Monday, October 17, 2011

WWJD? Darned if I know!

I write this as a Christian who is simply pondering the aspects of his faith and teachings. I'm not losing my faith or questioning the spiritual belief in God, just trying to figure out how I best fit into it, I imagine.

Hmmmm, sometimes I wonder if the church hasn't almost done itself a disservice by the way they promote Jesus. I mean, when I was growing up the phrase "What Would Jesus Do?" was pushed on us to be our motto. WWJD became a HUGE thing in the Church. (I'm sure we can all get sidetracked here on a discussion about mass commercialization of the church, however, that's not really my focus. Lets assume that their was a genuine message behind the mass commercialization and a hope that those guidelines would truly help the struggling Christian.)

(Okay, are we back? Awesome!) The problem that I find is that I have a hard time relating to Jesus. I mean, He's portrayed as the Superman of the Bible. He never sins, he can see a person's sins and life story just by looking at them, he can feed 5,000 people with 2 loaves of bread and 5 fish (or was it 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish...anyway). I've got....a good gift for puns and I'm decent with slapstick comedy. Those are my "Super-Powers." I can't see into people's souls; I'm not even a good judge of character. I'm way too trusting and always assume the best of people.

This comes into play usually whenever I'm confronted with a needy homeless guy on the street asking for money. The mental conversation goes like this.

Me, thinking: Hmmmm....this nomad is asking me for money, what should I do?
Other voice in my head, conscience, maybe?: Ah, so its the classic morale dilemma. Do you save your hard-earned money for yourself or do you give some to this gentleman in need?
Me: I'm not sure. Hmmmm...what's the right thing to do here?
Other voice Well, you have always been told to ask yourself "What Would Jesus Do in this situation?" Well, what do you think Jesus would do?
Me: He would be able to see this man's soul and know if he was truly in need of money for food or if he was goign to spend it on drugs or alcohol, or even if he wasn't truly needy at all. He would then know just the right thing to say in order to turn this man's life around and renew his spirit.
Other voice Ummmm...yeah, you can't do that.
Me nope.
other voice: him to McDonald's and buy him a filet-o-fish! That'll get him food and you know exactly where your money went. Pick yourself up one, too. You're hungry.
(See what I mean about being too trusting. In any case, I did drive him to McDonald's and get him a Filet-O-Fish and also a 5 dollar gift card so he could have breakfast tomorrow. He did not kill me, steal my car, or anything in my car, so I guess being too trusting isn't always a bad thing. Also, my Filet-O-Fish was delicious. )

However, you can see where "WWJD" didn't really apply to my situation. I had the same trouble in High School. I was always taught that masturbation was a sin and lusting in general is a very bad thing. (Again, take the time, if you need to, to rant about "oppressing sexuality" or other gripes against the way the church handles such issues. Take your time, I'll wait. Got it out of your system? Okay cool.) So since I was in my teens and beset with a great desire for all things "rutting," I was struggling with vast temptation.

Me: GAH! I'm so shocking horny! Gotta be strong, what would Jesus do in this situation? How did He handle it?
Other voice: Jesus wouldn't give in to temptation. He never sinned. He simply resisted the urges.
Me; What...really? How'd He do that? What's His secret? I'm getting turned on reading Archie and Veronica over here! Its killing me.
Other voice: He's Jesus. He's pure. He is without sin.
Me: ummmm..but I'm not. I'm the masked llama!
Other voice: Yeah. I know.
Me: So what do I do?
Other voice: no idea....ummmm....stop reading Archie and read Sonic the Hedgehog instead? Its not like you're gonna pick up a crush for Princess Sally or anything, right?

So, again, asking "WWJD" didn't really help me at all. I couldn't "be Jesus" and just say "bad temptation, go away." Jesus went 40 days and 40 nights in the desert with no food and when Satan shows up with food Jesus says "no thanks." Even when I tell myself that I'm gonna eat at Subway instead of McDonald's because its healthier for me, if I'm an hour late for supper, I'm getting the Big-Mac meal cuz I am flipping starving!

They say that Jesus is 100% human and 100% God at once. Sure, the Bible does a good job of showing Jesus' humanity when he's grieving, it doesn't show him struggling with sin or "what should I do?" He always knows the answer. I don't always know the answer. I can't relate to someone who does.

I'm not sure what the solution is. "What would Peter do?" isn't really a good role model suggestion, either. He's the perfect example of "Act in Haste, Repent in Leisure."

Just my thoughts on the matter, thanks for reading. Comment if you like.



At 12:26 AM, Blogger Zeb The Troll said...

Interesting thought process you've got going on there. I think I'm too old for the WWJD movement (I am aware of it but it wasn't a thing when I was young enough not to opt out of going to church).

Take this reply with the grain of salt or two that's necessary knowing that my frame of reference isn't the same as yours. I understand faith and my upbringing (Southern Baptist, but in Colorado so not as severe as the stereotype) gives me a bit of a view through the window, as it were, but I've come to a different conclusion than many who had the same exposure that I did. So...

I think you're taking the WWJD thing a little too literally. They taught me, in Sunday School, that it's not possible to emulate Jesus in all ways in all things, but the goal is to simply strive. You don't know what the guy begging is going to do with the money, or if he even needs it. You want to help, but you don't want to enable, and you have the means, even if it's a small help. What would Jesus do? The right thing. You hedged your bets. You gave the man what he claimed he needed, a meal, without giving him the means to give in to other harmful temptations. If he wanted the meal, he got it. If he wanted booze money, he probably still needed the meal, so still a win. If he didn't need anything from you, he still got a kind gesture which will maybe influence his behavior in the future. If it didn't, that's not your fault. You did the right thing.

But what if you don't do the right thing? So what? Were you trying to do that right thing? All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. It's a given and God knows you're going to fail at being right every time.

I'm not God, clearly, but I think I know you pretty well. You always want to do 'the right thing'. Even if whatever 'the right thing' turns out to be isn't something you want to do, 'the right thing' will win out and you'll find yourself doing it more often than most people. I have a feeling that when Jesus is picking people for kickball, you won't be the last one picked. Just sayin'.

So don't sweat it. Keep on being the llama we all know and love. It looks good on you.


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