What Would Make Jesus Wince?
Have you ever heard someone say, “Would you hear/read/watch that with Jesus beside you?”
Just yesterday [Jan. 14, 2013] something dawned on me: a Biblically based challenge to the objection that enjoying certain stories or things wouldn’t be right “if Jesus were sitting next to me” or “if Jesus were hearing/reading/seeing this with me.”
This slogan may actually assume a low view of Christ’s holiness.
Scripture assures us — and warns — that God is too holy to tolerate sin. Yet He is fully aware of all that happens. So is Jesus, in His resurrected eternal nature of God-and-man.1
So are we saying that merely saying a Bad Word in front of Jesus would make Him wince? Cringe? Look away, whining?
Or would He see any sin for what it is, in His mighty sovereignty, and know that He will punish it?
As for the concept of seeing movies or reading novels with Jesus nearby, I agree that “would Jesus enjoy this” is a good litmus test. But Jesus is no wuss, and we shouldn’t be either. I daresay He would find much good in even “secular” stories, certainly The Hobbit or The Avengers or even Harry Potter — though, like us, He would also take issues with some about those stories’ worldviews!
Come to think of it, His approach to those stories may be similar to how He looks upon us. He subverts our sin and make us more like Him.
(Edited from a Jan. 15 social-network post of mine.)
- References available upon request. ↩
I’ve heard it said that God in His holiness cannot look upon sin. Is that in the Bible? Because, it doesn’t really make sense. It seems to contradict God’s omniscience and omni-presence. Not only does God know everything, but it could argued philosophically that all things are as they are because God sees them as such from His sovereign perspective. Sin is sin because God sees it, and knows that it is wrong according to the law that He defines.
The phrase may be borrowed from Habakkuk 1:13:
If that sounds like a person challenging God, it is — the prophet Habakkuk himself. Here he is actually stating a theodicy. He’s saying: It seems like a God who is too pure to look on evil wouldn’t let it happen at all (for God sees all).
I haven’t heard someone use this verse to argue that God literally can’t see sinful things in front of His eyes. If people say that, they would deny God’s omniscience.
When I ask that question (of myself), it is as a tool of discernment for *me* and whether *I* would be embarrassed or ashamed if the Lord was right there seeing or hearing along with me. I’m not worried about His exposure to the subject matter as much as I am concerned about His reaction to me and whether or not I am dwelling on what I should be dwelling on, as stated in Philippians 4:8. Basically, I’m asking whether or not seeing or hearing this particular subject matter is likely to help me become more like Christ or less like Christ.
God is holy, yet He is also omniscient. Since there is nothing new under the sun, I don’t believe there is anything that takes Him by surprise or that He is unaware of. That doesn’t mean He likes what He sees and hears. Exposing Him to whatever it is I am experiencing will not sully Him or His character, though it very well might sully *me*. So it’s not a matter of whether or not God can handle it, but of whether or not I ought to be handling it.
That’s an interesting point, Margaret. I know there are some things, even in relatively clean show, that I’m uncomfortable with letting my parents see. For example, I was watching an episode of Sarah Jane Adventures in which on character says “What the hell is going on?” Mom kind of looked at me, and I went–“Under the circumstances, it’s justified. ” (Situation: an alien monster was devouring the main character’s soul, producing dementia-like symptoms) I do think that’s an interesting question–maybe I’ll bring it up during supper tonight.