Very recently, I read about the latest church-celebrity “I’m-not-a-Christian-anymore” social media post when my insightful friend Sherri asked me a question:
“Hey, did he ever mention Jesus?”
“Did he mention Jesus in his ‘goodbye’ post? I noticed the last guy didn’t… the celebrity pastor. Did this one mention Jesus?”
I skimmed it again.
Why no, he didn’t. It’s strange that neither of these posts mentioned Jesus, and maybe even stranger that few of us seemed to notice.
Presumably, when they became believers, these men said something about Jesus. So many of us do when we become Christians. Something like, “I believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God,” and we keep saying and singing things like that, like “Jesus is Lord.”
“Who do you say that I am?” Jesus asked his best friends. It was, and remains, the question for believers and for those who would walk away.
Who is this man?
Because if he’s the Christ, the Messiah, the hope for the world, sent by a living God, well… the rest of my complaints about church folk in my Instagram post don’t really add up to a reason to abandon my faith in Him. And if He’s not all that stuff, well, no list of justifying complaints is necessary to head for the door.
Jesus is still the issue. The question stands. So why don’t they even mention him? If they can’t say who they’re converting from, what was it they converted to?
And if they’re not leaving Jesus, what exactly are they leaving? The Christian stage? The charade of stage religion? The cultural currency their “faith” once bought? I honestly wonder.
This is because I’m not without compassion for these guys. I understand disillusionment, especially if their faith has largely been played amid fake fog on evangelical mega-stages in front of adoring crowds. This is a soul-killing way to live.
If my “faith” is about church culture, or being a Christian celeb, or politics, or Worship Music (TM); or if it’s a means to attention and significance, well… I could certainly “de-convert” pretty quickly. And when I leave, maybe I’ll post all about it on Instagram.
…but then there’s Jesus. I have to know what to do with Him. That’s always been the question, isn’t it? Do I think He’s the authority or not? If I don’t, well, I’m out. I’m not in this for the Christian movies.
I’d likely just decide to quit bucking the tide and accept myself as my personal lord and savior.
…but wow, Jesus is compelling. He challenges the very hypocrisies I complain about. He lifts up the truly humble. He sees through posers and still loves us. He cuts through our moral preening and calls us what we are: Soul-sick, in need of a real doctor. He turns the tables on the moneychangers! (We love that part!)
…and then He dies for those moneychangers hours later.
Jesus doesn’t just acknowledge human brokenness and the mess we are making of things, He actually does something about it.
What are we to do with Jesus?
Pontius Pilate was asked that question. He tried to dodge the issue.
History has judged Him a coward.
“Who do you say that I am?”
In Christ, my Lord, my Savior and my Redeemer.
That is what it comes down to. “ Who do you say I am”… thanks for reminding me.
Jesus, to so many “Christians” I know is akin to saying a four-letter word. I’ve been accused of being a Bible-thumper because I dare to believe He & His Word is divine authority. I’m ok with that “insult”. God knows the heart and all who want to go to Him must go through His Son. Go Jesus!
Soul searching piece. I’ve never looked at this issue from the angle you have presented. Thank you.
Excellent. We must remember that CHRISTIANITY is about JESUS, first & foremost, & JESUS CHRIST should be in the center of all we say & do. Not just the pretty words. The PERSON. Our LORD, SAVIOR & MESSIAH, the INCARNATE SON OF GOD.
It is very telling that the Hindu hero of India, GANDHI, was very impressed by the GOSPEL & was influenced by Our LORD’S teachings. He is reported to have said “I love your CHRIST but not your CHRISTIANS”, because the people claiming to be CHRISTIANS were acting contrary to the image of JESUS about Whom he had read. He did not find AUTHENTIC CHRISTIANS.
I hope someone will remind these people who left CHRISTIANITY about the PERSON of JESUS. Because if our faith is truly centered in JESUS, when we become disillusioned with leaders & with our fellow CHRISTIANS & are tempted, our response will be like that of St. Peter in John 6: “LORD, TO WHOM SHOULD WE GO. YOU HAVE THE WORDS OF EVERLASTING LIFE.”
great question! if they TRULY believed he died for them at one time, how do you turn you’re back on THAT?!!! all you have to do is watch the Passion of The Christ movie for the stark reminder that he SUFFERED and DIED for us!!!! some people are visual learners and need that in your face wake up call. I pray that those so called former “Christian” artists come to a full saving life changing knowledge of Jesus Messiah, Lord and Savior, Redeemer and Friend
Thank you Brant! I’m so glad that your friend Sherri asked you that question and that the Lord worked through it to give you this insight, which He then shared with us through you! It’s helping me today to see things more clearly, and to ask myself again who I say Jesus is. I’m so thankful for the work that our Savior and King is doing through all of you, and I appreciate these posts so much. Praying for the Star 99.1 ministry!
God Bless you Brant Hansen, because He surely blesses us with you!!!! I rather enjoy how very humbly your words encourage our souls to think and prosper. I truly believe that if Jesus were walking the Earth today, you surely would be picked for discipleship. I also believe with no doubt, that Jesus has chosen this platform for you to evangelize. I am truly thankful and grateful that Jesus allowed you to come through my speakers some 6 years ago after I rededicated my life to Him because unknowingly, you have had a profound positive influence on my walk with Christ. * Just a side note, it was around this time of year I came back to Jesus and I was flipping through the radio stations hoping to find a Christian radio station and I just happened to stumble upon a radio station where I heard a man declaring his adamant and fervent “admiration” for “those folks” who constructed “National Days Of”…LOL I stopped on THAT station, still unaware that I was on a Christian radio station, because I had such respect and wonderment for you! I thought, “this guy has gone over the edge!!” as I was laughing hysterically in my car, but Jesus knew THAT…would grasp my attention and BEHOLD!!! 6 years later, YOU, my dear Brant Hansen, have had a very profound influence on my walk with Jesus ever since!! The Lord DOES work in mysterious ways!! Who knew that those National Days Of that you profess your amore for so freely on the airways, would keep my walk in Faith, well, Faithful, so, Thank You, Brant Hansen!!
Thank you for this wonderful, insightful commentary. I will remember this when I hear anyone say that they are no longer a Christian. God bless you.
I just read this …So many things come to mind..But,when I go to GOD?GOD says, “PRAY hard for this person and others like him, because not only have they stepped away from GOD..but,others have..” GOD says, “He will hold them accountable.Accountable for the ones they led astray!” GOD says, “Man doesn’t really understand the Power which is given from GOD.GOD’S YES holds a rippling effect that WORLD can’t comprehend without Him.” Man should never forget this!Amen!