Some early morning ranting coming your way……that above image is something that I saw on the back of a car the other day on my way to work. Right in front of me. I forget the make and model of the car, and really that’s not that important. Usually I see bumper stickers, buttons and shirts like these and get maybe a chuckle out of ‘em. I have a live and let live policy when it comes to sloganeering like this. This is still the America I love, and that means freedom of speech all the way, baby, no matter how much I disagree with it. Besides, it’s not like we Christians have a corner on cheesy bumper sticker theology. It may seem like it, to be honest, but we don’t. They’re everywhere, from all walks of life. Personally, I’ve moved on from having such kitsch define my faith, but I remember when it did. Everyone goes through such a phase, methinks, in their journey of life.

No, what set my teeth on edge seeing this rather pretentious slogan adorning the back end of this vehicle was that, once again, Jesus was regulated to a means to an end. This is speculation on my part, but it seems to me that most of those who would have this kind of thing usually don’t have anything to do with Jesus, until it would suit their purposes. Again, nothing new. Even the Disciples themselves didn’t understand Jesus’ purpose here on Earth beyond a means to their personal ends. So, like a lot of things I’ve come to find after twenty-six years of following my Lord and Savior, seeing this happening today doesn’t surprise me.

No, I would suspect that the so-called “real Jesus” espoused on the bumper sticker there is merely a Convenient Jesus. One you can trot out of the dusty attic of your hollow idealistic philosophies when He suits you. Someone you really don’t need to believe in; no, this Jesus will NEVER make you confront your own sinful nature! You don’t need to do anything as silly as repent, or even believe in a GOD. No, This Jesus is there only to put an exclamation point to your own self-righteous and shallow indignation. More than likely to divert attention that you’re a sad, hypocritical wretch like I was, in desperate need of salvation and forgiveness. But no, that won’t do for your ego, right?

Deep breaths, here. I pray that the individual driving that car does discover the Real Jesus. The Jesus that’s beyond all of our politics, who was GOD made flesh to dwell among all of us, who said things like “I am the way, the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me.” The Real Jesus who wishes that not one would perish, but would come to know Salvation through his sacrifice on the cross. The Real Jesus that was resurrected three days later after our own sin nailed him to that ancient pagan torture and death device to make him suffer and die for having the audacity to love us.

The Real Jesus forgives you, for you know not what you do.