WWJD is the wrong question

For the last several years, I’ve been seeing the acronym WWJD in more and more places. I can’t remember when I saw it first, but now it seems to be cropping up everywhere. The four letters stand for the sentence, “What would Jesus do?” The answer is to guide our behavior in a difficult decision.

I think this is the wrong question. Asking that question puts Jesus on my level. And Jesus is definitely not on my level.

To most of the nearly two billion Christians in the world, Jesus was God from the beginning. In the Gospel of John, the name used for Jesus is “The Word.” The Prologue to John reads, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. All things came into being through Him, and without Him not one thing came into being.”

Read that passage again, but this time substitute “Jesus Christ” for “the Word.” “In the beginning was Jesus Christ, and Jesus Christ was with God, and Jesus Christ was God. All things came into being through Jesus Christ, and without Him, not one thing came into being.”

Most Christians believe that Jesus Christ was always God, and that when he was born of the Virgin Mary, He became truly human, not the other way around. He was always 100% God, and when He was born, He became 100% human. God and human, both at once.

Sometimes, we see Him as 100% human, such as when He wept when Lazarus died, when He asked His disciples if they had anything for Him to eat, or when He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane that He might have the cup He had to drink pass from Him.

Other times, we see him as 100% God, such as when He stilled the storm, raised Lazarus from the dead, cured the lepers, gave sight to the blind man, was suddenly present in a locked room, and appeared as a blinding light to Saul on the road to Damascus.

What would Jesus do? When that question is asked, what we are really asking is, “What is it that we should do?”

When I was eighteen years old and canoeing, my friends and I were caught out on a lake in a storm. The wind was so strong that the sheets of rain were hitting us horizontally. Waves were washing over the bow and the gunwales. We were afraid we might capsize and be drowned.

What would Jesus do? Jesus would say to the storm, “Be still.”

What did we do? My friends and I paddled as hard as we could for an island where we could pull our canoe out of the water and build a warming fire.

There are hungry people. Jesus can pray over a few fishes and loaves and feed the multitude. He doesn’t tell the disciples, “OK, tell everyone to bring a can of food to donate to the Galilean Food Bank and they can get into the Sermon on the Mount free.”

There is no point in asking what Jesus would do in a given situation, because we can’t do what Jesus could do. What we really should be asking is, “What would Jesus want me to do.”

And Jesus has already told us what he wants us to do. Turn the other cheek. Love your neighbor as yourself. Feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, visit the sick and imprisoned, welcome the stranger.

So, let’s all stop asking “WWJD,” and start asking “WWJWMTD.” Of course, that doesn’t fit as well on a tee shirt or on the seat of a pair of workout shorts, but that in itself might be an improvement.

Note: This article also appeared in “the Scribe,” the newsletter of Elim Lutheran Church, Volume 62, Issue 7, July 2012.

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10 Responses to WWJD is the wrong question

  1. Bob Becker says:

    Ah, reminds me of a day many many years ago. We were camping with our kids at Bandelier National Monument, and had driven into nearby Los Alamos to get some laundry done. Unloading at the washateria, a car drove by with a bumper sticker saying “What would Ra do?” Still chuckle when I think of it. Of course, Los Alamos National Laboratory was then run under contract by the University of California, so not all that surprising I guess to see the WWRD? bumper sticker….

  2. Myth Buster says:

    Ra is the Egyptian sun god Bob. Jesus is Melchisedek, King of Jerusalem and Priest of the Most High; He is Alpha, Omega, the beginning and ending; He is the Word (Authorized Bible aka KJV). He is I Am, I Am He and Jehovah.
    Jesus is not Ra so wipe the silly grin off your face before it’s too late.
    J Robert Oppenheimer, a fake Jew quoted the Baghavad Gita “I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds” upon witnessing the Trinity Atomic detonation. Atum became our word for Atom, so Ra had far more in common with the God Particle than Jesus Christ; in fact Egyptian Priests called god Atum-Ra, the pantheistic god revered by Shaman the world over.
    Oppenheimer was Stalin’s Soviet Spy, and sent word to H-Bomb father Edward Teller in CA after the explosion created Plutonium; Teller said “It’s a Boy” because Man had produced material that would one day destroy Man.
    H Bomb is much like A Bomb in that Jesus is Alpha and “H” In Hebrew “He” means God is with me.
    Might be a good idea for you to get God, Jesus Christ with you rather than spout siliness like What would Ra do?

    • Mark Sparkman says:

      Oh, Howard. You are perhaps the most flawed vessel for proseletyzing God ever made. You think Bob never reads?

  3. Terence Lung says:

    “WWJD?” “WWJWMTD?”
    What about “WDJD?”
    Christianity is not about WWJWMTD. It is about WDJD. When was the last time any church focused on WDJD? If any church, at any time, does not focus on WDJD, it is a sad moment.
    WWJWMTD is what every other religion in the world is about: What we humans do. Christianity is about what God does.
    Yes. God accomplishes what humans can not do. Humans can not save themselves. God does that. i.e. Jesus did that!
    Further, the boastful neck tie that says “I love Jesus” is misdirected. That is not only not impressive, it is flat out false. He deserves to be loved. And humans are incapable of a perfect love. The claim of us doing anything for Jesus is a little bit of an insult.
    The proper tie is “Jesus loves me.” Why the hell would anybody want to love me? Jesus’ act of loving us is somewhere between foolish and unimaginably impressive, and absolutely humbling. It is by faith, that what Christ has done for us, that Christ makes anything His children do, acceptable. Nothing else makes it even remotely acceptable.

  4. Myth Buster says:

    Mark, Anytime you care to debate the truth of what I write, let me know. Flawed? Absolutely, but few people I know speak up “Faith without works is dead”
    http://www.Theresnothingnew.org/ and http://www.Removetheveil.com has my material posted from the last 8 years since I became a Born Again Christian. Look forward to your wisdom Mark.

    • Mark Sparkman says:

      Howard, you did not respond to my question. My point was that you are a bit preachy — and it is not an effective debate style. Bob is an educated man, and certainly knows who Ra was. Thus, you appear to be carrying coals to Newcastle.

      • Mark Sparkman says:

        p.s. I have been to your site and seen what you think of as logic and information. As for that debate, well, isn’t that what we’re doing? I do not fear your misguided mind. Fire it up, Howard.

  5. Myth Buster says:

    Well Mark, you are the one calling me flawed, so pick a topic; God Particle? Gravity? 6000 year old Earth? Evolution? What will it be Mark? Are you hot air or an educated man like Bob? He believes in all these things, bring him with you to the debate.

  6. Mark Sparkman says:

    Howard, since you so graciously offer me the choice of weapons, I will choose two.

    1) How is the KJV the “authoritative” Bible? This one is informative for me, though it could clearly be disputed.

    2) More to the point, how do you disprove one mythology with another?

    Finally, I don’t personally know Bob. But I do not need help here.

  7. Stormin Norman says:

    Great concept in article and in comments!

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