As theological debates on sexuality and marriage become more and more central, many Christian denominations are being asked to clarify their views.
This “Holy Week” in Spain thousands of people who refuse to follow Jesus will be moved by religious images. They will sing and cry.
This “Holy Week” in Spain thousands of people who refuse to follow Jesus will be moved by religious images. They will sing and cry. It's a religious sentiment, the press says. And that is right, because it is just that, a religious feeling.
When these days pass (or even in the course of them) they will continue to live as if Jesus were not real, and the feeling will disappear. Or it will remain as an occasional tingling that arises from time to time. In these days, we also hear about the “Christian values” and the “Christian morality.” But these do not change lives, they just sugarcoates our existence.
Often, when we talk about Christianity, we think of something that is cultural. It is understood as a more or less profound feeling, a way of life. Evangelical Christians themselves increasingly identify faith with these ideas, we tend to create a cultural faith, based on feelings and a certain way of living.
But that was the Jewish religion of Jesus' time, and Jesus rejected it. He rejected religious culture, he even rejected the ethics of the Pharisees, who conscientiously follow the law.
The scandal of Jesus is that he claimed to be king, the prophesied Messiah. He said He brought a new relationship with God that is only possible through Him, not through ideas, culture, or certain values and rites. He is the only person who conquered death and will live forever.
Yes, it sounds crazy, “the folly of the Gospel”, as Paul said. “If Jesus did not rise (and live), our faith is in vain.”
There is not doubt that after an encounter and a relationship with Christ, a new lifestyle, culture and feelings arise. But the key is the presence and existence of Jesus as the center of our life.
Perhaps those who call ourselves Christians, including evangelicals, should also ask ourselves how much of Jesus is the true center of our feelings, culture and way of life.
And we should ask Him, too - unless we only see Him as a beautiful idea, as a folklore of certain celebrations, or just as certain values to defend.
Let's not be afraid to ask Jesus, because He will answer us. He himself said that his sheep hear his voice, and follow him.