I used to think that the
What Would Jesus Do? movement was a good thing for young people. And it does have merit in helping kids stop and think about the moral issues they face every day. But really, isn’t WWJD the wrong question? After all, we live in a different world and the best we can do is subjectively guess what Jesus might do living in our culture. A better question might be,
What did Jesus say we should do? We know what he said—we don’t have to speculate. Our only problem is whether we are ready to do what he said. If we can just do what Jesus said we should do, we will be a long way down the road on living right.
But WWJD has merit for kids if, for no other reason, it tells them that what they do makes a difference. I know, you think that should be obvious, but there is a healthy slice of Christianity that doesn’t seem to think so. That is, if the way they live their lives is any indication. You tell me. Are there or are there not, people who claim to be Christian—even go to church regularly—who don’t live the life? You know there are.
Now, anyone should know that outward form of religion is not good enough, but you can’t tell it by the way people live. The form of our religion is important for what it teaches—it gives us shape; it gives us continuity—but it is not enough if the teachings aren’t carried into life. It is a persistent stupidity on the part of men that they rely on place and form for their religion, and forget that the faith of God is about the way we live our lives. I say
persistent, because it is one of the recurring and enduring themes of the Old Testament prophets. One day, the word of the Lord came to young man named Jeremiah and he told him to go up to the temple, stand in the gate where the elders would have been gathered, and give them a message. We’ll find it in Jeremiah, chapter 7.