Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Burst the Bubble

Allow me to preface this by saying that I work at a Christian college and love it. It happens to be the same college from which I graduated. I also attended a Bible Institute before college and before that, I was homeschooled. You could say that I have been thoroughly Christianized. My entire education (and indeed, life) has been conducted within what is commonly referred to as The Bubble.

A few years ago, The Bubble burst for me in a big way when my parents got divorced. My dad had even been a pastor and suddenly our church wouldn’t even talk to us. However, even before this, I had started poking at the walls of our Christian culture. One of the biggest things I ever learned was the question everything: to examine things for myself, constantly asking why.

What I have discovered is tragic. Instead of being the Salt and Light of the world that Christ Himself told us to be, we have built gated communities. We have become so afraid of being “of the world” that we are no longer in it! How can we change a society in which we have no part? Yes, it’s more comfortable here—people don’t think we’re weird when we’re all Christians.

We even have our own Christianese language. One of the most important things I looked for when finding a new church was the language. I needed to find a place where they spoke plain English. A church that is truly dedicated to communicating with the outside world doesn’t use words like “dispensationalism,” “hermeneutics,” and “VBS"expecting everyone to know what they mean.

So many of my friends refuse to listen to anything other than Christian music. They don’t go to movies; they only wear in-your-face Christian t-shirts. Everyone thinks we’re freaks and they’re right: weird is in the eye of the beholder. So how are they supposed to understand us? More importantly, how are we supposed to relate to them?

Instead of having our own GodTube, wouldn’t it be better if we flooded YouTube with Christian videos? Why do we have knock-off Christian bookstores, instead of publishing books that are good enough to be carried by Borders? If there is a market for quality materials, secular businesses will provide them. It’s the simple business concept of supply and demand and it applies just as well to religion.

Please don’t misunderstand me: I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ! I am, however, often embarrassed by Christians. Yes, we are different, but that doesn’t mean that we should be unapproachable. We’re coming up on another election and let’s remember that while religion should affect politics, politics is not all about religion. You certainly won’t see me protesting or boycotting.

Maybe you aren’t in The Bubble. You might not have any idea what I’m talking about, in which case, awesome! But if you are a member of the isolationist American subculture referred to as conservative evangelicalism, get out before it’s too late. I dare you to go out for a drink with your unsaved coworkers. As a wise woman once said “my Jesus brought the party” and we should too.

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