As we covered various topics with Scott Alan Buss in his book “Fire Breathing Christians” today, the one that jumped out at me most when I read his book was “Mr. Potato Jesus”. For those of you younger than me, in the sixties there was a toy “Mr. Potato Head”. You could change his eyes, ears, nose and mouth and come up with all sorts of funny and sad faces—anything you want.
Of the many challenges facing the church these days, I think “Mr. Potato Jesus” may be the most serious. We have reached such a level of arrogance as a people that we think we can now fashion God in our image and desire—rather than accepting his character and nature as he shares in His Word.
Want a God who is there to serve you? Change the mouth to a big smile and a “happy Jesus’ is there to grant every wish if you only have enough faith. Ignore the stories of the apostles facing persecution and poverty—they just did not have enough faith! Hey, who are you going to believe—Jesus and the apostles—or Joel Osteen?
Think God’s teachings are narrow minded and not all inclusive? No problem—just give Mr. Potato Jesus big wide welcome eyes that invite everyone into heaven regardless of their beliefs about who Jesus is. Muslims, Buddhists, luke warm Christians—hey, no matter! Smiling Mr. Potato Jesus accepts everyone and would never hand down a judgment of eternal hell to anyone.
Don’t like how the story of earth ends—you know the one where evil runs rampant until Jesus returns to vanquish evil and save the righteous? No problem. Just remove Mr. Potato Jesus’ eyes and we will guide him to what we think the ending should look like. You know, the one where we conquer the evils of poverty,injustice and global warming—and Jesus just comes back once we have done all the heavy lifting.
Well, I have some breaking news for you—God will not be mocked or intimidated into doing things our way. He is not some toy figure we can manipulate to look like we think he should. He is God! He blesses and heals who he chooses to heal. He is an exclusive God—he demands we have true faith in Jesus Christ, His Son, as the only way, truth and life. He does not look for common ground with religions and false gods who deny His Son—he ultimately destroys them, proving they are a sham and a mockery.
He will not share his glory with any other god or person. He will bless and heal who he wants to. He will judge as He knows is best, not how we think he should judge. And he doesn’t want us to have a “conversation” with unbelievers—he wants us to share the truth of the gospel and offer them a way out of eternal damnation. He wants us to love them enough to risk being seen as narrow minded.
Has our arrogance as a people become so blatant that we think we can define the character and nature of God as we think it should be? Have we now evolved to the point where we are more qualified to judge good and evil than the almighty God who created us? It certainly seems to be headed that way. We expect that from the world—but not fromthose who claim to be God’s children.
So if you want to worship “Mr. Potato Jesus”, thinking you can manipulate Him, His Word, and His nature, that is your choice. Good luck with that.