You have a house and you think of a way to improve it. You will make a comfortable new addition that will expand your living space and give you a new area to explore “the good life.” The house above has added an interior additon as well as an exterior living space to enjoy the outdoors when the weather is seasonable.
Although house additions happen all over the world, it is a typically American phenomenon that additions are more about “comfort” than “need.” In fact, in the Western world, as economies improve for people, three drivers seem to be ever present.
Driver #1: How can we make life more comfortable?
Driver #2: How can we make life more convenient?
Driver #3: How can we make life more secure?
For many people, the answer to all of these questions is, to boil it down to one word,
More time, more space, more money, more freedom, more experiences, more food, more friends, more likes, more influence, more . . .
“If I just had more X (whatever “X” might be), my life would be better.”
This kind of thinking leads us to think about adding things to our lives as the secret to fulfillment, but if we are not careful it can lead us to disaster spiritually. Frankly most of us are led into a trap when it come to faith what I call “the theology of addition.”.
Most of us made a mistake when we first became Christians and we have not recovered from it yet. Some of us were encouraged in our mistake by the people who led us to faith. Others of us, made the mistake all by ourselves.
We made the mistake of thinking that we could add Jesus to our worldview. We heard the gospel. We knew we needed the gospel. We knew we needed Jesus. We knew we were sinners and needed the forgiveness that only he could give. We knew the cross was our only hope. But still, we made the mistake of adding Jesus to our basic worldview. We made the assumption that, though we needed Jesus and the gospel, our basic view on life was, basically, right.
We can’t add Jesus to your worldview. It doesn’t work. Hang with me, this is going to sound radical.
The Jesus that you can add to your life doesn’t exist.
It is impossible to add Jesus to our lives. Jesus doesn’t want to be added to our lives. Jesus wants to radically overturn everything we ever believed about everything. He doesn’t want to be an appendage to our lives or a part of our life. It is futile to try and add Jesus to your life. The Jesus that you can add to your life doesn’t exist. The only Jesus that exists is the One who wants to be your life. He wants to be Lord. Nothing less will do.
The mistake has to be corrected. If Christ is to be truly formed in our lives, we need to retrace our steps and make sure we are on the narrow road that leads to life. Francis Chan got it right in this video. (Disclaimer: This doesn’t mean that I am in complete agreement with everything that Francis Chan has said. I love his heart. I don’t always agree with his exegesis of the text or history.)