Here’s a link to the Telegraph article on the first broadcast of a 1969 interview with John Lennon that contains some surprising statements about his appreciation for Jesus.

John Lennon famously claimed the Beatles were more popular than Jesus, even predicting that Christianity would “vanish and shrink”.

But 28 years after his death, in an interview being broadcast for the first time, he claims that on the contrary, he hoped to encourage people to focus on the Christian faith.

In the interview, which was recorded in 1969 and is being aired on BBC Radio 4’s Sunday programme, he talks about the Church of England, his vision of heaven, and expresses disappointment at not being allowed to marry his second wife, Yoko Ono, in church.

Christians around the world had been dismayed by Lennon’s boast in an article in London’s Evening Standard about the popularity of the Beatles, but the singer says he was misunderstood.

“It’s just an expression meaning the Beatles seem to me to have more influence over youth than Christ,” he says. “Now I wasn’t saying that was a good idea, ‘cos I’m one of Christ’s biggest fans. And if I can turn the focus on the Beatles on to Christ’s message, then that’s what we’re here to do.”

Now, brace yourself: If this story gets enough attention, we’re likely to see a wave of roaring condemnation from Christians who object to Lennon’s incomplete theological understanding. The rush to point out errors in Lennon’s words will be more aggressive than any positive response to his interest in Christ’s teaching, or any hope that he may have found peace through Christ before his murder. He’s more likely to be punished for his long, meandering spiritual journey than he is to be taken seriously for praising Christ. He’ll be flogged for “seeking” and for not having all the right answers.

In other words, we’ll see the kind of reaction that discourages seekers from looking to the church in the first place.

Thanks to Trent Ernst for the link!

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