Do you have a friend, or maybe several friends, you like to annoy? We do it because we love their reactions, right? I have those friends. One of them lived in Nashville briefly while he attended a trade school and I annoyed the crap out of him.
We sat in the lobby of his school one day waiting for his classmate and Mythbusters came on the television. He shushed whatever I was saying and sat forward. "I love this show. Have you seen it?"
"Have I seen Mythbusters? Yes."
But he was gone. Sucked into the special effects and berets and facial hair. After a few minutes, I asked him why he liked it so much. "I don't know," he said. "I love the science of it all."
"This isn't science," I said evenly. I wasn't trying to pick a fight. It's not science. I'm not trying to pick a fight with you, either. I'm telling you this like I would tell you it's snowing outside and you should wear a jacket.
"What do you mean?" my friend protested. "Of course it's science!"
Then I picked a fight, because like I said, he's one of those friends I like to annoy. "Have you even heard of the scientific method? These guys use special effects. It's just entertainment." Of course this is true, but I just said it to make him mad. And it worked.
This conversation happened years ago, but I thought of it again recently when I saw back-to-back commercials for Mythbusters and some show about "The Mysteries of the Bible". I wondered if scientists see Mythbusters and start correcting the television set. "Nope. You've got it wrong. You didn't test all the variables. Your constant has to be a little bit more reliable than an endless supply of mannequins." Then I thought to myself, "I wonder if scientists react to Mythbusters the way I react to televangelists. 'Dang it. Please don't think every christian is like Joel Osteen.'" It wasn't a perfect connection. I'm just telling you what I thought.
In light of some recent posts, I think a lot of believers have an identity crisis. They believe in Jesus, but they want so little to do with how the entertainment industry identifies Christians that they will do anything to avoid it. Even talk about Jesus. Or whatever.
I have a feeling this identity crisis came from my generation's reaction to Hollywood Christianity. But just because I'm ashamed of televangelists and nearly every scene of the movie Saved! (one of my favorite movies) doesn't mean I should be ashamed of Jesus.
If you're a Christian and you believe the Bible is true, think about Luke 9:25-26. "For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself? For whoever is ashamed of me and my words, of him will the Son of Man be ashamed when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels."
It's important to consider what or who really embarrasses you. Is it Jesus, or some of the people who use his name? Does it keep you from being open about your faith? Does it keep you from praying for people?
What holds you back?