by DanWolgemuth on July 14, 2023

Have you heard of it? Oreo-ID is the new way to customize one of your favorite cookie sandwich treats. From the crème on the inside, to the design on the outside. From pictures to corporate logos… Oreos are here for you.

And of course, the same can be done with M&M’s. Pure individual customization.

Customization. The dictionary puts it this way… “the action of modifying something to suit a particular individual or task.”

Perhaps, our cultural obsession with customization has taken us down a path that few of us anticipated.

In his book, The Jesus Way, Eugene Peterson writes in his appropriately disquieting way… “Lots of people more or less believe in God. But most of us do our best to customize God to suit our convenience by adapting and modifying, making him ‘relevant to our situation’.”

I fear that Peterson is right… and not just about what other people believe, but me. A customized Jesus is ideal. He is what I want Him to be, when I want Him to be that.

He votes like I do. He looks like I do. He eats and drinks like me. He shares my view on education, capitalism, and justice. He cheers for a healthy Balance Sheet, and He gives me a sweet golf clap when I do something kind. Just like me, He prioritizes the two or three issues that sit heaviest on my mind, and He’s willing to belittle and label others who have a different set of priorities. He reads what I read. He listens to what I listen to. And He even watches the same network that I watch. It’s perfect…

But is it true?

Maybe this started to happen when the focus of evangelism could be summed up with a simple question… “Have you asked Jesus into your life?”

I’ve asked that question. Many times.

Again, it’s perfect… I get Jesus in my life to walk with me. He’s invited into my life. My agenda. My priorities. Jesus and me.

Unfortunately, or more appropriately, fortunately, Jesus doesn’t ever ask anyone if He can come into their lives. No, He invites us to follow Him. He picks the path, and I choose to walk that path with Him, or not.

Disciples left nets, family, careers, political agendas… to follow. Hearts and wills surrendered to the daily process of walking with the Master. No customization. He was in charge. Always.

Jesus on my terms isn’t Jesus at all.

In many respects, as Adam and Eve were sinking their teeth into the forbidden fruit, they were asking for a customized version of God. One with a garden and no restrictions. One with power… and a shared agenda.

Yet, customization is so attractive. So tweetable. So aligned with my view of the world. It fans into flame my distain, just as it allows me to sleep at night with my own self-righteous bias. Customization is comfortable. It blames what it doesn’t understand, and it applauds what suits a personal agenda… whether it’s righteous or not.

Indeed, while the world debates the cultural implications of Artificial Intelligence, my head spins with my own artificial endorsements on what I want to believe.

Jesus didn’t give us this prerogative. Ever.

“Follow me…”

Now and then.

No customization. No logo. No sprinkles added.

Just Jesus. The way. The truth. The life.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: