Saturday, July 26, 2014

Voddie Baucham's "The Modern Church's Sissified Jesus"

Below is my partial transcript of the opening and closing of Voddie Baucham's sermon "The Modern Church's Sissified Jesus":
Our view of Jesus matters. Our Christology matters. It matters because it affects everything that we believe and do as Christians. And, in this culture in which we live, we have a view of Jesus that is more than slightly askew. We think of Jesus not as a very masculine character. For example, when you think about the pictures that we have of Jesus—and in full disclosure I have a problem with that, just in general, because of the Second Commandment—but the pictures that we do have of Jesus are pictures of a European metro-sexual, with the hair of a shampoo model, hands that have never seen a hard day's work, and feet that have never walked a mile. That's the visual image that we have of Jesus. This sissified, feminized, European, gorgeous picture. Isaiah said that we wouldn't have been attracted to His form. But he's gorgeous. Which also, by the way, says something about the way we really think about people. We equate righteousness with attractiveness. We apprise beauty above all and not even in the right sense of the word. But what we believe about Him theologically is closely aligned with what we perceive about Him visually, because we do think of Jesus as soft; we do think of Jesus as one who doesn't confront people; we do think of Jesus as the God who comes along on the right side of the Bible to apologize for what the guy did on the left side. We see Him as a kinder gentler administration. And as a result of this, when we encounter people, our evangelism is affected by our view of Jesus. When the church writes songs, our worship is impacted by our view of Jesus. We sing like we're singing to a beautiful European metro-sexual shampoo model with flawless hands and flawless feet. When we work through our theology, what's the biggest reason, or the biggest problem that people have with the doctrine of election? It's just not nice. And it's one thing to have these opinions and ideas in isolation. It's another to have these opinions and ideas in direct opposition to what we see in Scripture. That's what's problematic: that our Christology is completely askewed and as a result of that, all of the rest of our practical theology is worked out in a way that is demeaning to the Christ of Scripture.
It is not optional: You must worship Christ. 'Ok, well, here is my worship.' It's unacceptable. 'How does it become acceptable?' Christ loves you, frees you from your sins by His blood, and makes you a kingdom of priests, who then and only then can offer acceptable worship before God. He makes us worthy to worship. He makes our worship acceptable, in Spirit and in Truth. He alone makes our worship acceptable and makes us worthy to worship Him. Again, this affects our worship. This affects our worship, because now our worship always has to be cross-centered. We offer cross-centered worship to the Triune God. Our worship also has to be rooted in redemptive history. We worship God because of who He is and because of what He's done. And we also worship God in light of the cross. Why? Because it's the cross that makes us worthy to worship. When we witness, the same thing is true. We witness because there is a God who demands worship. And we look at a lost, hurting and dying world and say 'You owe God worship! Worship Him!' How do we tell them to worship Him? By painting a picture of a metro-sexual shampoo model, with pretty hands and pretty feet, and a hope that he'll be beautiful enough to elicit some heartfelt emotional response from them? Or by pointing them to the Second Person of the Trinity? Demonstrating that he is the Faithful Witness. Preaching the Resurrection: He is the first born of the dead. Challenging all human authority: He is the Ruler of the kings of the Earth. And then sharing with them, that out of His love for his people, He takes their sins to the cross, He dies, He is resurrected on the third day and we are, in turn, through repentance and faith, raised up with Him and made into a royal priesthood—offering imperfect, yet completely acceptable worship to the one who is worthy to receive it. This changes our worship, this changes our witness, all by changing our view of Christ. Our culture believes that what we need is a soft, feminized, non-judgmental Jesus. You know why? Because when you say to sinners, 'God says, Worship my Son, you owe it to Him', sinners look back at us and say, 'I don't like that. That's rude.' And, instead of coming back with the rest of the story, we come back with, 'Well, you know, actually he's not like that. Let me give you another picture. How do you like that one?' As one old preacher said, whatever you win them with, is what you win them to. And if we win people to a Jesus made in their own image, by taking away aspects of his character and person and work, that they don't like, we will spend the rest of our ministry doing the same thing. But if we understand who Christ is and that He is objectively and subjectively worthy of our worship and our witness, then we will not fear. And in following the Faithful Witness, we will be faithful witnesses ourselves—some even unto death. Even so, come Lord Jesus.
Let's pray.
Father, we bow before you in the name of your Son and in the power of your Spirit, acknowledging you as the one true, holy, living, righteous God—one God in three Persons, existing eternally in perfect unity, harmony and communion. We bow before you in the name of your Son, whom you sent to be our Redeemer. Your Son, the Faithful Witness. Your Son, the Firstborn from the dead. Your Son, the Ruler of the kings of the Earth. Your Son, who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood. Your Son who has made us into a kingdom of priests for you, O God, so that to you might be the honor and that to you might be the glory forever. Grant by your grace, that our worship and our witness would be conformed to these truths, reflective of these truths. Grant that we might offer you that which you are due. And grant that we might witness to it, so that Christ might have the fullness of the reward for which He died. Help us Lord not merely to object to the images of Jesus in our culture, but to insist on Biblical accuracy. Not solely because we want to be right, but because we desire to worship you in Spirit and in Truth. Because we desire to know you as you have revealed yourself to us in your word. Because we desire to worship you in ways that you have deemed appropriate. Because we recognize our own limitations and weaknesses. We recognize our own shortsightedness and selfishness. And, so, we yield to you. Grant now that even the prayers of our hearts and the words of our mouths might be acceptable in your sight, that Christ might be magnified in us and through us and by us, more than He ever has. That we might rest in Him; abide in Him, and He in us. This is our prayer and we ask it in that name which is above every name: that name at which every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that He is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. In the name of Jesus, who is the Christ, amen.

~Voddie Baucham, The Modern Church's Sissified Jesus