Sunday, August 07, 2005

Avoid The Pink Aisle!

Taking my kids to the toy store was about as much fun as mediating the Palestinian-Israeli conflict while simultaneously overthrowing the corrupt Sudanese government. Except my kids weren't quite that cooperative. One bone of contention was that they didn't want to be in the same area. Kara, being a girl and all, liked the pink aisle. Duncan, being a non-girl, considered the pink aisle a cootie infested seventh circle of hell.

Fact is -- I did, too. I've never subscribed to the James Dobson theory that Barbie is responsible for the downfall of Western civilization, but that doesn't mean that I liked her much. Sure, she's the most popular doll in the world and, yes, she is the most profitable toy ever made, but it always bothered me that she had a better house and car than I did and yet you STILL had to buy friends for her.

She has changed a little over the years. The old stewardess outfits and nurse outfits have become pilot and doctor outfits. Mattel announced several years ago that she was having a body makeover, enlarging her waist and trimming her breasts down to more natural proportions. Unconnected with that announcement, Ken announced that he was going to start seeing other dolls.

The whole allure of Barbie is that you can make her whatever you want to make her. The accessories never end. She can be anything from scuba diving Barbie to International Aid Worker Barbie to Divorced Barbie (that last one comes with everything Ken ever owned).

Unfortunately, we have taken Jesus down the pink aisle. Republicans have their own Jesus and the Democrats have countered with their own. We've seen nuts waving signs saying "Jesus hates fags" countered by TV and media blitzes on "What would Jesus drive?" We are preached at by rock stars who claim to have a Jesus only to see blue suits and red ties topped with pancake makeup on the 24/7 news channels holding up an alternative Jesus. There are American Jesus's and Mexican Jesus's. In our phone book, a four inch thick tome that covers only the northern section of Oakland County, MI, there are 455 churches listed, representing 88 denominations. It's anybody's guess how many Jesus's are in those buildings.

And don't get me started on TV preachers or religious paper publishers and their Jesus's. That's a dark place full of nasty rides and Jesus' s that are more like a bunco artist or hangin' judge than a savior.

Here's an idea: let's read the gospels and let Jesus take us down any aisle He chooses, when He chooses, and let Him accessorize us, making us into anything He wants us to be. Let Him take some of our friends, clothes, and gear and put them into a box and then re-outift us in His image, reflecting His dreams for us.

Don't take Jesus down the pink aisle.


At 8/07/2005 09:51:00 PM , Blogger Morris said...

"She can be anything from scuba diving Barbie to International Aid Worker Barbie to Divorced Barbie (that last one comes with everything Ken ever owned)."
That barb (pun intended) made me spray coffee all over my keyboard and monitor!

Seriously, though, there are so many other Jesus' - all false.
The real Jesus is an offense to unbelievers, to this world, because of His death on the cross.
If there's one thing that the sinful heart can't stand is the idea that salvation is a free gift and not something one can earn.
Every day of my life it's brought home to me just how far I fall short, just how much I need Him.

At 8/08/2005 04:46:00 AM , Blogger jettybetty said...

Do you think this means I need to die to myself to follow Jesus--that following Jesus might cost me something? The "pink" Jesus is much more fun!

Seriously from me, too--I fall short every day, too--but I don't really want to take Jesus through the pink aisle--His way is harder much of the time--but also much better!


At 8/08/2005 09:21:00 AM , Blogger David U said...

PM, you may not be familiar with Brother Jim, but this sounded very much like a Jim Woodroof message. Many, including me, can remember how it impacted us when we heard him witness that he had put his anchor in Jesus and was willing to go to Hell or anywhere else Jesus wanted to take him! WOW!

Thanks for the super post, and you cracked me up with the Barbie analogy. I'm glad they waited till I was grown and past seeing my sister's dolls before they changed her measurements. I guess they had to be politically correct.
Just another example of how the PC folks messed up a good thing! :)

Keep em coming, bro!

At 8/08/2005 10:55:00 PM , Blogger Serena said...

I only want the One who hung on that cross almost 2,000 years ago, rejected and despised of men. Who poured out His life's blood to give me life! That is the Yeshua(Jesus) that I want. You know, that One who the grave could not hold and who overpowered death. That One!

Yes, and when we let Him take us down whatever aisle He wants, we never know what to expect. He will disillusion us of our illusions, break our pride, dereligionize us, make us a laughingstock to our friends, family and the world until we are nothing at the foot of His cross. Then He picks us up in His loving arms and molds us into the vessel of His choosing, still earthen but able to hold His glory. Then He cracks the vessel so the glory will shine out!

Love and shalom,

At 8/09/2005 10:34:00 PM , Blogger JD said...

Excellent thoughts, Patrick. We create our own vision of Jesus. We ask the hypothetical "What Would Jesus Do?" and then we answer in such a way that we are seldom challenged. It may challenge others, but that's because they do not know Jesus like we do. Both the elite and the gritty have their own Jesus.

In one sense, Jesus is able to reach every person, no matter how different they are.

But it is the same Jesus...not different Jesus' reaching different people.

I'm rambling now. Great post.


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