Jesus Plus?

On my drive back to Texas from my hometown in Louisiana the other day, I stopped counting after I spotted 75+ churches.

Really, I stopped counting after 75.

There are all brands and denominations along the way and all different sizes. Some large and imposing and some that are simple, small chapels.

Believe me when I say this, I didn’t try to push this thought forward. But here it came.

Every church I passed (and I’ve been in more than a few of them) to some degree thinks and holds to the belief that…they are right.

They might not verbalize their criticism of their neighbors of different cloths, but somewhere, there is the silent or soft-spoken conviction that “well, WE have it right.”

So it occurs to me, what makes it necessary for so many differing positions?

What does “right” even mean?

And after some decades of life have blown past my window, I have come to some simple conclusions. I don’t expect them to stick to you or sway you.

This all started a few months ago when I was literally cornered in my own front yard by a couple of very zealous fellows.

After some pleasantries, I told them what I hold to. They were visibly perplexed – at a loss for a snappy comeback.

I thought of this as I drove past all those churches.

One church might propose that it’s Jesus + tithing.

Another, Jesus + sacrifice.

Another – Jesus + tongues.

Or Jesus + faithful, regular attendance.

Jesus + self denial

Jesus + abstinence

Jesus + a diet

You get the idea.

And while any (and maybe all of the above) might be advantageous or even beneficial as a consequence of following Jesus, do any of them actually bring us into favor with God?

I’ll cut to the chase.

And argue or pull out your particular soapbox if you must.

Jesus + NOTHING.

Let all the things that evolve from a heart of loving, conforming to the heart of Christ pour out…giving, serving, disciplines, sacrifices, zeal.

This year I’m going to give my best effort to keep the Main Thing the Main Thing and not let my spiritual vision be clouded with amendments.

Jesus + ?

Wayne Watson

December 29, 2022

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