If one responds to someone’s inquiry about what the USA is like with, “If you’re caught speeding you’ll be fined. If you don’t get an education, you won’t have a good life, and if you fail to pay taxes you will get locked up,” would that be an accurate representation? If the individual therefore declines a visit, have they rejected the USA? Definitely not; that’s an awful presentation of the United States! The question I ask is; are people rejecting the authentic Jesus or are they rejecting the Jesus that was presented to them?”
My desire is “rediscover” Jesus in fresh, new ways and “re-present” Him as He really is rather than the traditional, religious figure that He has traditionally been portrayed as. I generally do not blame people for declining the Jesus they’ve been presented. Have you been presented a religious figure who is obsessed with a hatred for sin? Were you advised that Jesus has an amazing sense of humor and enjoys your company? Or were you told that Jesus does not have fun and wears a somber expression at all times? Who is the Jesus that you are embodying and sharing? Is He someone you personally know or merely someone you have heard a lot about and are part of a culture that talks about Him often?
I once asked a man whether someone ever told him that all of his sins were forgiven and that God was “crazy” about him. With tears in his eyes he responded, “I have never heard that before!” I then shared Christ in fresh new ways and he very joyfully was reconciled to God. There is no need to present a different Jesus than scripture in our pursuit of winning the lost; I just believe that Jesus in His authentic image is the most overwhelmingly, irresistible person imaginable!