Yesterday I talked a little about my issue with many Christian bumper stickers (Such as the one above) and how I think it provides a distorted view of Christianity. I addressed the first face that says “With Jesus” and has a big smile if you are interested in what I had to say about that I would encourage you to check out Part 1 of With Jesus 🙂 ? Without Jesus 😦 ?
Today I want to take a look at the second part of this bumper sticker which says “Without Jesus” and has a 😦 face. I am sure what was intended by this is to point out that without Jesus we will miss out on the purpose that God has for our lives and we will not experience the freedom from sin that comes by being receiving God’s gift through the sacrifice of his son for us. However, I don’t think that is what this picture conveys. Too me this picture is trying to say that if you don’t have Jesus you won’t be happy. I don’t think this is true, I know lots of people who don’t follow Jesus but are living pretty happy lives. There are many people who are currently “Without Jesus” but have wonderful families that love and care for one another, spend time reaching out in their communities to those less fortunate, are a good citizen, and overall enjoy their work and leisure life.
I think we miss the point when we tell people if you want to be happy you need Jesus. Many people would reply, “Well I don’t currently have Jesus but I am pretty happy on my own but thanks anyways.” I think this also really distorts the gospel and makes the central point us and what God can do for us. Jesus is not a happy pill that we take to make all of our problems go away. The point of the gospel is not about you or I it is about God. The point of Christianity is not that Jesus love you and I so much that he died for us. Even in the book “Radical” by David Platt he says, “The message of Biblical Christianity is “God loves me so that I might make him-his ways, his salvation, his glory, and his greatness-known among all nations. Now God is the object of our faith, and Christianity centers around him. We are not the end of the gospel. God is.” I truly do enjoy that book but I feel it is even more important to look at scripture to see what we have been told and in Colossians 1:16 it says, “For everything was created by Him, in heaven and on earth, the visible and the invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities-all things have been created through Him and for Him.” So the point is not we need Jesus and then we will be happy, the point is we have been created by God not for ourselves but we have been made by Him for Him! We have been created to give him praise and make him known to the world!
So what do I believe? I believe whether we are “With Jesus” or “Without Jesus” there will be times we will all feel happy, nervous, frustrated, angry, joyous, thankful, confused, annoyed, peaceful, distraught, and many other feelings. I believe that the message of the gospel is not “Jesus will make you happy” I believe the message is we have been created through God and for God! The entire story of creation, fall, and redemption is all for the glory of God. As a Christian will I always be happy with Jesus? No, but in good times and in trials I can make him known to the world!