The Jesus Mask
Halloween is fast approaching, so I thought it appropriate to tell a very scary story. Enjoy.
A man walks into the local costume shop. “I’m going to a historical figure-themed Halloween party tonight. I know it’s short notice, but what do you have left?”
The shop owner replies, “Well, not much. All we have are leftovers: some assorted robes, plastic swords, hats, and a couple masks.”
“Okay, what can we put together with what you have?”
“Hm, let’s see... maybe a sword and a pirate hat?”
“Well, without the eye patch and peg leg, I don’t think it would be very convincing.”
“How about the Gandhi robe?”
“Gandhi with hair? I don’t think anybody would recognize him. I’d need the bald cap too.”
The shop owner sat down and looked at all the choices. “Ah, I’ve got it!” he exclaimed. “These ’missionary’ buckle shoes, ’prophet’ pants, wizard’s shirt with the stars and moons all over it, a bishop’s ’fish head’ hat, and the pièce de résistance, the Jesus Mask!”
The man just raised an eyebrow and wondered why anyone would mix all that together. “Oh come on, try it all on and you’ll see!” said the shop owner. So the man, running out of time before the party, decided to give it a shot.
“Wow, it really does look good!” the man marveled. “How did you know”?
“It was simple, really”, the shop owner replied. “No matter what else you cobble together, the Jesus mask fools everybody. You could literally wear the devil’s red suit and hold a pitchfork, but the Jesus mask turns it all into something light and beautiful.”
The man paid for his costume and thanked the shop owner. “I’ll be back tomorrow to tell you how it went!”
The next day the man ran into the store with a giant smile on his face. “You should have been there!” he said excitedly. “At first people were staring and pointing, but when they saw the Jesus mask they all wanted to be my friend. I got the best food, the most awesome compliments, and won first prize for originality! Of course, there were a few wearing the whole Jesus costume with sandals, white robe, golden sash, the whole nine yards. But they only shook their heads and wanted to convince everybody in the room how really awful the other items made the mask look. But who needs them? I wish those killjoys would go someplace else. I bet they’d be happier at a party where there’s nothing to eat or drink, no music, and crying babies.”
“Good for you!” smiled the shop owner. “Yeah, ignore those zealots. They’re too picky and always want to talk about ’the emperor’s new clothes’. Stay with the fun-loving ones who really know how to party. See you next year— but try to come a little earlier. I’m planning to have more of these mix-and-match costumes and lots of Jesus masks!”
Some people today believe that since salvation is by faith alone in Jesus, then as long as you have Jesus it does not matter what else you have, whether Buddha, Mohammad, Joseph Smith, or anyone or anything else. Just put a “Jesus mask” on its face and it’s all good. Since “doctrine” is some evil thing, then it doesn’t matter if faith in Jesus conflicts with faith in these other religions’ gods. In other words, they have extracted saving faith from its necessary implications: that if you have light you must renounce dark; if you have truth you must renounce falsehood; if you have the one right Way then you must not walk in any other way. It all goes back to what Jesus said about the impossibility of “serving two masters”; it cannot be done.
So if someone says for example, “If any Mormons are trusting Jesus to save them instead of their good works, they are our Christian brothers or sisters”, they are either lying or ignorant of scripture. Since Jesus is THE Way, Truth, and Life, and no one comes to the Father except through Him (John 14:6), then we cannot wed His Bride to other gods without calling it what it is: spiritual adultery. If a woman is married and then also marries a second man, can she take the second man’s name and still keep the first? In the same way, an adulterous Bride has “another Jesus”:
I am astounded that you are being moved from your calling in the favor of the Anointed into a different good news— which really isn’t another at all. Someone is confounding you and trying to distort the good news of the Anointed! But even if we or a messenger from heaven should bring a good news to you that isn’t the one we brought you before, let them be cursed! I repeat: even if we or a messenger from heaven should bring a good news to you that isn’t the one we brought you before, let them be cursed! — Gal. 1:6-9