I didn’t expect that my stats were booming after publishing “Jangan mempertuhankan Yesus” (Don’t worship Jesus as God). Since it’s still booming, I’m afraid that I wrote something erroneous. The background of my writing is simple: someone wrote “Jangan mempertuhankan Yesus” on a monument located in the front of our catholic church. The monument is very close to our church but it does not belong to our “service coverage”.
One of my employees seemed to be provoked by the graffiti and phoned me before the working hour in the morning. I thought he would have asked for my permission to arrive late or to be off that day. He wished to erase the graffiti but I simply said no. Indeed, the graffiti made the monument dirty but it should have had nothing to do with my employee’s dirty mind! He felt attacked by the sentence as if it were the truth.
Once I thought Jesus was God who had such a power to fix any problem of this world, just because he was the omnipotent God! After studying theology, i.e. christology, I realize that it is wrong to treat Jesus as God. One day I gave a sermon attended by thousands of churchgoers and I said that Jesus was not God. On the next day someone told me that I really disturbed and shook the faith of many churchgoers because they held that Jesus was God!
Since this discourse belongs to a religious-language “game”, I’m not sure that I can explain it in English. In Bahasa, we have two words concerning the divine reality: Tuhan and Allah. I would like to translate Tuhan as Lord and Allah as God.
Conflict among religious adherents might derive from this language game. For Moslems, the word ‘Jesus’ refers to historical Jesus, i.e. prophet Isa. Meanwhile for Christians, the word ‘Jesus’ tends to be perceived as ‘Jesus Christ’, part of God’s divinity. There it is! If I say JESUS IS NOT GOD, actually it is a common language understood by all people. It’s not so problematic even for the Christians because they can perceive the word ‘Jesus’ as historical Jesus. In that sense, Jesus is not God.
The difference lies in that, for Christians, Jesus is Christ, which cannot be grasped by those who don’t believe in his resurrection. Nobody can force others to believe in Jesus’ resurrection. On the contrary, no one could prohibit others to disbelieve Jesus’ resurrection if they really do believe it. So, whether Jesus is God or not, I conclude, it does not matter. But, it is important to challenge our stand or our faith.
The core belief of Christians is all about Jesus’ resurrection. The Christians do believe in his resurrection. That’s why they perceive him as Jesus Christ (John 20:28, Thomas said “My Lord and my God”, after resurrection) but they must respect others who do not know about it. Moreover, they must respect even those who deny it precisely because God knows the best way for every single person in every single moment. May God bless us all.
Categories: Daily Reflection