A few Mondays ago my husband and I stayed up well past our bedtime to watch John Lennox on Q&A. It was very exciting. I’d seen a video of Lennox debating Christopher Hitchens and was impressed by his obvious intelligence and the respectful way he responded to Hitchens’ arguments. I was struck again by these qualities as I watched him on Q&A, and I decided that night that I wanted to adopt him as a grandpa. I liked the overall kind vibe of the evening, and thought that Christianity came across positively.
+100 points for John Lennox!
The next day a friend mentioned she’d also watched the show. “What did you think?” I asked, excited. She was disappointed with John Lennox: “He hardly mentioned Jesus!” she said.
-100 points for John Lennox. :o(
The Dalai Lama on MasterChef episode aired the night before Lennox’s appearance on Q&A. Kate’s decision not to call the Dalai Lama “Your Holiness” was reported in the papers (“My belief is that God is the only one that is perfectly holy," she said), as was the fact that the two Christian ministers dining with him had no such qualms. Neither of these men mentioned Jesus either; one didn’t even pray to God when given the chance to say grace!
+100 points for Kate!
-100 points for the two ministers. :o(
All of this reminded me of a conversation I had with my Grandad a long time ago. We were chatting about politics and I mentioned Kevin Rudd’s Christian faith. “Kevin Rudd’s not a Christian!” he retorted. “He swears!”
-100 points for Kevin Rudd. :o(
Fellow believers: Why are our standards so impossibly high for Christians in the public eye? I understand that we want to be represented well, and I understand that we all wish we had the same opportunities as the Christians we see on TV so that we could do it right. At the heart of those desires (I hope) is a genuine wish to see the gospel message spread and God glorified - I understand that.
But what if God was sovereign? And what if John Lennox (for example) was led by the Holy Spirit to say exactly what he said, nothing more and nothing less? Wouldn’t that be cool? What if Jesus lived the perfect life that we can’t, and died in our place so that we wouldn’t have to face God’s anger against our self-centred, sinful, swearing selves? How awesome would that be?!
I’m not defending all of these people, though I’ll stand by some (Be my grandpa, John Lennox! Go Kate!) I’m just saying that I’m pretty sure God’s the only one who knows what’s going on in each of their hearts, so maybe we should leave the judging up to Him and trust that He knows what He’s doing. This would leave us free just to pray for these Christians and to get excited about the many ways God could use them to bring others to know Him. Judging and whining ungraciously only implies that God doesn’t have everything under control and that things would most certainly be better if we did.
I had a date with my sister-in-law on Tuesday night, and the topic of MasterChef came up (we were eating duck, how could it not?) “Are you going for Kate, did you know she’s a Christian?” she asked me. “Except she’s been away from her kids since JANUARY!”
-100 points for Kate. :o(