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Did Jesus exist – and does it really matter?

 

Jesus never existed.

jesus portraitAt least, that’s according to a new poll in the UK, revealing that about 40% of people believe Jesus was a mythical figure. Interestingly, one in five who aren’t Christians are open to learn more about the faith. Most people who were polled knew at least one Christian and many described them as  “friendly,” “caring” and “helpful.” 

That’s good news in a world that seems hell-bent on slandering and cartooning Christians as judgmental, uptight and mean-spirited. And it should motivate the church to reach these people. If articles like this are any indication, millennials actually want to attend your church if you’re offering meaningful liturgy and inviting honest questions. 

How about your church? Is it open and hospitable to seekers? Does your church hold special events or classes that explain the faith and encourage people to ask questions? Would you know what to say to someone who said that Jesus never existed?

The days of Christendom in America are over. When I was a kid, just about everyone I knew attended church on Sunday. Not anymore. There is now a smorgasbord of beliefs, opinions, religions and attitudes.  The “nones,” people who do not identify with any faith, comprise over 20% of the population, the highest in our nation’s history. They may not believe that Jesus ever existed or, if He did, that it doesn’t really matter.

It’s up to us, the church, to show them that it makes all the difference in the world — and in the world to come. 

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