“Let Me Tell You What Jesus Means”….and Other BS (Banal Stupidity)

Keith KettenringChristian Living, Church, Motley Christian

Let me apologize ahead of time. I’m ticked. A couple nights ago, I listened to a well-known international Bible teacher confidently tell me stuff about the Bible and God. Most if it was a plate full of cheesy personal opinion, shredded theologically-biased information loaded with spicy logic wrapped in a shell of warm sincerity. I like tacos, but not at every meal. I  am sick and tired of people explaining or quoting the Bible to me as if they are experts in exposition, discernment, and practice. There! I’ve said it.

As Ham Porter says in the movie Sand Lot: “You’re killing me, Smalls!!”

The cold hard/ugly truth about what most Christian speakers or writers communicate is that they have little idea what they’re saying. Yet, they think they’re well informed and experienced. (This goes doubly-true for me!)

Many of these so-called Bible teachers are too young to advise others. Been there, done that!

Many believe that a piece of paper that says “M.A.” or “M.Div.” or “PhD” makes them credible. It only makes them “ed-u-ma-cated” often beyond their intelligence.

I’ve even talked with experienced church and ministry leaders whose ego-centricity unknowingly blinds them to their own faults and to the needs of others.  They’re often carried along more by their extroverted personality or whimsical demeanor than by the Holy Spirit. (See, I can be just as judgmental as the next person.)

The audacity of some to speak for Jesus is mind boggling. “This is really what Jesus means when He says…” OMG!! Are you kidding me?!?!? YOU know what Jesus is actually saying when it doesn’t look clear at all and everyone else is dumbfounded?

Christian musicians are the worst. Just because they can put a Bible phrase into a catchy cliche, repeat it over and over again in some foot-tapping, hand-clapping melody line, doesn’t make it real, let alone real in their life or those who sing along with them.

Just because you can turn a phrase like C.S Lewis, communicate like Winston Churchill, or crank out the books like Nicholas Sparks, doesn’t make you an expert on anything let alone the Christian life or the Bible.

Most of our modern Christian books, conferences, and music proclaim the same old superficial stuff, repeated with more flair, pomposity, smugness, wit, or emotion. Yet basically, it is still the same old goods we’ve heard a thousand times. Ugh!

Modern Christianity has put such a high value on intellectual knowledge, sentimental inspiration, and bold presentation that we’ve blinded ourselves to arrogance and error. We’re held captive by smarts, emotion, and charisma.

Hey Mr., Mrs. and Miss, Dr., Rev. Christian leader, preacher, teacher, singer, author, blogger, or missionary…

There is only one who is Truth. You are not Him.

There is only one who is Holy. You are not Him.

There is only one Word. You are not Him.

There is only one who is Light. You are not Him.

This is not a new phenomenon. Jesus dealt with this same issue in his day. The One who is all of these realities and more says: You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me (John 5.39).

Eternal life is not found in knowing the scriptures and/or communicating their meaning. Life is only found in Life Himself. Knowing Jesus Christ is eternal life. All else is secondary.

I’m weary (and wary) of Christian celebrities and performers – mega-pastors, Dove-winning artists, best-selling writers, popular radio personalities, and other Christian celebrity types.

But, I’d love to slowly walk with an unknown Jesus along dusty and quiet paths listening to his difficult yet life-giving words like the two on the road to Emmaus got to do.

So, get off your high horse. Give your life to knowing Jesus Christ. Learn from Him to be quiet, humble, honest, prayerful, and dependent. Do that for 40+ years then maybe, just maybe, you’ll have something to say.

Thank you for letting me vent. I feel so much better now.