This past week, while listening to the radio, I heard a song for the first time that floored me.  It is a country song that perhaps has been around for a while.  IT is entitled, “IF I could have a beer with Jesus.  Looking at the lyrics of this song, the writer, in his own way, wants to carry on a casual conversation with Jesus.   IF you can call it respectful (?), his intent is not to attack Jesus but to learn from Him and seek to understand what He went through for us .  While a desire to have a casual conversation with Jesus seems harmless, there are obviously some problems with this song and the mindset that would accept it.

An example of man setting the standard for serving God.   One of the problems with idolatry is how man seeks to create a god that he can worship without any real sacrifice (unless he wants to).  Throughout history nations have created self-serving gods.  Such was true with the gods of both Roman and Greek mythology.  Their gods had flaws like the men that created them and were pleased with sensual acts.  Such was also true of the gods of Canaan when that were ordered expelled as Israel inherited the Promised Land.  Often in Israel’s history, idolatry was their downfall.  They either went after the man-made gods around them or they engaged in self-serving worship.  Consider Romans 1:18-25, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.   Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.”  In this text we find man’s rejection of God as he seeks to create his own idea of who God is.

As I see the lyrics to the song we are discussing I think of man creating his own concept of who he wants Jesus to be and then making that his reality.  Jesus is portrayed as one of “the good ole boys” who will go to the neighborhood bar after work, drink a few beers with his friends, shoot some pool and just “hang out” and then go home.  Should we really try to put Jesus in a circumstance like that?  If so, may I ask where we should draw the line?  What about the homosexual who wants to portray Jesus as accepting of his lifestyle?  What about the gambler who wants to see Jesus in the casino playing poker with him?   Or teenagers attending dances with dark lights, loud music and gyrating bodies together in the name of recreation.  Sometimes these dances are sponsored by churches.

In the religious world, we have the same concerns as churches have tried to make Jesus, “just like one of us”.  Not merely human, but that He will tolerated whatever we want Him to be.    Far too many churches profess that it really doesn’t matter how we worship or serve as long as we believe in Him.  Churches have become very “me” oriented offering programs and activities that are foreign to scripture. Worship has become entertainment driven.   Sunday evening services are cancelled so that churches can sponsor Super bowl parties, spend time with families instead of assembling, engaging in carnivals, etc.  All are in essence trying to make Jesus “like one of us.”  I am very concerned at how casual we have become as a society, even in this!

Should Jesus be treated as just a casual friend?  Let it be understood that our hope lies in the humanity of Jesus.  Hebrews 4:15-16 says, “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.  Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.  Jesus came to reveal the Father to us.  In John 14:9 Jesus told Philip that if they had seen Him, they had seen the Father.  Jesus understands us because He became “one of us.”  BUT I want you to consider WHY He did this!  Heb. 2:14-18 says, “Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For indeed He does not give aid to angels, but He does give aid to the seed of Abraham. Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.  Jesus came to this earth so that He could intercede on our behalf.  He provided the necessary sacrifice to appease the wrath of God.    Yes He is a friend and we can cast our burdens upon Him, but He’s NOT one of our buddies that we call up to have a beer with!  He is the SON OF GOD!  Phil. 2:9-10 says that God has highly exalted Him and given Him a name which is above every name, “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow.”  Mark 16:19 tells us that after Jesus ascended back to heaven that He, “sat down at the right hand of God.”  (See also Heb. 12:1-2)  In Rev. 5 we find the throne in heaven and a lamb appears.  That Lamb was Jesus who when He took a scroll all in heaven bowed down and glorified Him.  They sang a new song saying: You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals; For you were slain and have redeemed us to God by Your blood…”  Then the creatures said, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing.” (Rev. 5:8-14)  Friends, that is not treating Jesus like one of your Friday night go to the movies friends.  Jesus deserves better treatment than that. 

Would Jesus drink a beer?  There are some who might argue that since He turned water to wine (John 2:1-10) and that He went into the homes of tax collectors and sinners, some of whom were having parties (Lk. 15:1-2, 7:34, etc.)  that such proves  Jesus did drink socially and would do so with us.  But do you want to stake your eternity on that?  Exactly what Jesus did on such occasions as the wedding feast in Cana, I don’t know.  I know the wine was the best, but can you prove it got people drunk?  I have a hard time accepting Jesus as a bartender (i.e. creating a wine that would get people drunk[er]) or one who condoned alcohol with its dangers and evil (Prov. 20:1, 31:6-7, 23:29-35, 1 Pet. 4:3-5, etc.).  Jesus called for soberness throughout His life.  Don’t assume Jesus would do something you would like for Him to do because that is what you want to do!

Far too many today don’t take God seriously and they don’t take Jesus seriously either.  At least, not serious enough to totally surrender to His will (cf. Matt. 7:21-23).  Society has redefined Jesus in casual and common terms (by the way, look up what the word profane means).   Sadly this isn’t the first time we read of something like this.  Several years ago, someone wrote a song, “What if God was one of us?”  It proceeds to describe him as “just a slob like one of us?”  And we wonder why as a nation our morals continue to slip!!!   Let us not be guilty of such flippant attitudes.   Think about it!  TATJR