“Feeling unknown And you’re all alone
Flesh and bone By the telephone
Lift up the receiver I’ll make you a believer
I will deliver You know I’m a forgiver
Reach out and touch faith” — Depeche Mode
There’s someone out there. He wants to know all about you where everyone else doesn’t care about you. In fact, it goes beyond that. He loves you so much that he made a very grand gesture to show that love. He cares about how you feel. He’s on your side in everything – he’s the perfect friend. He never says no to what you want, no matter what it is. He’d never go run off drinking with the boys or look at porn. He’d even bring flowers and dry your tears when you’re sad, if he just wasn’t such a…spiritual person. If that marriage is going so hard, you can always just run away with Him. He’ll forgive you and doesn’t care about that or anything else you do. But He cares about you like no one else. All you need to do is pick up that receiver and he’ll make you a believer.
Simply said, the Personal Jesus is the ideal perfect husband for the typical woman. She expects this to be modeled into her perfect marriage. Most notably, the advent of the Personal Jesus has brought the requirement that husbands not love their wives as Christ loved the Church, but that husbands make their wives feel loved. Furthermore, the marriage is to go as she wants it to go (as the Personal Jesus is really YOU), as she is to be swept off her feet continually, and she can not get less than she deserves. In other words, a husband is supposed to fully model her perfect Personal Jesus in her life. As a Bride of Christ, she deserves the world and everything in it, as dictated by her own Personal Jesus.
“Your own personal Jesus
Someone to hear your prayers Someone who cares
Your own personal Jesus
Someone to hear your prayers Someone who’s there” –Depeche Mode
That this view of romance has taken over what love is, as shown by the Father, isn’t a surprise. Men have taken the physical representation given of the spiritual reality (marriage) and warped it for their own aims. Naturally, the thing that it represents would be up for change in the same manner by both men and women acting in the false doctrine of bridal mysticism. You get women (and some men) crying about how they shouldn’t be judged over the things they do. If their Personal Jesus is just alright with what they are doing, what right do others have to pass judgment on them? After all, you see things like Jenny Erickson and the commenters at Matt Walsh’s blog, as well as Matt Walsh himself.
However, Scripture is abundantly clear regarding the proper Gospel, as well as the way that Jesus is to be approached. Jesus did not present Himself as a romancer, but as One who was sent from the Father to redeem those that would accept the gift out of love. The sacrifice on the cross was part of this gift, but Jesus loved us enough to not keep us in that squalid place. Jesus presented Himself as a Master, and bid us to come as disciples. But this has a cost:
Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? (Matthew 16:24-26)
It’s not too hard to catch on to other things in Scripture as they occur repeatedly. For instance:
Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. (2 John 9)
If ye love me, keep my commandments. (John 14:15)
Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. (John 15:14)
And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? (Luke 6:46; context is v46-50)
When you have women denying the clear sanctions of God against divorce, and men running interference for them in saying they got “pushed” into it, women and men both creating a justification for divorce out of whole cloth in saying that pornography use is adultery and being conspicuously silent about the women doing the same thing and other things, it becomes pretty clear that they are following a different Jesus besides the Jesus of Nazareth.
Naturally, there would be resistance when I bring out the real Jesus. The latest comment:
Having a personal relation with Jesus means that I have accepting what Jesus did on the cross for my sins and have asked him to come in my heart. The same thing concerning we are the body of Christ, not his physical body but his spiritual body. The relationship is spiritual in nature not physical. If you don’t have a personal relationship with him then according to the word, you are lost, and in need of Salvation. Whenever you see the words in the bible “in Christ” “in him” and similar expressions it is talking about relationship and spiritual intimacy. Think over this.
We see a number of the hallmarks of the Personal Jesus here. Advocates of the Personal Jesus will always make it in terms of “relationship”, and will say that they “asked him to come into their heart”, and speaks in terms of intimacy. While these phrases signal a romantic view of Jesus, they also are what was adopted by a number of the churches in marketing themselves against the Catholic and Orthodox churches. Instead of having “religion”, where rules are laid out the idea was replaced with “relationship”.
In other words, they threw out the whole standard of sin entirely! No “rule trips”, where there’s relationship. You can lie and steal. You can divorce. You can even be a homosexual. The Personal Jesus is okay with it! This is reflected in the rationale given: that things are spiritual and not physical. This is reflective of an older view (Gnosticism), wherein the flesh is considered evil and the goal is separation of the flesh. To wit:
However, generally speaking, Gnosticism taught that salvation is achieved through special knowledge (gnosis). This knowledge usually dealt with the individual’s relationship to the transcendent Being.
What “in Christ”, “in Him” and similar expressions means are clear with Scripture as well. As posted above (2 John 9), if you want to be those things, the only answer is to abide in Christ’s doctrine. There is no concept of romantic relationship or “spiritual intimacy” with Christ. Only a proper response to the grace extended you by what He has done by His love. He has set out this response as well. If you wish to claim Christ, He has bought you with His blood, which makes you His. Your only response if you wish to claim salvation in faith is to submit and obey. There is no other option that will avoid this:
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity. (Matthew 7:21-23)
Lyrics: Personal Jesus by Depeche Mode