Pastor Judah Smith of The City Church in Seattle, Washington — the preacher credited with recently helping pop star Justin Bieber turn his life around — believes that some people have a profound misunderstanding of the Bible.
Rather than an epic recounting of God’s love for humanity, he said that some incorrectly assume that it’s merely a book of “dos and don’ts.”
Smith, who released “Life Is ________” this month, a new book that promises to explore the “love of God that defies human logic and the life that God intends for us to have in the here and now,” said on The Church Boys podcast last week that he wants to help believers and nonbelievers, alike, answer a monumentally important question: “Why am I sucking oxygen on planet Earth?”
Listen to the interview at the 36:00 mark below:
The pastor went on to share what convinces him of the authenticity of both the Bible and Christianity, noting that he believes some people miss the mark by making inaccurate assumptions about the Bible.
“The ancient scripture is beautiful and I think mysterious and I think moving … [a] multi-layered narrative that is just beautiful,” Smith said. “I think people have a misnomer about the ancient scriptures. I think they believe it’s a collection of ethics and morals, dos and don’ts — kind of a history book.”
He continued, “But, really, in essence, it’s a love story that creator God has with humanity that moves from a garden, to a nation, to the world and it is filled with broken people, it’s filled with pain, it’s filled with beauty, it’s filled with majesty, redemption, forgiveness, grace. It’s the greatest story told without question.”
Smith said he often finds himself deep in scripture, engaging with the story of God’s love for humanity — something that he said moves him each and every day. Beyond that, he finds evidence for authenticity in the relationship he said he has built with God.
“For me, it’s finding Jesus, the person of Jesus in the scripture and encountering a relationship,” he said. “This book speaks to a living God … I feel like I have experienced God in a real way.”
Smith described the “extraordinary peace” that he believes Jesus offers, regardless of one’s circumstance in life — an “inner contentment and peace” that transcends anything else that can be experienced in life.
When one truly explores the life of Jesus, Smith said that it’s hard to imagine that he was merely a kind man who had beautiful teachings thousands of years ago, as there’s something about Christ that he said continues to capture peoples’ attention.
“Something radical has happened,” he said. “How are we still talking about Jesus Christ thousands of years later?”
Since Jesus relied upon storytelling, Smith encouraged Christians to continue using the same tactic when they share their faith with others.
“Tell the story of God’s love. Go through the ancient scripture and let it speak for itself,” he said. “It is unstoppable. This love revolution, this grace revolution, this Jesus message. I think is just unstoppable … I think something special is unfolding even as we speak.”