Have you ever met “Faux Jesus”? Often you will meet him when a friend has something to say to you. It will start out with “Hey, I really feeling the Lord is telling me to tell you…” and then it goes down hill from there.
Maybe I am a bit too cynical, but I always wonder if Jesus is really all that concerned about what I wear, what music I listen to, or where I eat my lunch. If you’ve ever met “Faux Jesus” you know that he is interested and concerned about all the things your friend is interested in and concerned about regarding your life.
I think “Faux Jesus” is trotted out to say things we think will sound harsh or rude. In those cases, when we really don’t like what a person is doing we say, “Jesus told me to tell you…” It is much easier to make Jesus the heavy in these conversations.
When people don’t like what we said we simply say, “Hey! Don’t shoot the messenger. It wasn’t my idea to talk to you about that.” “Faux Jesus” makes it much easier to talk about our personal preferences regarding other people’s lives than taking responsibility for them ourselves.
“Faux Jesus” is also really good at getting us out of things we don’t want to do. “I really don’t think Jesus wants me to participate in that right now.” Then you can look at the person and say something like, “I know, right? He never lets me do anything fun. Jesus can be so mean sometimes.”
Sometimes we can have “Faux Jesus” take the fall for when things don’t work out. If we are going to have a community outreach program and no one shows up, we can say that it “Must not have been God’s will.” Forget that we planned it poorly and put little effort into it. Let Jesus take the fall, he can handle it.
When someone would go to the Academic Dean in Bible College and say that they felt like Jesus was telling them to drop out of classes or something, he would say, “Let’s leave Jesus out of this for a little bit and tell me what is going on in your life right now.”
“Faux Jesus” is great for dodging responsibility on things we don’t want to do, saying things we want to say but don’t have the courage to say, and for taking the blame for our failures.
Honestly, the only person that believes “Faux Jesus” is real is us. Everyone else sees a hand puppet. Maybe we should start taking responsibility for the things we don’t want to do, we want to say, and the things we fail at every day. Who knows, maybe the real Jesus will start showing up and making a difference in our lives and the lives of those around us.