Further thoughts based on John’s comments on previous blog.
I agree that the WWJD fad has bothered me for some time. I would definitely add it to my list of FAD DOCTRINES. Teenagers and wannabe teenagers wearing those little arm bracelets with the letters on them (these were later found to contain lead and to be harmful to wearer’s health), caps, t-shirts, etc. The letters of course stood for “What Would Jesus Do?” but those who weren’t in the know were left to wonder. Weren’t these the call letters of a Chicago radio station that broadcast country music late at night when I was a kid?
I have seen “What Would Jesus Do?” used as an argument in term papers by some of my college students as well as heard it used in discussions and arguments in areas of disagreement. The argument usually follows this pattern (thought not expressed quite this clearly): “Paul says this, the Old Testament says this and Jesus didn’t address the topic at all. But I believe He would have disagreed with the others and agreed with my position.” Thus any position, no matter how bizarre, can be proven. Who can argue with “Jesus”?
I also agree that the critical question is “What Did Jesus Do?” His life stands as a pattern for us of intimacy with God and His death on the cross made our eternal life with God possible. Theologians refer to these as His active and passive obedience.
But as I said in my previous post, I believe that the question is a legitimate question. I have asked this question of myself quite a few times. I suspect that the questioner may have been the Holy Spirit.
The first time I met someone with AIDS, 20 years ago, the question came to my mind. (See: MY FRIEND.) It would have been easy to rationalize refusing to touch him. After all, when Jesus told us to love our neighbor, He didn’t tell us how close we had to get to him in order to love him?
What about those of another race or culture? What about those who are prejudiced against me? What about those who hate me?
Jesus modeled more than intimacy with God. He also modeled a life of love and compassion for others. In my walk, especially in my relationships with others, I find that the question needs to be asked over and over. Not as some sort of mantra, but to give direction to my behavior.
I believe if we’d ask it more often and seek to answer it honestly, we wouldn’t have near the divisiveness among Christians that we have.
(Also see: WHAT DID JESUS MEAN?.)