Lee Strobel is someone I owe a lot to in my walk with Christ. A few years ago I had walked away from the faith and one of the big reasons for that, was because I couldn’t articulate my faith. When I tried to share the Gospel with people I had no idea how to answer the many questions presented to me and partly because of this, became embarrassed to be a Christian. When I was 27 I had moved back in with my father and stepmother to pick up the pieces of a broken life (long story). They knew nothing about apologetics and couldn’t answer my questions, but they had just so happened to had bought a copy of Lee’s Case For Christ on DVD and suggested that I watch it. I plugged it in one night and was shocked with what I saw; Christians who were not only smart, but could reason for belief in God and Christ. I didn’t know that people like this existed. After watching this, The Case For Christ left me with no excuse on the logical side of things, it was time to roll up my sleeves and start learning reasons for the hope within, which led to me picking up my walk with Christ where I had left off. None of this would of happened if it wasn’t for Lee and the people he tapped to put it all together (and a little Divine Providence of course).
By the sounds of the first paragraph you would think this is a praise article for Lee Stroble, but it’s not (I just wanted to take the oppurtunity to say how much I appreciate him so that you don’t think I have some kind of a grudge against him). Instead it is about something else Lee introduced me too via his Twitter account; the ‘Back To Church’ rap video:
Lee asked “in five words or less what we thought” and not wanting to be overly judgemental I replied “not very effective, but hilarious”. It is pretty funny, but in a “I feel embarrassed for you” kind of way. Like those American Idol participants who think they can sing but are just terrible kind of funny. The real problem is I am not sure if this is meant to be a joke, or is actually a serious attempt to get posteriors back in the pews.
If getting someone (I’m assuming the youth) to come back to Jesus is their motive, then there has to be better ways then this. Honestly, I’m thirty, and I grew up when rap was called rap (not hip-hop). Back when Will Smith’s Parents just didn’t understand and LL Cool J’s Mom wanted him to put a beatdown on someone who was picking on him. Those songs were once hits, but now are as dated as the word ‘whack’ (Mama Said Knock You Out has stood the test of time, but only the hook, not the rhymes).
It reminds me of a Mom or Dad trying to relate to their kid and things start to get awkward. Of good intentions, mixed with the right attitude, but all in all, really kind of embarrassing. If anything, it serves to highlight the gap between the youth and the church, and serve as a what-not-to-do to bring a dwindling attention span of a generation, that like us when we were kids, thinks that anything our parents wanted us to do was lame (including going to Church).
Maybe I’m being too hard on the people who made this video; they are trying hard to relate to the youth in a world that has either forgotten Jesus or dosen’t care what He did for them. One of the big problems is that kids care what other kids think of them and this video isn’t helping to make it ‘cool’ to go to church.
How can we make it cool to go to church? Well church is never going to be ‘cool’ because it is against the world and the only way to be cool is to be part of the world, but we can make people proud to be a member of the body. The key is in our members, not the ones who grew up with Jesus, but the ones who came to believe in Jesus later in life; those of us who come from the world.
What I am talking about is the testimony of us who walked through the valley of the shadow of death and into Christ’s arms. The testimony of those who make you proud to be a Christian, the ones who judgemental Christians look down their nose at. The former gang banger, ex-cons, people who had the miraculous bring them to belief, the missionaries who are unafraid to look death in the face as they spread to Gospel to the ends of the earth and stories of the persecuted. Forget celebrity believers, show them that people have given up everything to follow Jesus. Nothing beats uninterested like interesting, unbelief like unshakable or cold like on-fire.
In short, I’m not trying to come down to hard on the makers of this video. Their intentions were good and their hearts are in the project and I don’t want to be Captain Negativity, but this is not the way to go, this is not the way to reach out. You want to make a serious run at bringing people back to Jesus, then you remind them what they left; what they were a part of; the Body Of Christ.
I leave you with this rap video (It has a little more impact):