Planting Roots: Christian Club hosts their second annual Why Jesus? event

Roots Christian Club invites speakers to its week-long revival event

Roots Christian Club hosted their second annual Why Jesus? event from April 8 through April 12, inviting speakers Pastor Brian Hwang and Pastor Yuji Ogura to talk to students of all religious backgrounds  about the basics of the Christian faith.

“There are a lot of misconceptions about what Christianity is,” Hwang said. “I thought this would be a good way to introduce who Jesus is and what Christians actually believe to those who do not believe.”

In his messages, Hwang emphasized the relevance of the Bible in people’s lives. By sharing anecdotes about how his life drastically changed after meeting Jesus at the age of 19 despite having grown up in a Christian family, Hwang was able to better connect with students and relate lessons to their experiences.

“One of the many misconceptions about Christianity is that it’s not relatable or that it doesn’t have any effect on real life,” Hwang said. “And so if I just speak on the subject matter on what the Bible teaches, I think it relates to and hits on every topic that we experience on a daily basis, things like loneliness and hopelessness and fulfillment.”

Throughout the week, Hwang felt that one of the biggest challenges was explaining Christian concepts in a way that non-Christians would be able to understand. Instead of using religious terminology to clarify beliefs, Hwang used analogies to explain the basics of Christian faith, like using Gandalf’s rise from the dead from “The Lord of the Rings” as a metaphor for the resurrection of Jesus. Hwang, who had spoken at the previous year’s Why Jesus?, enjoyed this second opportunity to voice his faith to students and commended them for their respect and attentiveness to his messages.

On the last day of the revival event, Ogura reprised the lesson on the Wordless Book he had taught two weeks prior to Christian Club members. Reiterating the relevance of Christianity in students’ lives, Ogura noted that faith is not something to be forced — although he believes God’s love is given to everyone, he hopes Christians and non-Christians alike will understand that not everyone needs to have the same religious ideology to have the same morals.

Because of the casual environment of the event, senior Michael Cordova found Why Jesus? to be different from the worship he regularly attends at church. Cordova felt that the event was an interesting opportunity to connect with others and relearn aspects of his faith.

“[Why Jesus] just felt more millennial-oriented, down-to-earth, relatable,” Cordova said. “Usually I go to adult sermons, not really like teen ones, so it [was] refreshing. Of course, people tend to have their own different viewpoints, but I’m pretty open so it’s really fun to talk to people and learn about where they’re coming from.”

For junior Angela Chu, who currently attends the same church as Hwang, the new perspective shared by Hwang and Ogura on familiar concepts allowed her to view her faith differently. She felt as though the foundation of her beliefs was being reinforced by the pastors’ messages.

“I got to see [my faith in God] under a new lens,” Chu said. “As a Christian you fundamentally know the resurrection of Jesus Christ, but I had never been told about it through the Wordless Book, and it was very interesting the way it was represented through different colors [in] a very simple book.”