Something in the Christian church has been plaguing my heart lately. Something small, almost insignificant; something some would say isn’t an issue at all.
But I have to wonder: have we so focused our beliefs on Jesus that we have excluded God?
I see it in the hymns we sing: What a Friend We Have in Jesus, Soon and Very Soon, Since I Have Been Redeemed. I hear it in the words that are preached. I even see it in the way that we (I?) think. How often have you heard the question, “How could a loving God ___?” We see Jesus’ compassion, His love, and forget the rest of the Trinity. That Jesus is only part of God, that He is not synonymous with God, and that God is full of wrath.
I see it so often in the words my friends type online: Jesus is the King, Jesus is so good, would Jesus really want for you to do such and such?
Yes, Jesus is integral to the relationship we have with God. If it weren’t for Him, we would never be good enough to enter Heaven. But.
Jesus is NOT the fullness of God. Yes, in Him the fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily (Col. 2:9), but to worship Jesus to the exclusion of the other two-thirds of the Trinity? That’s where the danger lies.
God encompasses so much more than Jesus and His earthly ministry. Even His heavenly ministry. God encompasses the beginning of time itself, the harsh punishment He gave to Adam and Eve, the exile of Cain, the destruction of the world as it was with the flood, the annihilation of Sodom and Gomorrah, the harsh and even cruel punishments of the nations that He chose to punish through the Israelites. God also encompasses the Spirit’s work in the prophets, in certain men from the Old Testament, and in our lives today. The boldness to speak what we should, the words He gives us for a hurting friend…these are not done by the work of Jesus but of God the Father and God the Spirit.
Call me a heretic, but I believe that giving Jesus more credit than He is due is just as damaging to the church as saying that Jesus is nothing more than an angel, a brother to Satan. Call me a heretic, but I believe that this slight distortion can be just as damaging, if not moreso, to the church as Gnosticism was and has been. Call me a heretic, but I think we need to see a change.
We need to see the Bible as it stands as a whole, not just the New Testament. We need to view the Bible as one letter from one God who happens to have 3 parts. And we need to make sure our speech makes it clear that we not only follow Christ but that we also (and more importantly) follow God, the Trinity, the whole Person of the Godhead. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. Jude 24-25 (NASB, emphasis mine)