I ended the last post in this series with the claim that even though Jesus is the (T/t)ruth, we all see Jesus through our own cultural context and world view. In this post, I want to explore how people see Jesus today.
Most Christians see Jesus as the Savior. Now, seeing Jesus as the Savior means different things to different people. Some mean that Jesus saves us from God’s wrath upon sinners. Some mean that Jesus saves us from enslavement to Satan and evil forces. Some mean that Jesus saves us from political oppression. Some mean that Jesus saves us from ourselves and from anxiety of our own finiteness.
Most Christians see Jesus as the Son of God. Now, seeing Jesus as the Son of God means different things to different people. Some mean that Jesus is the second member of the Holy Trinity, known as the “Son,” wherein his sonship refers to him as being the son of the Father, the first member of the Trinity. And then there’s the Holy Spirit to throw in another member. Others see Jesus as the Son of God to mean that God chose Jesus the man for a special mission in the world. God chose this man to herald in the Kingdom of God on earth, and teach people to love one another.
Now, I’m going to take a wild and crazy guess that most of the readers of this blog come from a perspective where Jesus as Savior means that he saves us from God’s wrath upon sinners, and that Jesus as the Son of God means that he is a member of the Trinity. Fair assumption, no?
What demographic is this audience? Well, considering that I’m writing on my front porch with the Minneapolis skyline in view, I can assume that my readers that know me are from the surrounding area. Now, according to Wikipedia, being that the racial/ethnic composition of the Minneapolis/Saint Paul metropolitan area is 81.6% non-hispanic whites, I can assume a lot of them are non-hispanic whites. And knowing Minnesota’s strong Nordic roots, I can assume a lot of them come from that ancestry, and even have roots in Nordic Christian traditions (i.e. Lutheranism), but they’re also American, so they may likely be Baptist, Reformed, Methodists (but certainly not Presbyterians or Pentecostals! Shocking!) And finally, considering that they are reading this from a computer, they own or at least have access to a computer.
So, just from playful hypothesizing, my readers are likely white Midwesterners who make a sustainable income. Great!
But what about everyone else? Where are they in this discussion? Contrary to popular belief, the world is not predominantly white Midwesterners with sustainable incomes. In fact, it’s quite the opposite! Even in Christianity (the predominant religion in the world), white, financially comfortable people are not in the majority of Christianity.
However, the fact of the matter is that Christianity has been a white-dominated religion ever since, oh, I don’t know, the bishop in Rome officially became white and not Middle Eastern. In fact, I’m living proof of that. I’m a white, Midwestern man, financially satisfactory (errr), typing theology on his computer. What, then, do I do with that? What do you do with that?
As I said in the last post, we are not alone. We are all together, in solidarity, looking up to the Truth through our own eyes, but with each other. Look around. Who are the people surrounding you? A lot of them don’t look like you. They don’t come from the same place as you do, and they sure don’t make the same amount of money as you.
What do you think they think about Jesus?
Probably not the same as you.