Sunday, March 07, 2010

The Most Eligible Bachelor

Well it would appear that the most recent season of "The Bachelor" has come to an end. I don't know if I should be happy about the year's bachelor's choice or not...I didn't watch a single episode. As a matter of fact, I was very surprised at some of the reactions posted by some people and surprised by some of the people that were actually watching the show!

Maybe I don't understand the idea behind the show. It appears to be a bunch of beautiful women competing for the affections of a well-to-do, handsome bachelor in the hopes of being the ONE that he chooses to pursue a relationship with. On the TV they are called contestants. In real life we have other names for people that seek out relationships based on material things, beauty, sex, power or influence. They are not flattering names.

Most of us would hope that our sons and daughters would seek out relationships based on more personal qualities; maybe even relationships that are built on love...on loving and on being loved. While money, means and muscles are certainly an attraction, they will seldom stand the test of time and usually fail to bring real comfort in times of personal distress. How many of us are encouraging our kids to seek out mates based solely on what they can provide for them--a big house, exclusive neighborhood, fancy car, fine jewelry, etc., etc.

Certainly this kind of thing happens often enough, but rarely are these long-lasting, happy marriages.

I bring this up because it occurs to me that this is the "pitch" we evangelicals have been using for decades to peddle our "God" to a lost world:

"If you want a nice home in an exclusive celestial neighborhood (heaven), you're going to need to know Jesus. I can fix you up--kind of a blind date except that He already know all about you."

Or how about this:

(cue the music) da da dat dat da da da...
Announcer: "Welcome to the Celestial Dating Game.
"Tonight's Bachelor number one is...Mohammad ibn Abdullah! Mohammad is a 6th Century Prophet born in Mecca. Followers around the world seek out infidels to persecute and prosecute and are hopeful of receiving a plethora of virgins upon their death for the cause.

"Bachelor number two is Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus was born around the time the calendars were revised (somewhere around 0!) and claims to be the Son of God...and He has the miracles to prove it! His followers believe that the reward of heaven is exclusively for those that profess Jesus as Savior.

Bachelor number 3 is Siddhartha Gautama (also known as Buddha). Buddha's birth predates Jesus by about 500 years. Buddha is "the Enlightened One" and teaches a life free from self indulgence. His followers seek out the supreme state of nirvana."


Too often our presentation of Jesus sounds like our God is competing against the other gods or religions of the world for some kind of prize.

Our God isn't competing for a prize.

Why is it that "love" seems to be absent from our story of God. Even when we mention "love"--we talk about God's love for us. Our need to love Him seems to be absent in our relationship. It's as if we only want to be the bride for the big house and powerful influence. We throw back our shoulders, puff out our chest and proudly proclaim that we are Christians--like a little name dropping is going to get us into heaven. We don't follow His teachings (but quickly point out how nobody else is either) and we say that we love Him but we seldom show it--not to Him or to others that may be watching us (or maybe only when others are watching us).

I believe that God truly loves His creation (that's us) and that He truly desires for us to love Him.
I believe that He has gone to great extremes to insure that we might spend eternity together.
I believe that His grace is the only thing that allows us into His Holy Presence.
I believe that we must know Him through His Son, Jesus.
And I believe that to know Jesus is to love Him.

I want for you to know my Jesus.
I want for you to love my Jesus.
I want for Him to be your Jesus, too.



Bilbo said...

Good Post, John. As always, you have a gift for getting the message across!

vw: jermayin - one of the lesser members of the Jackson 5.

Bandit said...

I had a Sunday school teacher who defined grace as "unmerited favor." This is something that can never be earned. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; it is the gift of God; not of works lest any man should boast." (KJV) Paul was talking about faith in Jesus. Jesus stated, "In my Father's house are many mansions. If it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you; and if I go I will come again and bring you unto mayself; for I am the way , the truth, the life. No man cometh unto the Father except through me." John chapter 6 (KJV)
When you think about it, this is some pretty cool stuff. It's free. (you can't buy it or do anything to earn it anyway) All you have to do is accept it. AND, you get to live in a mansion in paradise for eternity. Not Bad.

Bandit said...

Correction on my part. I quoted those verses from memory. I just checked the passages and the "for grace are ye saved" passage is Eph. 2:8 and 9. The "in my Father's house' passage is John 14 2-6.


Great post as usual!! Hope you are well:) Heidi

Amanda said...

What a clever post this is. I enjoyed it very much. Thanks.

Mike said...

Would you beleive I'm doing a religious post today? Well then what would you believe? Would you believe we're waiting for your picture to reappear? Beleive it.

Claudia said...

"Be glad and rejoice forever in what I am creating; for I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy, and its people as a delight."
(Isaiah 65:18) Joy isn't always easy to come by, but in the Lord I desire to rejoice!