The religion journalism site Get Religion has a post entitled Dueling Messiahs, discussing “the temptation to remake Jesus in our own image by emphasizing only the portion of his message that confirms our pet ideas.” Popular views of Jesus portrayed in the post and another article referenced in the post include Jesus as “Free-Market Messiah,” as “Cool Older Brother Jesus, who loves absolutely everyone just as they are,” and as “Live Long and Prosper Jesus, who wants to shower people with health and wealth.” Can we do better?
It seems like Mormonism, too, creates its own popular and simplified views of Jesus. While the “Live Long and Prosper Jesus” might get a Mormon vote or two, I would offer the “I Will Shower You With Blessings Jesus.” Rather than happiness, salvation, or even wealth, I have noticed lately how constantly Mormon discourse invokes the obtaining of generic blessings as the ideal quest of obedient Mormons. Do this and you’ll be blessed, pay that and you’ll be blessed, read or pray every day and garner even more blessings.
Do you have any other nominations for how we as Mormons “remake Jesus in our own image by emphasizing only the portion of his message that confirms our pet ideas”? [Note: This is not making light of a serious topic. This is creatively thinking about how our popular view of Jesus simplifies the complex view presented in the scriptures to fit our own limited or biased understanding.]