About Jesus     Steve Sweetman

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Counting Gods


Back in the 1960’s pop culture proclaimed that “God was dead”.  Well, somewhere along the way, He must have been resurrected, because it seems like everyone is talking about Him these days, including pop culture.  Performers thank God as they receive their Grammies for sexually explicit and violent music videos.  CNN sponsored a political debate concerning God and the candidate where all of  the presidential hopefuls claimed great faith in God.   In the last 2 weeks CNN has broadcasted documentaries entitled “God’s Warriors” and “The Anil of God”.   Our western society is undergoing a debate on how God fits into education, government and morality.  I’ve just got one question, “what god is everyone talking about”? 


I even think Christians talk too much about God these days.  Recently I felt compelled to turn off the TV because a Christian TV personality in a 7 minute span of time said the word God 18 times.  That’s once every 23 seconds.  Why was I so annoyed?  Because she failed to mention Jesus once.   Everything was God. 


So I’m now affectionately  known by some as a “God counter”, and at times I am.  It’s part of my statistical nature I guess.  But I do believe this is more than a matter of semantics.  There’s a definite problem evolving here.     


Sorry to say, but I’ve influenced a couple of my friends to have the same “God counting” compulsion at times, although they don’t actually keep score as I’ve done.  One friend visited an evangelical outreach service on a Native Peoples reserve where he heard 5 Christian speakers speak for 3 hours. God was constantly talked about, but the name of Jesus was seldom heard. With no real mention of Jesus, and all sorts of talk about God, I wonder what God the Native People thought the Christians were talking about.  Could they have possibly thought  the Christians were speaking about their god?    


Here’s something quite ironic. I once listened to a pastor speak for  35 minutes.  He mentioned God 21 times and Jesus 1 time, and Jesus didn’t make his sermon until the 25 minute mark.  I mentioned this in an article I wrote and this same pastor liked my article so much that he read it to his church, not knowing the pastor I wrote about was him.


I also counted Gods in an evangelical gathering of various churches, which started at 6 PM and ended at 7:30 PM.  Outside of the songs we sang, Jesus’ name  couldn’t be heard from anyone’s lips until 7:05.  The total count ended at, God 29 – Jesus 5.  I just don’t know why Jesus loses when God has chosen to make Him the highest authority over all there is. 


Once I heard a pastor pray for about 4  minutes. On average, every 4 seconds he said the word God – 54 times in the 4 minutes.  His prayed so fervently.   I was just hoping he wouldn’t faint due to lack of oxygen to his brain because he hardly stopped to take a breath.  I could have prayed for him to that end, but I was too busy counting Gods.   Anyway, that’s a lot of Gods in such a short span of time, especially when he never once mentioned Jesus.  


I hope we as Christians understand what God we serve when we talk about Him to the exclusion of Jesus.    He’s a specific God, not a generic god. As Paul says in Eph. 1:3 and elsewhere, our “God is the God and  Father of our Lord Jesus Christ”.  If we only speak about God in general terms and leave Jesus out of our conversation, in these days of multiculturalism, I’m not sure that people will know what god we’re talking about.  Of course it’s much safer talking about a generic god rather than our Lord Jesus Christ.     


This really hit home to me when I watched a 911 memorial service held in Washington D.C. .  A Christian minister closed his prayer by saying, “I pray this in the name of the God of Abraham,  Mohammad and Jesus”.  I was amazed that a Christian minister could stray so far from New Testament thinking by saying that the god of Mohammad and the God of Jesus were one in the same.  


Now more than any time in recent history we need  to speak about our Lord Jesus Christ so everyone will know exactly what God we’re talking about.  We just can’t afford to leave Jesus out of our conversation any longer.  And why should we?  God Himself has chosen Him to be the centerpiece of the gospel message.  He was the One who hung on the cross, rose from the dead, and returned to Heaven where He is now the supreme authority over all there is.  Besides, Jesus has asked us to represent Him on earth, just as He represented God His Father on earth.  Do you see that?  Scripture tells us that we are to point people to Jesus, just as Jesus pointed people to God His Father.   Acts 1:7 confirms this when Jesus tells us that we’ll witness to Him when the Holy Spirit comes into our lives.   


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