Update: this is a very good introduction. Read the whole thing here.
Yesterday, Oct. 9, would have been John Lennon’s 70th birthday. Huge crowds gathered across the street from his former New York apartment, at the appropriately named Strawberry Fields Park. He’s still fondly remembered, both here and in the UK, some 30 years after his death. Google honored his birthday with their first animated doodle.
Back in 1966, protests and violence erupted in the United States after Datebook quoted Lennon on the cover of their magazine saying that the Beatles had become “more popular than Jesus.” Concerts were cancelled, KKK members rallied, the Fab Four once thought they were the target of gunfire. Well… here’s what Lennon had really said:
Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn’t argue about that; I’m right and I’ll be proved right. We’re more popular than Jesus now; I don’t know which will go first—rock ‘n’ roll or Christianity. Jesus was all right but his disciples were thick and ordinary. It’s them twisting it that ruins it for me.
We still remember Lennon 30 years later; and despite what you see on the covers of Time, U.S. News & World Report and so on every Easter, Christians still remember Jesus some 2,000 years later. Lennon had studied many religions extensively. There are much more vocal enemies of Christian faith today than anything he said back then. Perhaps he was just ahead of his time.
“His disciples were thick and ordinary.” Yes they were; and yes we are. And we the body of Christ. That my friends is the Gospel.