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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.

2 Responses to “40 in 40: Lesson #38”

By Anna Grace - 9 December 2011 Reply

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 Mokhtar - 17 July 2014 Reply

Odd. I fumbled onto your blog while loknoig for Mouse Guard goodies and found this post. My mates/companions/loverswhathaveyou also left their Christianity behind after living childhoods, young adulthoods and the first years of their marriage with their respective ministerial parents. It’s strange the paths we all walk and how we get to the places we go.Their parents would fret about whether or not the kids know who Jesus is or if they were all going to burn in Hell.Then, I came along and spun their world perspective.Now, they worry about the children somehow being neglected when they’re surrounded by loving parents and good people. They still fret about the Jesus thing. They still worry about our souls.The world moves on and some things remain the same.In the end, I suspect there will be people who are shocked or frightened away by these new things like not being a Christian or loving lots of people, but everything will even out. There are much crazier things to spend one’s worry energy on. As long as there’s love, among the families who care for one another, everything will eventually be okay. (And though I haven’t read much of the rest of your blog, if you’re playing Mouse Guard, everything’s likely pretty awesome! We’re playing D&D with our girls. They love it!)

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