Those that have known me for any extended length of time know that I don’t mind climbing up on a soapbox to tell it like it is. Well, this week has been no different. I carry an oversized purse to keep my portable soapbox handy at all times, so let me get it really quick…
Okay, here’s the deal, I went to an event at a local college here in town that featured three keynote speakers: a Jewish Rabbi, a Christian Pastor, and a Muslim Imam. Each speaker was given around 20 minutes to just talk about their religion and how it’s different than the other two Abrahamic faiths. The event happens every year and is sponsored by three different organizations on campus that represent each of the religions. After the speakers discuss, there is a short break for people to write out their questions, then we come back to a question and answer time.
I sat with my friends that are of the Islamic faith and we got ready for the big discussion of all the religions. First, the Rabbi. He was there last year, so I pretty much knew what to expect. Now, it’s time for the Pastor. This was his first time being there, because the prior two years it was a different man. I’m all ready for this guy to knock one out of the park for the home team!! But instead…
He spent 19.5 of his 20 minutes talking about Genesis and how God is the creator. Um, did you miss the sign on the door? These are the three Abrahamic faiths, we all agree that God must be the creator. And, um, did you miss the presumably fine print on the sign on the door? The Jewish Rabbi had Genesis covered.
But, I guess you’re right, sir, a 30 second spiel where you mention Jesus’ name twice would be sufficient to this crowd. I mean, why bore them with the whole Messiah/Son of God/Savior of the world sermon? Because, let’s face it, the Rabbi or the Imam won’t acknowledge Jesus as those things, so why should we? Right?
I almost stormed the stage and took the microphone. Even one of my Muslim friends was wondering why the Christian speaker didn’t talk about Jesus. Really? I mean, really?? My friend that has never even stepped inside of a Christian gathering was wondering why the Pastor guy wimped out and never discussed Jesus. Of course I told her it was ridiculous and that Jesus is the center of our faith.
Is this the state of American Christianity? Have we become so scared and numb that we can’t even talk about Jesus in a platform that we’ve been given to freely do so? Don’t get me wrong, it may come off as though I am bashing the guy. But, believe it or not, I really don’t hate him. I am sure he had great intentions and that he truly loves Jesus. I just think that we as an American Christian sub-culture are becoming more and more apathetic. I think we have just learned from other apathetic people that came before us.
We’re scared. We were burned once or twice. We’ve forgotten what it’s like to live with passion and share Jesus with the world. We’ve forgotten what it was like that first year we were Christians and everything we learned about Jesus was so exciting.
“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” 2 Tim 1:7
It’s time for me to start living like Jesus. It’s time for me to boldly proclaim His death and resurrection no matter what the situation.
“And he [Jesus] was teaching daily in the temple. The chief priests and the scribes and the principal men of the people were seeking to destroy him, but they did not find anything they could do, for all the people were hanging on his words.” Luke 19:47, 48
I hope my words are so filled of truth that no one could even try to shut me down because all of the people are hanging on every word…