#Do You Know the Real Jesus?

A local Roman Catholic Church has written by its entrance the words #DoYouKnowHim? This is a reference to a local evangelistic project based in the Craven area. The churches there have put on several events, one of which I attended and thoroughly enjoyed. 

Still, I was puzzled to see the #DoYouKnowHim outside a Roman Catholic Church. Puzzled, but not surprised. The #DYKH Facebook page explains ‘#doyouknowHim? is a unity movement in Skipton, where the Churches are uniting around Jesus to help the town we live in and serve, to know Jesus more!” I’m not totally sure what a unity movement is, but it possibly explains why Roman Catholic churches are involved, seeing as it’s more about uniting together the different ecclesiastical strands than plain evangelism. Theologically, however, the Catholic Jesus is at odds with the Jesus of the Bible. For example, he delegates his authority to a human being, the Pope, who then exercises his will over his followers. This Jesus is daily sacrificed on altars to continually pay sin’s bill; the followers of this Jesus must successfully obey ‘the specific precepts of the natural law, because their observance, demanded by the Creator, is necessary for salvation.’ (Catholic Catechism 2036). Let’s contrast this with the Biblical Jesus:

He alone has been given authority and power by the Father (Matt 28:18-20)

His atoning work was finished on the cross and needs no supplement (Heb. 10:10)

The sinners He rescues are saved by faith in Him, not obeying moral laws (Gal 2:16)

Some of the Craven churches have clergymen, or used to have, who deny the resurrection. Claiming that Christ rose ‘in the hearts’ of his followers rather than in actual reality, is a denying of the gospel, not an endorsement. If you’re asking me if I ‘know’ a Jesus who remained decomposing in the tomb, the answer is “no”. 

Despite this, I’m uncomfortable criticising others’ evangelistic endeavours. The gospel’s chief opponent in twenty-first century Britain is not Pope or Pagan, but the aggressive secularism with its illiberal hushing of Christian witness. I’m pleased to see the big denominations getting out of their steeples and doing some outreach, rather than merely managing existing congregations as they dwindle and die. But basing an outreach on as wide a Christian spectrum as possible, all in the name of unity, calls into question the identity of the Jesus being made known. 

I sincerely hope that the people of Craven are introduced to the incarnate Son of God, the Saviour of the world. I hope Catholic and Protestant, agnostic and atheist, church-goer and secularist seek, find and come to know Him who loves sinners and would save them from the coming judgement.  

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. Rev. 3:20