Missing Person

I have been saved for 41 years but have also fallen away twice.

The last time was around 2002. Without going into details, serving Jesus had simply become too hard and I wanted out. Like a shark scenting blood, Satan had a field day planting seeds of doubt (Gen. 3:1) in mind.

My incredibly powerful conversion experience? It was just a rite of passage.

All the success God had brought my way? I had earned it.

And what about all the inconsistent Bible passages? 

Of particular concern were the "missing years" of Jesus. 

Where, exactly, was he during the gap between age 12 and his emergence into public ministry at age 30? Hey, he's God in the flesh and we lost track of him? 

There was some scuttlebutt making the New Age rounds that he had journeyed to India, where he apprenticed under the tutelage of gurus. 

While I was arguing with myself and God about the missing years, Satan laid waste to me. His missing years turned into my missing years. 

I came back to Christ in August, 2009 and have not looked back. 

But I still think Jesus is a sort of missing person in the American church. 

Although we certainly value the entire Bible, without doubt, it peaks in the 4 books having to do with the life of Christ: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John. It is here that we encounter God in the flesh, who commands demons,  perfectly understands human nature, and summons his followers with a revolutionary message to leave the old behind in lieu of the better things he offers. 

The first will be last and the last first. Your love for me makes your affection for any human seem like hate. My agenda exceeds the value of your own. 

I could be wrong but that message seems lost on the American church, which seems to prefer Horatio Alger to Jesus, getting rich to spiritual poverty, a big house in the suburbs to the mansion in the sky. We (clearly) mistake the American dream for the Gospel.

If I'm right, it's a scary situation destined to create big problems later on. Folks who don't value the words of Christ will fall prey to counterfeits, wolves who look like lambs. 

In that light, we've created a collection called "Just Jesus", devoted to the life of Christ. I'm a huge fan of profiles of Jesus, which look great on tee-shirts and make a huge impression on folks you encounter. 

Happy T-scipling,

Jeff Criswell

Director of Tee-Ology

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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