What happens when we create a Jesus that is “too nice?”

Loren Covarrubias Blog

In the last presidential election, the results stunned most observers, including the inner circle of the winner himself. The polls relied on by the political parties, and most of the pundits, were surprisingly wrong. I am convinced that most people were wrong due to their lack of understanding human nature. They kept telling us about the high unfavorable ratings of the candidates, and it appeared the winner would be the least disliked of the two. The political commentators were convinced that the voters would have to plug their noses and vote for the person they had to, rather than the one they wanted too. This was true for me personally, as my candidate lost out in the winnowing process of the nomination. On Election Day, one of the surprises noted in the polling is that people were voting for whom they thought would be a strong leader.

We are living in difficult times, and leadership is essential during times of turbulence. This seems to be what moved the election in the swing states. Many of the states in our election cycle typically go in a certain direction, so they are called either red or blue states, signifying the way they vote. In three crucial states, not considered swing states, they were flipped—because again, people wanted change. This is why I said the problem is: our lack of understanding human nature. Many human behaviors are inherent, meaning they come from inner motivations we are not necessarily thinking about. One of those influences is the understanding of the need for leadership during difficult times. We understand that we need help in making difficult choices that may be for our good, but will require suffering or pain to accomplish. We were created with a need for leadership. In history, we always give honor to our leaders who helped us in difficult times. We are certainly living in a time when we sense the need to rise above ourselves to get to where we need to go.

Truth Can Be Off-Putting
Next to our inherent sense for leadership, we fully understand that the leaders we choose must inspire us to go against our normal inclinations. This is especially true if we want to move to a level above our desire for immediate gratification. This is the reason we, in a sense, deceived ourselves into overestimating the likability factor. Since a true leader needs to motivate us against ourselves, we also inherently know that liking them is not an important consideration. On a thinking level, this does not make sense in our modern society. We have made offending others into a major consideration in how we relate to each other. This is something most people learn from their mothers who told us, “If you can’t say something good about someone, don’t say anything at all.” Although this mommy rule is a very considerate concept, in many social situations, it cannot always rule our actions. Sometimes, for the good of a person, we must tell them a truth they may find very offensive; however, in turn, it can actually help them find the best course of life. A good historical example of this was Winston Churchill.

Churchill was famous for his coarse and offensive behavior. There is a story retold about a woman who approached him at a state dinner and commented on his drunken state. He replied, “My dear, you are ugly, and what’s more, you are disgustingly ugly. But tomorrow I shall be sober and you will still be disgustingly ugly!” Winston Churchill (and his voice) are well-known, but what most people do not know is, after all he accomplished when World War II ended, he was voted out of office. He was necessary in the crisis, but afterward, the people would not need him.

In the book of John 8 Jesus said, “You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” Truth can be both offending and liberating. In our attempt to increase Jesus’ likability factor to fit our modern sensibilities, we have removed anything about Him that offends. Without realizing what we have done, we have taken away His leadership. The politically correct Jesus may be popular, but He’s not powerful. The nice Jesus will sell books and make preachers popular (and sometimes very wealthy), but the end result is a church in bondage with the people of the world. We need to see the Jesus of Revelation!

Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. Revelation 19:11-16

It is time for the people of God to arise! It is time for us to shine a light, so that those living in the darkness can arise to the light. Now is the time for us to see the real Jesus, who will lead us out of bondage and instill His authority and power in our lives. Will you see the King of Kings and Lord of Lords?