The problem with the me and Jesus Gospel is that it is all about me – it is about Jesus – but my Jesus. It’s about my personal experience with Jesus. It is about my going to heaven when I die. It’s about you – only in that it is about your personal relationship with Jesus and you going to heaven when you die. It’s about me living in a way that honor’s Jesus, but it isn’t about me living in a way that loves my neighbor for my neighbor’s sake.
We say it’s all about Jesus. And while that is true — it’s not true usually in the way we mean it. There is an entire narrative of Scripture that is leading up to a whole new world. A new Kingdom full of new creations in Christ.
If it is about me and Jesus, I don’t need church because I have Jesus without church. Church brings relationships where I have to love and serve people who aren’t always looking out for me and Jesus. It’s better for me not to get my eyes off Jesus and risk wounds to my relationship with Jesus.
I saw a famous author say recently that if you need anything but Jesus that is your idol. I disagree. God placed us in families. We need those relationships that God designed each person to have. Adam needed Eve even before sin entered the world. Eve was not his idol. It was good for him to have her. God designed it that way. We need mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, friends, pastors, and church community. To only need Jesus is not biblical.
When it is just about me and Jesus, the truth conforms to my relationship with Jesus only. Instead of conforming to the truth, we conform the truth to our little slice of life. Nothing else matters.
I can fail and Jesus loves me anyway. This is so very true. There is nothing that can separate us from the love of God. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. But there is plenty that can separate us from the truth of God which keeps us from walking out the love of God.
Jesus will let us have our me and Jesus world, but He didn’t die so we can all have our me and Jesus life. He died so we can live together free of sin and free to live the life we were born for. A life where we are joined to other lives building each other up as living stones into the dwelling place of God.
We press on toward the goal for which Christ Jesus calls us heavenward – not the goal of me and Jesus on earth until it’s me and Jesus in heaven. The goal of bringing the Kingdom to the earth until his presence covers the face of the earth.
The devil loves me and Jesus Christianity – it’s powerless. We don’t have to conform to Christ. We don’t have to live His way. We get to live our way because His forgiveness is great and merciful. Our way may not be a way of overt sin for it to be our way. Our way can simply be living the me and Jesus Christianity. We can do that and “go to heaven” when we die. We can be in Christ and never mature. We can mature to some extent in a me and Jesus paradigm. But it is in the Church that we grow into the family that shows the world His love by the way we love each other.
But if our theology does not expand beyond “me and Jesus” and “going to heaven when I die,” we will not see what Abraham, Moses, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, David, John, Peter, and Paul saw when they pressed on toward the goal. When they laid down their lives for nations, the Church, and the world.