Giles Fraser’s Loose Cannon column ‘I bang my head against the wall when evangelicals turn Jesus into Cheesus’ caused a lot of controversy this week. Evangelicals were upset at his sweeping generalisations and understandably so. But there is lot more in this piece that requires careful consideration.
After a while, if you say a word enough, over and over again, it loses its meaning. It even begins to sound a little different. Jesus morphs into Cheesus – the es getting steadily elongated. Those who talk about Cheesus do so with a creepy sort of chummyiness. This is what evangelicals call “a personal relationship”, by which they mean that Cheesus has become their boyfriend or best mate.
And when such people speak of Cheesus they have to wear that sickly smile too. It’s that I-know-something-you-don’t smile. Patronising, superior and faux caring all at the same time. And if you disagree with them they will pray for you. It makes you want to bang your head against a brick wall.
Adored ‘Stop Taking Jeremiah 29:11 Out Of Context‘ from Thomas Turner at Relevant Magazine on the use and abuse of a certain piece of Scripture. There might be the best of intentions behind people using specific verses to encourage and comfort, but aren’t we missing a much larger promise that a contextual understanding gives us? And are we allowing personal need, fear and laziness to colour our reading and use of scripture?
We need to let the Bible speak to us, not allow our own personal bent to speak into the Scriptures. If Jeremiah 29 is speaking to the nation of Israel, and not just one person, then we should start with the truth in the Scriptures. Context matters—God speaks at a particular moment in time, to a particular people group, for a reason.
Tweets of the week:
Rachel Held Evans: Standing with the poor & marginalized is not a Christian “trend.” It’s a Christian way of life. (Or should be.)
Billy Bragg: At BBC, see the Sun’s front page Churchillian defence of free press, undermined by photo on Page 3 of Poppy in her knickers.
Jamie McKelvie: I don’t want to alarm anyone, but a faun and a talking beaver just walked past my window.