My wife came home discouraged today. I was somewhat worried when she said that she needed to talk. Luckily, I was not culpable for her saddened state. But what she said did dampen my spirits. She had overheard a conversation at school between two teachers. They were discussing the documentary on the Jesus Tomb. Aired on the Discovery Channel this week, it ‘revealed’ that Jesus’ bones had been discovered. Erin and I had watched it together, and we quickly picked apart some of the contradictions. These teachers, however, did not have the foundation of Truth supporting their worldview.
Basically, the parley between the two gave credence to the work of the documentary. It is tempting to focus on the specific fallacies evident in the show, as many other credible academics have, revealing the irrelevant, sloppy, and misguided presuppositions. But my wife touched on something far greater.
“Honey,” she remarked, “those teachers are so incredibly lost, and this film only causes more disillusionment with them.”
It’s easy to get swept into the scientific banter about these types of documentaries. But the greater harm is the twinges of doubt they place in the minds of believers. The greater harm is the fuel they provide to the fire of cynics that so greatly influence post-modern pop culture.
As Erin and I talked about what she overheard, I was reminded of a man named Johnny. I was a total corporate greenie in a brand new city when Johnny stumbled across my path. My only connection to anything for me at the time was the local church that I had joined. I was part of a Bible study on Monday nights, partially because I wanted to dive deeper into the Word, partially because I was a bit lonely in a new city. It was on one of those Monday nights when Johnny listed into the church.
He was terribly drunk. But he clearly saw that we were the only ones in the church. So by default he assumed that we could help him. Johnny told us about the trials of his life. He had many. The Bible study group sobered him up through coffee and conversation, and we asked him what we could do to help.
“I need to find Jesus, or something,” he grumbled. He looked at me. I just so happened to be holding my Bible.
“You’re a preacher man.” He had noticed the Bible. “Why don’t you preach to me?”
I wish I could say that I eloquently presented the plan of salvation with utter spiritual maturity. Instead, I did the deer in the headlight stare back at him. My buddy nudged me.
“Ok, let’s see here.” I was buying time. And I did what many of us have done. I randomly opened my Bible and started reading. I think the passage was somewhere in one of the Chronicles – maybe not the greatest choice of passages for a halfway sober man down on his luck.
I was struggling with reading when he interrupted.
“That’s what I need! I need Jesus!”
I was dumbfounded.
That night, a group of struggling college-age guys led a random man to Christ.
Clearly, God was at work. False documentaries and skeptics will always be around to deceive the world. But the world will continue to search for Truth. Like Johnny, however, you won’t ever find Jesus. He finds you.