Confessions of a Closet Christian: Proud Beliebers and Ashamed Believers

Why is it so easy to talk about celebrities yet so difficult to talk about Jesus?

When I think about what a “Christian” is, my mind tends to gravitate toward a staunch republican with white hair and white skin.  He’s probably arguing about abortion or something.

But when I think of Jesus, I don’t’ think of the white republican, but of the illustrations in the Children’s Bible that I carried around as a kid – so yes, briefly, I think of Jesus as a cartoon.  That is, until I remember that he is a real person (but probably not right-wing nor left-wing affiliated).

I don’t know what Jesus looks like, but I do know that He told it like it is – only everyone around Him didn’t realize it .  They just thought that He was speaking a bunch of gibberish:  “You must die to live, you cannot go where I am going…”

I can imagine His disciples going to bed at night and wondering:

“Dude, what do you think Jesus meant by that?” and, “Do you think He really is who He says He is??” and “I mean, guys… did we all really just see that???  I mean, He walked on water… right?

I think the disciples had to come to the conclusion – like we all do eventually – and decide that Jesus is either A) exactly who He says He is, or B) a raving lunatic.  And we should all back away.  Slowly.

As for me, I believe He is who He says He is and I’ll tell you I’m a Christian, but there’s got to be something at east a little wrong with me if I think of republicans before I think of Christ when I hear the word “Christianity”.

I mean, Christianity isn’t exactly trending on Twitter.

Admittedly, I prefer to keep the whole “God thing” to myself.

I’m a “Closet Christian”, if you will.

Welcome!  You just stumbled into my “Coming Out Party”!

Recently, my mom asked if I had heard about how Justin Bieber had signed the guest book when visiting Anne Frank’s house.  He said that he hoped that Anne Frank would have been a “Belieber”.

What struck me most about this wasn’t the pop star’s narcissism, but the very term “Belieber” and how thousands of Justin fans are happy to be titled as such.

Yet, I – a Christian – wouldn’t be caught dead being titled a “Believer”.

I was so embarrassed by my own cowardice.

Now, I’ll be the first to tell you that I once lifted Tina Fey’s baby stroller up a flight of steps on New York’s Upper West Side, but I bite my tongue when I have the slightest impulse to talk about Jesus.

I mean, I believe the guy.  Why can’t I talk about Him?

I guess the quick answer is:  Jesus isn’t popular.  Bringing Him into a conversation is awkward, frustrating, and scary because it forces us to talk about more than the latest episode of Mad Men.

It forces us to consider what we believe, and why.

It pigeonholes us into a category with white republicans or crazy Sunday School teachers we remember as kids.

And we don’t want to be those people.  We want to be cool.

It’s hard to admit that if I tell my “cool friends” that I’m a Christian, I’m openly admitting to being less trendy and awesome.

And, of course, when I hear myself say that last sentence out loud, I think, “Wait.  That shouldn’t matter!”

What other people think shouldn’t be important.  But it is.

Maybe talking about Jesus is the right thing to do.  Maybe that’s why we should do it, no matter what it says to other people, even if it sounds crazy or inconsiderate or imposing.

Maybe we should talk about Jesus because we actually believe that He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Yet still I find myself fearful of proclaiming the truth.

Isn’t it more comfortable to let everyone think what they want to think and believe what they want to believe?

Forget comfort.  It’s time for me to come out of my closet and let everyone know:  I’M A BELIEVER!

About Jefferson Drexler

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