I used to listen to a talk radio show that combined serious debate with humorous bits. One of their attempts at comedy was when they would have a character on who was supposed to represent the average evangelical Christian.
This caricature would always take some view point that didn’t seem very Christian but then explain it in such a way as to justify it as being the God’s honest truth. All of this would lead in to an argument with the show’s host. But after the host had torn apart their argument, the Christian would always sneer back to the host, “Guess what….God loves you. DEAL WITH IT!”
It was like they were saying, “God is rubber and your the glue, whatever you don’t believe about Jesus bounces off of him and sticks to you!”
When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answers.
When Jesus was on trial, he was asked to explain himself, to defend himself. It was as if by finding the right words, some air tight legal defense, that he would be able to wow the authorities, convert them to his cause and win his release.
Jesus didn’t roll his eyes, exhale an exaggerated sigh and say, “I could try to explain it to but you’re just too dense to get it.” He didn’t say, “It’s a Christian thing you wouldn’t understand.” He didn’t roll out a chalk board and say, “OK, I’ll outline this one more time and go slowly.” His closing argument to the earthly authorities was basically, “Look at how I have lived my life then tell me who you think I am?”
I love the band Switchfoot. Here is something that their lead singer John Foreman had to say recently, “If I view the truth as my possession to keep safe, I might feel the need to protect my faith. But if I am possessed by the truth, perhaps this protection is no longer needed. Maybe I am set free from the need to defend the truth, rather the truth defends me.”
Last night I got to see Switchfoot perform. It was amazing! They are great musicians who know how to rock out and get the audience pumped. But I’ve seen other bands that have those same qualities. What makes this band unique? Their sense of joy in what they are doing, how they delight in being with each other, how they care for their audience, the causes that they promote, and how their lyrics reflect both their struggles and their faith in God…it all comes together in a band that is set free. They are possessed in the truth. They are defended by the truth. And because of that, they rock.
Jesus didn’t need to defend the truth. Jesus was the truth. He lived the truth.
Can we live our lives in such a way that we don’t need words to justify ourselves? Can we live our lives in such a way that our actions mirror God’s truth? Let’s live in such a way that people won’t ask us if we believe in Christ. Let’s live so that they’ll say, “Look at how they live. Look at how they love each other and even those who don’t get them. Yes, they are Christians!”