Blue Like Jazz, defending Christianity

Excerpt from Blue Like Jazz, p. 115.

In a recent radio interview I was sternly asked by the host, who did not consider himself a Christian, to defend Christianity. I told him that I couldn’t do it, and moreover, that I didn’t want to defend the term. He asked me if I was a Christian, and I told him yes. “Then why don’t you want to defend Christianity?” he asked, confused. I told him I no longer knew what the term meant. Of the hundreds and thousands of people listening to his show that day, some of them had terrible experiences with Christianity; they may have been yelled at by a teacher in a Christian school, abused by a minister, or browbeaten by a Christian parent. To them, the term Christianity meant something that no Christian I know would defend. By fortifying the term, I am only making them more and more angry. I won’t do it. Stop ten people on the street and ask them what they think of when they hear the word Christianity, and they will give you ten different answers. How can I defend a term that means ten different things to ten different people? I told the radio show host that I would rather talk about Jesus and how I came to believe that Jesus exists and that he likes me. The host looked at me with tears in his eyes. When we were done, he asked me if we could go get lunch together. He told me how much he didn’t like Christianity but how he had always wanted to believe Jesus was the Son of God.

Amen. I used to have this strong desire to persuade people over to my worldview; to join my organization, etc. Now, more and more, I just want to introduce them to Jesus. Jesus can take care of the rest. If He uses me to help, great! But I don’t need to have control over the situation.

Following Jesus is not just about reading a book about him and then making speeches to him. He is a person that wants to be our friend. Friends have to communicate and do things together. Invite him in to your day to day, moment by moment experience. He can be trusted.

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