I've been thinking...

Hans Rookmaaker, a Dutch scholar, said "Jesus didn’t come to make us Christian, he came to make us fully human." For some time this idea has been rolling around in my head. If in fact we are created in the image of God, then to be fully human would mean that we have some God characteristics. A fully human being is a human being that is intellectually, spiritually, creatively, morally, and relationally alive. In one respect this would seem like a tall order, and that not a single solitary person, except for Jesus, could ever be fully human. But the gospel seems to indicate that the role of "Jesus in me" is to to do just that--make me fully human, or make us fully human. This seems to be the challenge of Paul for us as he calls us to a life in Christ, to be like Christ. To be Christlike requires a daily surrender to his will and way. It is this relationship with him that enables us to be fully human. However, there is one aspect of being fully human that is not mentioned above, and that is free choice. What makes us alive is the ability that we have to chose to be human, to follow the call and claims of the gospel, and to seek to be like Christ.

A recent PEW study indicated that approximately 95% of American's believe in God, but only a few, less than 40%, attend worship on a regular basis. Other studies have indicated that the lifestyle of Christians is not different from the lifestyle of the majority of Americans. So what is the problem? The problem is that America is superficial both in its religion and its popular culture because we are intellectually, spiritually, creatively, morally, and relationally superficial.

Perhaps the challenge of this time is the discovery of what it means to be fully human. That discovery begins with a study of Jesus and his teachings. Now, I know this is not new, this is an old thought, but it is still true for today. It seems that we spend far too much time trying to be Christian, as understood by a majority of Americans, and less time contemplating what it means to be a follower of Jesus with all of its demands and implications.

This election campaign year has been an interesting study in what it means to be Christian. Christians seem to be playing an important role, but not because of who we follow, but as another voting bloc or another purchasing power. It is time for Christians to be more than the "political religious right." It is time that we discovered what it means to be fully human. The challenge is to step away from how the world defines Christianity and begin to discover who we are in Christ. We must dig deep to discover the claims of the gospel, and thereby discover what it means to be fully human as God intended. We cannot do this on our own, but together as we interact encourage, and support one another we will become the Church that truly is the Bride of Christ. Jesus came to make us fully human, it is time to discover what that means--enjoy the journey with its pitfalls and challenges, and its hopes and successes.