BuzzFeed’s ‘I’m Christian, But I’m Not’ viral video accidentally updated the Pharisee’s ‘Thank God I’m not like other men’ prayer Jesus warns us about.
Ms. Hemmingway, whom I am taking ques from, took her readers right to the wisdom of Jesus by referring to the parable in Luke 18
He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: ‘Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: “God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.” But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!” I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.’
Ms. Hemmingway noted that there is no mention of Jesus in the BuzzFeed video. I say more important there is no perceived understanding of what a Jesus follower is: one who accepts His sacrificial substitute for my sin which results in a desire to be made new inside. That includes a journey where emotions, thoughts and then choices I make are transformed in life to be conformed to that modeled by Jesus, the prophets, Apostles and others highlighted in the Word of God.
The BuzzFeed video is obviously a message to white/asian millennials and younger because those segments are represented in the video–no others. No hint of family nor connection to a larger community, the church local and universal, which is ALWAYS associated with Jesus. There are many implications of a relationship with Him not depicted in the video.
BuzzFeed video producers have no clue regarding the diversity that is within the larger, worldwide community that bears the name of Jesus. American issues are but a tiny speck of all the goals, needs, wants and desires of the global community which takes up His Name.
Lastly, the video focuses on behavioral outcomes and not on what happens inside a person leading to those outcomes.
For other interesting thoughts from Ms Hemmingway, see here