I’m finishing up this book right now called “Here’s to Hindsight” by Tara Leigh Cobble. She’s actually an amazing artist who performed at Gravity and has a couple books. It’s basically a spiritual memoir. In the chapter called “Leaking Light” Tara talks about the concept of being cool and being Christian, something I struggled with in high & middle school.
I always tried to make myself seem cool. I dabbled with swearing and talking outside of my faith because I thought I was doing Jesus a favor. I mean, somebody’s got to make Christianity look cool enough to join. Cobble talks about the book of Mark where Jesus meets the rich, young ruler. Jesus is infrequently seen in the Bible communicating with really powerful, important people. Here, the rich young ruler comes to Jesus and asked him what he’s got to do to follow him.
What’s interesting about this encounter is that Jesus doesn’t try to recruit the popular, rich kid by telling him that joining him will make his life way better and increase his wealth. He doesn’t try to sugarcoat the message. He tells him what he has to do. He has to sell his stuff, give away his money, reverse his identity, and follow Jesus. He presents the gospel as is, not the everyone-friendly Joel Olsteen message which tells you that your life will get better, you will make more money and you will be really happy (while this may happen as a result of a relationship with Jesus, that’s not all there is to it)
We can do a lot of things to try to attract people to Jesus and the gospel. We can have flashy powerpoint presentations, free pizza or coffee, or have really cool, attractive people attend our church. The truth is, when we do things like that purposely to attract people, we’re saying that Jesus isn’t enough.
John 12:32 (Jesus speaking) “If I am lifted up from the Earth, I will draw all men to myself”