By Pastor Russ Gaar
Evangelical Free Church, Grant
I continue to be amazed at how crazy Christianity looks to so many people. I was reminded this past month of how foolish it sounds to many people when someone clearly articulates the Christian faith.
Last week, I went to a VOTA concert in Holyoke, Colo. VOTA is a Christian band that boldly presents what they believe about Jesus being the only way to know God.
At the concert, most of the youth went forward to stand and jump to the music. I’m not much of a jumper, so I sat towards the back in a nice comfortable seat.
Right behind me were several teenagers who seemed to enjoy the music, but hated the message. They not only hated the message, they wanted everyone around them to know that to believe in Jesus was stupid.
It was difficult for me as someone who loves Jesus to hear their response every time the name “Jesus” or “God” was mentioned by one of the speakers or musicians.
They would cry out: “He’s not real…that’s not true…this is a joke.”
These teenagers weren’t non-believers because of intellectual reasons; in fact, I heard no real arguments from them. They simply despised the name of Jesus; and, I seriously doubt if they could even articulate why they despised his name.
As I sat there listening to their jeers and their loud comments and their singing between songs about smoking joints, I realized I had three choices: I could move away from them so I wouldn’t have to listen to them; I could tell them to be quiet and use my age and size to make them behave appropriately; or I could pray for them.
I chose to pray for them. I am glad I did.
The apostle Paul reminds Christians that, “…the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18).
As I listened to the speakers at the concert talk about Jesus and salvation, I was encouraged and confident in what they were saying.
I listened to them with one ear, yet with my other, I listened to the ridicule and scorn of the teenagers sitting behind me. What I believe with all my heart and with all my intellect was foolishness to these teens.
My thoughts drifted to this question: “Are we crazy?”
I do not believe that one has to be crazy to believe that Jesus is God and that He has died for our sins and then rose from the dead. I am more confident intellectually about Jesus than many other things that are widely accepted as truth. But, what about you?
Does the message that there’s a Creator who loves you and wants to deliver you from living for yourself resonate with you as true?
Does the message of a man named Jesus, who claims to be God and then dies on a cross as a criminal ring true?
Does the message of a dead man (Jesus) rising from the dead with the claim of being Lord of lords and King of kings sound reasonable?
Does the message of Jesus being your only hope to live forever sound right?
Does the message of embracing Jesus as being the one and only way to know God and have eternal life sound like truth?
I believe the truth about Jesus and I have asked Jesus to save me and to be my Lord, my King! I believe that 2,000 years ago Jesus took my sin upon himself and suffered the penalty I deserve by dying on a Roman cross.
I believe that Jesus rose from the grave after being buried in a tomb and lives today as Lord of the Universe.
I love Jesus with all of my being. I have embraced Him intellectually as well as with my heart.
Am I crazy? I don’t think so; but, I do know there’s a group of teenagers I shared a concert with, who definitely think I’m crazy. What about you?