Saturday, August 08, 2009
For no particular reason, or as my kids would say, randomly, I got to thinking about that slogan, and it occurred to me that if we were to ask that question honestly, we might come up with an answer rather unexpected by those who dreamt up that slogan years ago.
When it first came out--when was it, 1990's?--a bunch of Lutherans jumped on it and said woah, this is backwards, it's all law, and we need Gospel, so it should be WHJD: what has Jesus done? But of course to run around saying WHJD and making WHJD bracelets and whatnot would be to fall victim to the gimmickry which is just as much out of place as is a confusion of law and Gospel.
I much preferred the saucier kinds of retorts, viz., WWJD: We Want Jack Daniels, Willie Wonka Just Died, etc.
But actually if you take the question seriously: What Would Jesus Do? -- you could easily come to conclude that Jesus would not do the kind of things people wearing the bracelets might think he'd do. They suppose that when you think WWJD, you'll refrain from anger, or invective, or insentitivity, right?
But when you think about it in view of what the Gospels report, you could come to the opposite conclusion: Jesus would make a whip, turn over moneychangers' tables, and throw a fit. Or, Jesus would read his enemies the riot act: woe unto you, lawyers, etc. Or Jesus would say, "Leave the dead to bury their dead," not a particularly "sensitive" thing to say.
Jesus' demeanor was no-nonsense. WWJD? My guess is that he'd shrug and ask, "Why in the world are you wearing that silly bracelet? Follow me."