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?
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,