DayBreaks for 10/23/17: Whose Face Would it Be?
What do you think the future of Christianity is in the United States? Or in the world, for that matter? There have been some recognizable faces that the world has come to know as “Christians”. Among those who come readily to mind are Mother Theresa and, of course, Billy Graham. There are others, too, but many of the “old guard” of the faith have been, or are close, to departing this world for their eternal reward.
The question has been asked of me: if you had to think of someone who is a Christian that you could point to that is respected by everyone, who is a living witness to the Christian faith, who would it be? For me, the answer was fairly quick: Billy Graham would be my first choice. He seems to have managed throughout all these years, to keep himself “unspotted from the world.”
But, Billy Graham is old and certainly the time for his own departure is near. Then who, like Elisha taking up the mantle of Elijah, will be the “face” of Christianity in the world? It’s not an easy question to answer, but I was struck by this brief comment from the Opinion Journal (Wall Street Journal Online), 10/8/07, by James Taranto, about some statements made by an avowed atheist who was chastising Christians for their unwillingness to engage in public “dialogue”. The first paragraph is taken from Ms. Lalli’s statement, and the second paragraph is Mr. Taranto’s musings on what she said:
Ms. Lalli: I have a question for the Christians out there: If you could pick one living person to be the face of the entire Christian faith, who would that person be? Even if you could pick three, or even five people, it would still be a challenge. I imagine it would be hard to figure out whether you wanted to pick those Christians who think most like you, or if you would pick people who could better represent the many colors of Christianity, the subtle differences and big-picture similarities.
Taranto: We lived in Brooklyn for a time in the early 1990s. Back then, at least, there were Christians there, and it seems unlikely that all of them have left. Lalli should see if she can find one so that she can ask her question directly. We’re pretty sure the answer will be Christ. OpinionJournal, 10/8/07, James Taranto
Can there be a better ambassador for Christianity than Christ? Certainly, the answer to that is and unequivocal, “No!” He is by far the best example of Christianity that there ever will be.
Still, I’m forced to ponder the question: if not Billy Graham, who? And why should we automatically assume that all believers couldn’t be effective ambassadors – that you who read this, and I who write it, can’t be equally as strong of “advertisements” for what a real Christian is like? After all, isn’t that what we’re ALL called to be and to do?
PRAYER: Lord, we know that within us dwells no good thing – except for Jesus. Help us to be better illustrations of the truth of Christianity, of the life of Christ, than we have been in the past. May we all resolve to live as if the world depended on our resemblance to Jesus. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple.