Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Christianity according to a Porn Star


I read an interesting interview today between Willowcreek church and porn star Ron Jeremy.  Not surprisingly, Ron Jeremy is not a Christian.  But he made some interesting observations about Christianity:

I think Christians have a very chauvinistic attitude, and I don't think Jesus would go for that; 'If you don't accept Him as your Savior, you don't go to heaven.'  I think that's really mean...What He would say is 'You were a good guy that wasn't born and raised to believe in me.  I'll teach you about me when you get here.'  He's going to penalize you because you were born a Jew, a Muslim, Buddhist, or Confucianist?  He's going to blame you for it?  You spent your whole life working with kids and being a good person and being a teacher in the Peace Corps, but because your parents didn't teach you about Christ he'll say, 'Sorry, you ain't coming up here?'...So you're going to sit there and tell me that Jesus Christ wants it like that -- where you can be a serial killer and slice people's throats, but accept Him as your Savior five minutes before you die, you're going to heaven?

I love debating.  Sometimes with religious fanatics I just can't get a point across.  They say, 'Well, Christ doesn't like that.'  Great, then the argument's over, isn't it?  How am I going to argue with that?  They just throw the Bible at you.

First, Jeremy is right about several things.  Far too many Christians refuse to think critically and show that they really haven't thought through important issues.  It is much easier to just condemn non-believers then to really engage them in conversation.  

Ron Jeremy also poses the classic problems that most people today have with Christianity: it is narrow and unfair to say that Jesus is the only way.  It's a hard question that I think I've only recently been able to have anything close to an answer to.  But it is a flawed argument.  When you say that "all religions are valid" you are actually are being just as narrow as I am.  You are saying that your belief, that all religions are valid, is the right belief and everyone should convert to your belief.  You would have the same problem as a Christian would: if someone wasn't born in modern America where this belief is prevalent, that person would never have a chance to know the "truth" of your belief.  So your belief that all religions are valid and my belief that Jesus is the only way are equally narrow.  There simply is no way to have a belief/worldview that isn't exclusive.  The real question is which belief/worldview truly leads to peace and freedom in our world and from the human condition?

But I think Ron Jeremy misses what separates Christianity from all other worldviews.  He thinks that all religions including Christianity basically say that if you are a good person, if you practice your religion and beliefs, you go to heaven.  He rightly concludes that in his view, he is a good person and that therefore he will go to heaven as well.  Jeremy is right that all other religions assert that you are saved by doing certain things and practices.  But Jesus is radically different.  He says you are not saved by what you do.  Christianity recognizes that we are broken, and no matter how hard we try, we can't really solve our brokenness by joining the peace corps or helping kids.  I know that even if people might think that I'm generally a "good" person on the outside, I know my thoughts, my motives and my darkest moments.  I am always doing and thinking things that I wish I didn't.  I am always being too self-conscious or too materialistic.  I am not a good person, and no matter how hard I try, I can't get away from it.  But unlike all other religions, in Christ, God became man and died in our place: he saw that we could not fix our situation, so he came down to us, became a lowly man, was spit on, mocked and killed for us.  We are not saved by anything we do, we are saved only by trusting and receiving Christ's perfect record in our place.  Only Christianity offers freedom from our human brokenness because we no longer need to try to prove ourselves.  Only Christianity gives me the power to truly love others who don't believe what I believe because after all, Jesus loved me and died for me even though I constantly reject him.
  
Thanks Ron Jeremy for making me think.     

2 comments:

J said...

I think Ron is also pointing out that not everyone hears about Christianity and its salvation by faith.

Heewoo said...

i don't know much about the porn industry, but i guess you don't have to be good looking to be a porn star, huh? surprising....