Jesus is not American

“…Jesus appeals to the soul as light appeals to the eye, as truth fits the conscience, as beauty speaks to the aesthetic nature. For Christ and the soul are made for one another, and when they are brought together deep speaks to deep and wounds answer wounds.” – E. Stanley Jones

I’m reading a book called Christ of the Indian RoadIt was written in 1925. This small book, my copy of which was published in Lucknow, India, is full of beautiful truths about Jesus (at least so far…I’m only on chapter 3). The main truth so far is one that has been so widely missed, misinterpreted, lost, ignored, and neglected that it truly makes me grieve. That truth is this: Christ is not nationalistic, he doesn’t belong to a culture. Jesus isn’t Western, he’s not American, he’s not European.

Past (and current) efforts to take “Christianity” to places that have never heard of Jesus do those people, the church, and Jesus himself a disservice, and can even eclipse the good news. Jesus never preached Christianity. He said he himself is the way, the truth, the life. He said man lives on every word that comes from the mouth of God. He never said we needed church buildings or liturgies or a creed. Those things are’t bad, they’re just western, and they don’t save. Jesus saves. He’s the way, he’s the answer.

What’s more, Jesus appeals. We were made for him, and his kind, loving nature and sacrifice appeals. He’s beautiful and good. A friend said to me earlier: “I’ve never met anybody who didn’t like Jesus, once they really knew who he was,” and I haven’t either.

Maybe we should resolve, as Paul did in 1 Corinthians 2:2, “to know nothing but Christ and him crucified.”


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