What makes people notice something? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
In this one, I really am coming with no certain answers yet. I am just thinking out loud about something that has been on my mind and I leave it to you readers to join in the thought process and see what you think. It is the question of why is it people aren’t really drawn to Christianity like they should be?
I realize that this could be a Western phenomenon. Go to other places where there is a greater need from perceived people and you will find willing martyrs most anywhere. Many of us can’t be inconvenienced to go to church if it’s raining a bit outside.
But I have been thinking about this since a few months ago when Pokemon Sword and Shield were announced and then when the games came out, which a friend bought Allie and I a copy of one for each of us respectively. Beforehand, it was a constant barrage of news from Poketubers, people on YouTube who make videos about the series, each trying to find out the latest rumors about the games and give us the information. Now that it’s out, people are still making videos sharing theories and giving feedback and matters of that sort.
We’ve all seen several trends go. Some are still with us. Video games are still extremely popular. The Matrix is still a movie series I can easily remember. Since it is around Christmastime, we can expect many old classic Christmas movies will be played.
We also have seen a rise in popularity of Superhero movies, including the whole arc of the Avengers, which my wife and I still need to finish seeing. I have also said I wouldn’t mind watching the Diehard series this Christmas, which I’ve actually never seen any of and why not watch a Christmas movie around Christmas time? Star Wars has disappointed some fans, but not because they don’t love the series, but they do. If a new Harry Potter movie comes out, people want to go see it.
Let’s face it also. Many of us do get excited about something like this. Even if it’s not a movie series, it could be a TV show or a sports team. There is some great enthusiasm and we want to tell others about it.
So why not Jesus?
I have a few thoughts.
One is that we have become too familiar with the story in some ways. We no longer see the way it impacts our culture. If we heard it all our lives growing up, it doesn’t have the shock effect that it would have. We treat the story almost as if it’s normal.
A second theory is that we don’t really understand it. It’s easy to understand a movie when you see it, but many of us can’t really enter into the ancient world like that. Movies seem to lack something. I’m sure if some of us saw a miracle right in front of us, we would be excited, but many of us do not.
Third, we have really tamed Jesus. Jesus is no longer someone intrusive. We tend to downplay Jesus turning over the tables in the temple or lambasting the Pharisees. We know He was crucified, but don’t really understand how that is. Mr. Rogers doesn’t get crucified. Jesus didn’t get crucified because He was a darn nice guy. Threats get crucified.
Fourth is that talking about Jesus is a risk. We could “offend” someone after all. Many of us also sadly aren’t prepared for opposition, which is why apologetics is so essential today. Also, in a day where sexual ethics are upfront and center, we’re especially scared to talk about Jesus.
I also speculate that God is hard for us to think about. After all, what do you think about when you think of God? We tend to think in images today, especially in the age of television, and you can’t image God. Sadly, He often seems static to us.
Like I said at the start, this is just something I’m still thinking about, but I’m eager to get some feedback on this post. It’s also important to stress that this is a problem often for us as well. Catholic philosopher Peter Kreeft once said he sometimes fears he’s a bigger Red Sox fan than he is a Jesus fan. Many of us can probably relate to the struggle in other ways.
Let me know what you think!