What Came First, The Oprah or the Egg?
by Jason Wisdom
What would you say if someone asked you, “Why are you a Christian?” Most people answer by saying something about their upbringing, personal experience, feelings, or how it has changed their lives. Now, before I move on, please don’t misunderstand me, all of those things are meaningful. And that is the keyword I want to focus on, meaningful. You see, I think the vast majority of Christians are Christians because Christianity is meaningful to them. It is extremely meaningful for some people, and they make it obvious, wearing it on their sleeves and shouting it from the rooftops. For others, it has no real impact on their lives, but there is enough meaning there that they hold on to it. The latter group will often label the former “legalistic,” or “crazy,” and the former typically accuse the latter of being “marginal” or “liberal.” But the vast majority of people in both camps actually have something incredibly foundational in common–they identify as a Christian because it is meaningful to them. Not because it is true, but because it is meaningful. And their level of dedication will have a lot to do with how meaningful it is to them. That’s why you hear people say things like “I’m finally going to get serious about my faith.” They are essentially saying, “I should care about this more than I do, so I am going to muster up some more meaningfulness.” Let’s be honest, how well does that usually work out?
Now, here’s the thing. I get it. If something is meaningful to you, it is easy to take it’s truthfulness for granted. “Of course Christianity is true, Jesus has changed my life.” “Of course Christianity is true, I feel the presence of God when I worship.” “Of course Christianity is true, I was raised in a family where we saw God answer prayers.” For me to call any of that into question is akin to blasphemy for many people. But think about how easy it would be to replace Christianity in that sentence with virtually ANYTHING else. “Of course Islam is true, the teachings of Muhammad have changed my life.” “Of course Mormonism is true, I prayed for God to confirm it to me, and I felt the presence of the Holy Spirit.” And it doesn’t just work with other religions, it works with basically anything that someone might find meaningful. “Of course Oprah is right, she changed my life.” “Of course Oprah is right, I grew up watching her, and she always steered me right.” “Of course Oprah is right, I feel great when I am watching her show or reading her books.” There is no denying that Oprah is very meaningful for a lot of people…
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