Recently my teenage son and I were watching a sporting event. This isn’t uncommon in our house—we both love sports. As we watched, I was very surprised to see one of America’s most popular athletes wearing the popular “WWJD?” (What Would Jesus Do?) wristband. I turned to my son and asked, “Isn’t this the same guy who has been arrested 3 or 4 times over the last few years for all kinds of reasons?” Sure enough it was.
Too often those displaying the “WWJD” initials are living their lives in ways that are contrary to what the motto is all about.
When I first learned that this particular athlete claimed that God had changed his heart and life, I was excited. Unfortunately, it really didn’t appear to be the case at all. Just shortly thereafter, I learned that he was arrested again for drugs. In a subsequent interview, he was using language that made it very clear that something was very wrong in his “spiritual” life.
More and more today I am seeing this kind of behavior among people claiming to be followers of Christ. Too often those displaying the “WWJD” initials are living their lives in ways that are contrary to what the motto is all about. Why is this?
I believe some of the blame is the fault of the church. Please don’t misunderstand: I am not against the motivations behind the WWJD movement. The problem is that by and large the church hasn’t done the job that it should be doing.
You see, the church hasn’t been teaching biblical doctrine and absolutes. Instead it has largely been teaching only Bible stories. (Now, there’s nothing wrong with teaching Bible stories, but that’s sometimes the only instruction a Christian receives in church.)
The result is that more and more young people in our churches aren’t taught the essentials of the Christian faith and how to defend them, and aren’t told that the Bible can be trusted for guidance on issues they deal with every day. Their faith has really just become something that they do on Sundays for an hour or two.
Think about this: for years the secular world has blasted away at the foundations of the Christian faith—and it has been very effective. According to the Barna Report, 72% of 18–25 year olds and 67% of 26–44 year olds in America do not believe in “absolute truth.” But the most frightening statistic regards the church in America. Can you believe that 27% of all the people who attend an evangelical church do not believe in absolute truth?
If at least 1/4 of the people who attend an evangelical church and profess to be “born again” do not believe in absolute truth , how can they correctly apply this wonderful “WWJD?” principle?
How should we more properly approach the WWJD program then?
We must teach two things: first “WDJS?” (What Did Jesus Say?), and then second “WDJD!” (What Did Jesus Do?). Only by knowing the Word of God and allowing it to be the ultimate authority in all areas of our lives, and also knowing what He did on the Cross, can we correctly apply step three: the famous initials, What would Jesus do? (WWJD?)
If you know what Jesus said and know what He did, you can then—and only then—correctly apply WWJD? In addition, you can even get rid of the question mark and replace it with a more confident exclamation point, and re-word the phrase! Instead of WWJD?, I believe it should be WDJS + WDJD = What Jesus Would Do!, or WJWD!
AiG is attempting to get people to understand that we have to reconnect the world around us with the Bible. We need to show that the Bible has answers to the questions that we encounter daily. (See our materials like The Answers Book above.)
We must proclaim that “God’s Word is true from the beginning” (Psalm 119:160), and that it is truly relevant in the 21st century. By upholding the authority of the Word of God, AiG believes that we can help restore the foundations of our faith by proclaiming what Jesus Christ said and did.
In His Service,
Carl D. Kerby