I still remember where I was when OJ Simpson was declared innocent.
I was in the middle of a class at Samford University, in Birmingham, Alabama. I forget my professor’s name, but he kind of reminded me of a white haired Jeff Goldblum. When most of us got up from class early to go watch the verdict he made fun of us. I understand his point, but I promise no one is writing a blog today about “I remember where I was when I first discussed the socio-economic conditions of Southern France in the early 1800s.”
We watched the verdict in the lobby of our cafeteria. And when he was declared innocent of murdering his wife and her boyfriend, some of the cafeteria workers clapped and proclaimed, “Thank you Jesus! Thank you Jesus!” I remember thinking to myself, “I’m not sure Jesus wants the shout out for that one.”
But as little impact as that moment had on my overall life, I do have that moment sealed firmly in my memory. Just like today’s, which will probably be as equally dramatic for you as it was for me.
Last night, in Franklin, Tennessee, while walking around my house, I read online that pop singer Justin Bieber is a Christian.
Upon learning that, I immediately thought three things:
1. People are going to Bono him.
In Christian circles, to “Bono” somebody is to use CSI like detective techniques to determine if their faith fits your personal definition of what it actually means to be a Christian. Just like Bono is always called into question and people will say, “He’s never actually said out loud ‘I’m a Christian,’” Bieber’s Christianity will be Sherlocked on blogs the world over.
2. People are going to Britney him.
When I told my friend Justin Bieber is a Christian, he immediately said, “Yeah, I’m sure Britney Spears said the same thing. Every pop star gives God a head nod.” I understand that skepticism, but Bieber didn’t just give a shout out to God. He said, “I’m a Christian, I believe in God, I believe that Jesus died on a cross for my sins. I believe that I have a relationship and I’m able to talk to him and really, he’s the reason I’m here, so I definitely have to remember that.” No one casually says, “Jesus died on a cross for my sins.” That’s way more than a head nod.
3. People are going to think Ludacris is next.
OK, maybe not people, but me anyway. Luda did a song with Bieber. They’re friends. Maybe they do another song together. They’re sitting in the studio, Justin is drinking a diet Coke, Luda is sippin’ on Yak. They start talking about the pressures of the industry. Luda says it’s hard to maintain his dirty south street cred while doing appearances on Martha Stewart. Justin shares the gospel. Ten minutes later? Luda is doing a project with NeedtoBreathe. This is going to happen.
I know what you’re thinking, “Thank goodness Jon went all serious on election day. This is just the kind of hard hitting content I’ve come to expect these last two years.”
No problem my friend. You’re welcome, you’re welcome. But all points aside, all silliness aside, I’m excited to see Justin Bieber talk about faith. Just like I’m excited to hear my neighbor talk about faith. Or my dentist. They’re all just people. Like me and like you.
I’m curious though, I remember where I was with the OJ verdict. What’s an event you will forever have frozen in your memory?