DR. Tarbox

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Friday, December 13, 2013

Think About It

What’s the Question?

The other day I was behind a car with a bumper sticker that said, “Jesus is the answer”. As I thought about it I wondered what the question was. I suppose that one might conclude that Jesus is the answer to every question but then again that presents us with another question, “Who’s asking the question?” To those that believe in Jesus, the statement seems simple enough and doesn’t need any explanation, but what about those who don’t believe. How does that statement, or the question affect them? Does it impact them at all? Is it perhaps a ‘in your face’ type of statement that really turns people off?

I find it very interesting that Jesus had a much different response and approach to the religious leaders of the day than the every day person on the street. To the religious, he was direct and in their face. He was confrontational and challenging. But to the average person he was inviting and gentle. To the religious he quoted scripture, but to the rest he told truth through stories and illustrations. It was only to the religious that he was antagonistic. That’s part of the reason that they plotted to kill him. He was exposing their hypocrisy. Is there something that we can learn from this? I believe that we can.

“Love is never stationary” is a quote from the book “Love Does” by Bob Goff. I like the thought because it implies that love is fluid, it’s always moving. That’s the way I see Jesus operating in the scriptures. He met people where they were. It was at that level that he loved them. It varied from person to person according to where they were as individuals. It wasn’t a ‘one size fits all’ type of approach. He genuinely cared about people and he demonstrated it on a daily basis. We may say we care about people, but our behavior and speech may only push them further away from the very one that we want to introduce them to. To truly love means to accept people where they’re at, regardless of what that may look like. To love that way can be messy and perhaps truly answers the question of what Jesus is. Simply he is love, and we’re to practice the same. Think about it.



Anonymous said...

I don't believe in god, jesus whatever. I'm a realist and a naturalist. I think that only those with big egos, or low self esteem need to be praised constantly. I also think those who mention god every other sentence, are not trying to convince others of their piety but rather themselves. The main reason I speak out now is I'm tired of Christianity being forced upon me. Then me being made out to be the wrong one, for not buying into the fairy tale. Not accepting the delusion. Not needing a imaginary friend. Whatever I'm not the crazy one. And to have you crackpots act like I am, pisses me off. God on our money, in the pledge, oaths of office, school. And if we say take your delusions somewhere else we are the intolerant ones. Yet anyone who doesn't believe like you do is beneath you, or not enlightened etc. And is going to have some consequence, or another in the hereafter. I think any grown adult person who believes in invisible people living in the sky. Needs a trip to the asylum. No logical, reasonable, sane, person, can believe that nonsense. So anyone who does must be insane.

Anonymous said...

Yes! I'm not a religious person. I don't believe in God or the divinity of Jesus Christ. But I have read the New Testament many times and I think the teachings of Jesus Christ have value. (If only they were followed by more Chrisitans). They are a stone in the foundation of our Western culture and the more I try to learn about how we came to be as a society the more I look to religious history for answers. So, when I see bumper stickers like that I don't get peeved. But I do wonder what their message is and why someone deems it necessary to say something I believe is wrong and something they believe is right. I just see it as arrogance. And arrogance is not a very Christian principle. I truly appreciate your approach. The subject pf religion is fascinating to me. And I like the open and free debate rational people can have on the subject without one side saying with complete certainty that they are right or the other is wrong. Because in the end we don't know. And whether it's a teleological tradition that we inherit through cultural memes or a true explanation of origins, it really doesn't matter. I tend toward a natural theory but if you tend towards a supernatural, and that is the conclusion that one has reached based on their observation of nature then who is anyone to say you're wrong.

Anonymous said...

To the first poster: there aren't too many legitimate "naturalists" who don't believe in some type of a Creator or Divine Being. Try reading some of the works of Thomas Berry; they are enlightening. I don't like having religion thrust in my face either, as I view it as being very personal. But I don't knock those who believe despite the doubts that go along with faith.