you will see this everywhere. In almost every story.

Jesus came to free people who were bound. He came to care for the oppressed and poor. He came to bring healing. He came to bring God’s favor to man.

This way of life provides unbelievable freedom. This way provides hope for everyone: rich, poor, successful, failures, addicts, downtrodden, people on top of the world and the destitute.

Jesus message is freedom and hope.

I’ve met lots of people who have trouble with Christianity. I’ve never met anyone who had trouble with Jesus message.

Keep moving forward,


Written by

I am the CEO of Blue Ocean Ideas, a creative agency in Baltimore, Maryland. My job is to clarify the strategy and take care of my team. I am married to the beautiful Elise Rittler and we have four great kids. When I’m not at Blue Ocean Ideas or with my family I am riding a bike, running, playing ultimate frisbee, eating, or sleeping. There is a little more about me here.

3 Responses to “40 in 40: Lesson #38”

By Anna Grace - 9 December 2011

I love this Greg. This is a big issue in our day. People think of Jesus as religion and not as a loving God who wants to free us from bondage to bring us back to Himself. Thanks for the encouragement!

By Rheny - 18 February 2015

If it wasn’t for Steve Jobs and his work with Apple Computer, we might not be able to easily read this webstie. We’d have to log in to a text-based computer. Steve Jobs opened up the world to the place where today anybody can give a message to the world. Of equal or greater impact than the printing press. So whatever he did with his money, I know I’m grateful to him for the gift he gave to ordinary people global communication in a usable interface.

By Nelma - 22 March 2015

I don’t know about that, DP … the “stars” on the street seem to intiacde that it was filmed in LA (the modern Sodom … how apropos).Personally, I could care less what hypocrites like Pat Ropertson might do – he is about as far from being a “true Christian” as those who blow themselves up are from being true Muslims.Fanatics. All of them.

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