Saturday, January 01, 2005

Christian Culture

Bunnie Diehl points out "They will know us by our T-shirts," a blog by a seminary student working at a Christian book (and junk) store. He discusses Christian culture, and while I haven't explored his blog beyond the Livestrong post, I definitely like his point of view.

Teaser:

A woman recently asked me if we had any “Christian knock-offs” of the Lance Armstrong Live Strong bracelets. When I informed her we did not, she said, “That’s funny, we [Christians] usually have some cheap knock-off on the streets in a matter of weeks. I wonder what’s taking so long?”

What was perplexing was how this lack of creativity seemed to affect her. While she readily admitted most of the “Jesus Junk” was nothing more than a cheap knock-off, she was more than willing to buy it.

He concludes:

The church is not meant to be a reflection of culture with a God twist. The church is meant to be a reflection of God in a world drowning in sin. We don’t offer that anymore. We sold the high ground in the name of “evangelism,” and it will kill us yet.

14 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

EKH says: Yes, this pop "Christian" culture is disgusting and in some ways fake. It makes me wonder if the non-believing world thinks of true Christianity as merely a fad that will fade in a few years. Christians are not supposed to be the popular ones.

6:07 PM  
Blogger Korndog said...

So, as a parent, should I tell my children that they are not to wear the "LIVESTRONG" braclets? I have had one given to me and I have chosen not to wear it, but I have not required that of my children. What do you think??

6:53 PM  
Blogger ~rich said...

UDave, not sure where you get the idea that I would advocate not allowing children to wear LS bracelets...I didn't try to imply that.

first, Ben makes no case against fads like the LS bracelets, his beef is with the 'christian knock-offs' that try to imitate these fads.

second, the way to bring about real change is seldom through coercion. instead of denying a child his/her desire to participate in a 'knock-off fad,' do everything you can to teach the child about his/her infinite individual worth to God and God's desire for us to be salt and light. When someone has no doubt of their value as an individual she'll be more willing to stand out from the crowd and more confident in her own venues of self-expression.

btw, kids (and adults in some cases!) will always be slaves to fashion to some extent. kids are especially influenced by their friends' opinions, and need to have the self-worth lesson repeated again and again. (of course I speak theoretically, not being a parent myself!)

I cringe when I remember what I used to consider 'cool,' and I participated in just about every fad I could afford. Somehow I made it through without any irreparable harm! I believe the main lesson in Ben's post is to christian leaders--don't be reactionary, be visionary.

one more point--I think many times the people pushing 'knock-off fads' are the parents, not the kids. I have no proof of this and it wasn't my personal experience--it's just a hunch.

one more point II--I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with 'knock-off fads' and I don't think Ben does either. The point is that we can (and should) do better than imitate the world. We are supposed to imitate Christ, and He wasn't defined by culture, He defined it.

I hope this cleared up my position...oh, one note on Lance Armstrong...he's a great cyclist and all, but he's no role model. I've read a bit about him, and I'm not impressed. I think the bracelets raise money for a cancer charity (I'm not sure), but I'd sure check into where the money is actually going before supporting any of his causes. (not implying that you are, just general FYI...)

7:26 PM  
Blogger charlestongal said...

hmm... this is all very interesting. it's funny 'cause i used to be so into the "Christian fads," but now it really turns me off. one of the reasons is because it's become so "cliche" to be a Christian (or a Christian in the way the world sees it - a do-gooder, church-goer, casserole-eater, choir-singer... etc.) even people that really want to serve God sometimes go along with what is "normal" for a Christian to be or act (or wear). i agree with you about being different and "the salt and light." but more than that i believe that there is SO MUCH MORE to a Christian life than we even think! what does it mean to be a Christian? well, what happened to loving God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and pursuing him in a passionate and real way? and expressing that by the way you live? i know i've kinda gotten on a tangent here, but i guess Christian "knock-offs" or "fads" makes Christianity sound cheap and fake to me. i agree that we're not saying it's bad to wear stuff like that bracelet. but i guess you should think about why you are wearing it. do you just want to fit in by wearing what's in style? or is it a symbol of what God has done in your life and you want the bracelet to show that? i don't know... it's something to think about. but i appreciate this blog. i love this subject and am always eager to talk about how God has changed my life in this area.

9:51 PM  
Blogger Paul said...

There is a similar Christian Testimony Bracelet at http://www.beatestimony.com/

4:27 PM  
Blogger Askinstoo said...

I think ~rich has a great blog! I've been surfing around everywhere and just love to read all this stuff. I don't have a blog to contribute to but found a place where you can get a free target gift card. I think they are limiting it so you may wanna hurry on over. the site is Target Gift Card Keep up the great work, I love Blogger!!!

3:28 PM  
Blogger Askinstoo said...

I think ~rich has a great blog! I've been surfing around everywhere and just love to read all this stuff. I don't have a blog to contribute to but found a place where you can get a free target gift card. I think they are limiting it so you may wanna hurry on over. the site is Target Gift Card Keep up the great work, I love Blogger!!!

1:50 PM  
Blogger Askinstoo said...

I think ~rich has a great blog! I've been surfing around everywhere and just love to read all this stuff. I don't have a blog to contribute to but found a place where you can get a free target gift card. I think they are limiting it so you may wanna hurry on over. the site is Target Gift Card Keep up the great work, I love Blogger!!!

5:23 PM  
Blogger Linklight said...

~rich, I was just passing by on my search for things about Muslim on
the Net, and dropped in on your blog. I was looking for stuff for my Muslim site. Not
sure that your blog was exactly what I needed, but I enjoyed my visit all the same.

7:38 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

Hi there ~rich, I was just traveling through looking for some interesting stuff on Faith and I came upon your Blog. I haven’t seen what I was after regarding Christian Culture, but I’m going to carry on searching for more information on Faith related stuff. By the way your Blogs great. You are most welcomed to visit my site at Faith

1:20 PM  
Blogger Brother Roy said...

Hi there ~rich, I was just cruising searching for the latest information on Faith and came across this great blog. Although Christian Culture wasn’t quite what I was looking for, it has excellent articles. I see now why I found your page when I was looking for Faith related topics. I’m glad I stopped by this is a great Blog, keep up the good work. You are most welcomed to visit my site at Faith

3:09 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Hi ~rich,
I was just passing looking for Cathedral links on the blogger site and found your Christian Culture blog. Your blog was not quite what I was looking for, but I enjoyed my visit all the same.

5:39 PM  
Blogger Mysticman said...

Greetings ~rich it's rather cold here today, but summer is comming to our part of the world soon. I was looking for the latest most up to date information on prayer for life and I landed on your page. Although Christian Culture is not an exact match I can see why I ended up here while looking for prayer for life Great stuff thanks for the read.....now where did I put that surf board !

11:25 AM  
Blogger Mysticman said...

Hi ~rich love your blog. I came across it while looking for pray. I know Christian Culture is not an exact match but thanks for the read. I'll get on with my search for pray stuff and will visit again sometime. Take Care

9:06 PM  

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