Drugs, Sex, and Jesus
He's the most polarizing character in the history of the world. The very mention of his name makes some people uncomfortable. J. P. Pokluda weighs in on who Jesus is and the impact of his love.
Questions for Discussion and Personal Reflection
- Do you ever feel like Christianity is just a set of rules?
- Alternatively, have you ever felt overwhelmed by the idea of Jesus's love?
Uh, they say drugs, sex, and, and rock 'n' roll— in my case drugs, sex, and hip-hop— was, was really the, the college years, and, um, as I said, Christianity was a bunch of rules. You know, don't watch R-rated movies, and don't, don't do drugs, don't get drunk, uh, don't stay out past curfew, and don't have sex, and... The first week of college I had broke every single one of those rules in epic proportions. After college I, I moved to Dallas and now was in the big city and, and uh, and, and I thought, "Well, I'll start going to church," and so I would sit in the back and I would just day-dream for an hour, and I was hungover. I, I would often smell like smoke from the, the night before. And there was just something around the truth, and the authority that the guy up there had and the, the way that he read from the Scriptures like he believed it. And so I said, "I, I believed in that moment that there was a God," and I was like, "I've got to find out who he is." And, and, and really my bias was against Christianity. I thought, "What are the odds that I'd be born into America where you know, a lot of people are Christian?" Like, if I was born in India, I'd be Hindu. If I was born in Iran, I'd be Muslim. If, if I was born in Jordan, I might be Jewish, and, and yet China, I'd be Buddhist. And so, I started looking at, at the world religions and looking at other faiths with, really with a bias against Christianity. And I looked at, you know, Mormons, Jehovah's Witness, Church of Christian Science, Scientology— and I kept coming back to this character, Jesus Christ. Um... and, and I started wrestling with this idea. Did he really live? I mean, he's the most polarizing character in the history of the world. I've, I've, I've now been in the jungles of Africa and, and they know of Jesus. I've been in the jungles of the Amazon on a boat you know, for, for over a week and get off and, and somebody knew about Jesus there. And, uh, you know, people love him, people hate him, people get uncomfortable when you say his name. And, and so I just kept coming back to the character of Jesus, and every, every religion out there that I'd look at, they would acknowledge that, that he existed and even some of the most renowned atheists of today would acknowledge that he existed, and I started thinking about that, and I was like, "This guy changed the calendar." Something happened BC— before Christ— AD now the year of our Lord. And, and he was— but as I looked at him, he was this nobody from nowhere Nazareth, you know, born in Bethlehem, a town I can't even point to on a map, and, and as I, I learned more about Jesus, you know, just I think the message of love that he has continued to overwhelm me— just that, that he, that he loves us, that he loves us so much that he died for us. I— that was something I had heard my entire life. You know, "Jesus died for your sins, Jesus died for your sins," But I never really thought about just this idea that, that someone literally gave their life for me, that they suffered, that they were tortured, and they did that because I, I was a porn addict, because I was a sex addict, because I was an alcoholic in, in the sense that I drank every day, that, that I was a drug user, that I was constantly looking for the next thrill in life and, and that, that God was that, that he literally, he sent Jesus to die to, that he bled for those things, and that Christianity wasn't really this list of rules that I had to obey. It was really a story about someone coming to rescue me, because I can't.