Who doesn't like being popular?
And I think that's sometimes one of the biggest problems with trying to live our lives as faithful disciples of Jesus Christ. Some of the things that Jesus demands and stands for are not very popular.
Sure, no one has problems with the love, the grace, and the mercy of Jesus. But there's more to Jesus than just love, grace, and mercy. There's also holiness, righteousness, and justice.
Sure, Jesus promises eternal life and all that goes with heaven. But Jesus also tells us that the only way to gain this life is by forfeiting our current life with our current hopes and dreams.
There's a real danger in confusing popularity and popular support with genuine faith. Because popular support to a false understanding of Jesus undermines genuine faith.
- The false Jesus who says it's all about our comfort and security destroys Christian mission.
- The false Jesus who says it's okay to turn a blind eye to the suffering and the pain of the poor and the neglected in our inner cities and ghettos as long as we raise our children right undermines Christianity.
- The false Jesus who says it's okay to keep accumulating goods and bank accounts at the expense of investing ourselves fully to the cause of alleviating the suffering of our brothers and sisters in our communities and in the world around us repudiates everything the Christ of Scriptures lived and died for.
- The false Jesus who says it's okay to remain inwardly focused in our churches and institutional ways all the while the non-Christian majority in this world continues to remain ignorant of the unbelievable good news that God sent his only begotten Son that whosoever should believe in him will not perish but have everlasting life denies Christ.