Wednesday, May 24, 2006

In the World, but not of the World

While attending a big youth conference last year, something became apparent to me about the Christian faith. It seems to me that somewhere along the way we have become confused. From what I understand from Scripture and Jesus' life, we're supposed to live in 'the world', but not like 'the world'. But it seems we have done the opposite. We live like 'the world', but not in 'the world'.

Here we were, all listening to a rock concert and calling it worship. Now, I don't mean to cheapen it and say God wasn't there, but it's weird to experience the same emotional response at a 'secular' concert and a 'Christian' concert, yet call one worship and say the other is not. The other thing that bothered me was the band was signing autographs and selling cds after "worship". It just seemed like they were mimicking 'the world', but in a seperate sub-culture.

Christians now have a sub-culture that we can easily hide ourselves in and never be exposed to the 'ugliness' of 'the world'... we have Christian music, Christian clothes, Christian schools, Christian dating services, Christian coffee shops, Christian t.v., ...and the list goes on and on. What ever happened to living in 'the world' as Jesus did? He didn't deny the so-called 'ugliness', he embraced it. In a world where everyone despised prostitutes and tax collectors, he loved them.

One of the causes of this Christian sub-culture is we want to keep Christianity cool, so kids will stay and carry on the tradition. Another reason is that it's way easier to be a Christian if it's marketable (no need for relationship). Another reason is that we don't want 'good' Christians to become tainted by 'the world' (This is the one that bothers me the most).

The problem with using this sub-culture of Christianity to 'protect' us is that we are ignoring the problem instead of fixing it. If we would be confident in our faith and learn to defend the faith, we wouldn't have to turtle everytime we're faced with opposition. Somehow we have come to believe that the Truth won't stand up to scrutiny, so we've created this protective sub-culture.

Well, my challenge to you (and myself) is to be like Jesus and live in 'the world'. Learn what it is you believe and why you belive it and don't be afraid of people who challenge your belief. We're called to be 'light' and 'salt' to 'the world'... you don't dump all the salt you'll ever need onto one piece of meat, nor do you put all your lights in one room... so why have we created this sub-culture? One day, I hope we'll learn to be 'Human-beings' inspired by God, rather than 'Christians' inspired by 'the world'.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more with this post. I am definitely very guilty of living like the world, but not in it. You've given me something to think about.

12:14 a.m.  
Anonymous Mary-Ann said...

Hey Lee,

just stumbled upon this "other" blog. actually i was looking for your email address cause your uleth account one didn't work, and so i remembered (somehow, from bananarama when you told it to me) your "deepfriedfood" blogspot, and i got your email address! a HA! but that was long and rather unnecessary. ANYways.

i like your thoughts. they're very true, and challenging. something to definitely think about. i always thought there was something wrong with trying to make Christianity "cool," and i think you nailed it. The truth doesn't need to be spruced up, or "cooled-down" (if you will) because the truth will win against any attempt to prove it untrue. It's not the "coolness" of christianity that draws people (cause there are lots of "cool" things in the world, so why would someone join a christian gourp purely because it's cool. it would be no differnt than anything else they could join), it's God's spirit that draws people - the truth.


(those are my thoughts on this matter).

But good thoughts dude. good thoughts.

12:59 a.m.  
Blogger Melinda said...


that was sweet.

we should talk more.

12:00 a.m.  

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