Jesus is the problem to our answers
By Nathan Decker
“We can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.”
– Albert Einstein
No the paper did not misprint the title of this article. You can go back and read it again if you like, I won’t tell anyone.
We have answers … but let’s be honest, they aren’t working out too well. We have created technology to connect with one another, and yet we are the loneliest we have ever been. We desire low-cost, replaceable products from low-wage workers, and then complain “nothing ever lasts” and “all the good jobs are overseas.” We have more scientific research and historical knowledge than any society ever, yet pollution, war and yesterday’s mistakes are still repeated. We stand in front of the magical mirror and say, “mirror, mirror on the wall, show me the good parts only, not all.”
We have answers, and we are comfortable. We would rather avoid conflict than have the difficult conversations that lead to change. When we allow one person or family to get in the way of doing God’s kingdom work — we are too comfortable with our answers. When we send thoughts and prayers quickly followed by strangled inaction — we are too comfortable with our answers. When we are quick to judge and slow to listen — we are too comfortable with our answers. When our opinions color the way we see facts, when control is more important than empowerment, and when our defense mechanisms prohibit us from engaging in discernment – we have all the comfortable answers.
Enter Jesus, the problem. The Gospel says Jesus is “the way, the truth and the light.” Where we find comfort in the darkness of our broken paths, Jesus tends to show us a different perspective in the light. Where we hide in our ignorance because “this is how I was taught,” Jesus shines the flame of wisdom and insight. Where we are happy with our answers, Jesus pushes us to leave the easy for the difficult, the safe for the risky, and the status quo for the Kingdom of God.
I didn’t grow up in church. Even today I have difficulties with the church because of Jesus. Where the church often passes judgment on those who broke the commandments, I see Jesus offer compassion and forgiveness. Where the church often gets defensive about doctrine and interpretation of the Bible, I see Jesus get upset with the hard hearts and interpretations of the Scribes and Pharisees (the keepers of the book). Where we are more concerned with how it affects us on the inside, I see Jesus more concerned with how it affects all of us, outsiders included.
When our faith supports how we already are instead of moving us on toward complete relationships with God and others, it is a drug. This drug is addictive as it is appealing. It is called apathy. Apathy whispers, “it is what it is.” Apathy says, “Just wait until Jesus gets back.” Like a well poisoned by antifreeze, we keep drinking the sweet water not realizing it is killing us.
Jesus called us to see the world through him. So ruffle feathers by asking questions instead of accepting time-honored answers. So irritate those in power by challenging them to accountability and seeking the greater good. So push for change when you see injustice and threats to freedom. So take the narrow path instead of the broad path. So be a problem in the midst of everyone’s answers because after all, it’s what Jesus would do.
“You are nothing but hopeless frauds, you experts of religion! You take away from others the key that opens the door to the house of knowledge. Not only do you lock the door and refuse to enter, you do your best to keep others from the truth.”
– Jesus speaking in Luke 11:52 TPT