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  • Writer's pictureRick Zumpano

Designer Religion

Jesus always cuts to the heart of the matter and into the heart of His hearers. He wastes no words for time is precious. Alfred Whitehead said: “Apart from blunt truth, our lives sink decadently amid the perfume of hints and suggestions.”

In our text, Jesus destroys our silly notions that Christianity is a “designer religion.” Because of our selfishness and arrogance, we tend to accept some of what Jesus teaches but ignore other commandments which we find “difficult.” Thus, we “design” our own Christianity by selectively applying Jesus’ words.

We want His forgiveness but don’t take Him seriously about forgiving others - every person who has wronged us.

We’ll gladly come to the assembly and worship whenever there isn’t anything else going on that we want to do.

We give into the offering basket but don’t want to hear about my giving an afternoon or evening for the cause of Christ.

We convince ourselves that “going to church” is what Jesus wants and ignore His words about good works, the second mile, proclaiming the gospel and denying ourselves.

Jesus’ question is founded not so much in rebuke as in incredulity. “Do you think I’m blind? How can you call me your Master and then turn around and not do what I tell you to do?!” Do we truly see Jesus as a loving Master with our best interests at heart, or do we see Him as a divine “advice Giver” whose words we can choose to follow or not depending upon how we feel?

Our Lord then provides a warning for those who would design their own way to follow Him. If you build your house according to my design (words), you’ll endure temptations and stand firm in the evil days. If you design your house your way, your life will come crashing down when the tests of life come. Jesus’ words are both a promise and a warning. Designer Christianity is a calamity waiting to happen.

><> Jeff

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