Monday, February 16, 2009

DESTROY THE (CHRISTIAN) SUBCULTURE

by Keith Giles

I've come to the conclusion that the Christian Subculture is evil. I want to destroy it. I want to choke the life out of it and watch it die. I want to strip the skin from its bones, shake the life out of it and break it into tiny pieces.

In the past I've written articles that express the dangers of the Christian Subculture, and it's no secret that I cannot stand Christian Radio, and have zero tolerance for "Jesus Junk" such as sanctified breath mints or t-shirts that christianize popular logos and advertising (see "Bud Wise Up" or "Lord's Gymn" for example).

The Christian Subculture prevents the breaking in of the Kingdom. It inhibits the Gospel message. It paralyzes the followers of Christ by isolating them from the people they are supposed to love and interact with on a deeply intimate level.

About a year ago I realized that my passion for deconstructing the popular "Churchianity System" extended beyond mere dislike. As I began to fully understand how insidious it really is, I resolved to dedicate myself to its demise. I am now fully convinced that someway, somehow, the entire thing needs to be knocked down with a very large hammer and burned into oblivion.

I have always wanted to have a "Burn Our Christian Crap" session where christians could bring the symbols of their involvement with the Christian Consumerist Monster and we could all stand around and sing "Kumbaya" together while we tosssed our "Lord's Gymn" tees and "Carman" Cd's and other idols to materialistic spiritualilty into a giant bonfire, in homage to those horrible youth group parties where teens were forced to burn their Van Halen records and Rush albums (because they were "secular").

I've come to the radical conclusion that there is nothing secular. There is only the world we live in. This one, right here (look around you...yeah, that world), and nothing more. God created the entire world, and it's a fallen world I agree, but there is no "Sacred" or "Secular" division to this world, other than the artificially constructed one we've created to keep ourselves safe and comfortable and far away from "those evil sinners over there".

Another big revelation for you? We're all sinners. You. Me. That guy over there. Yeah, we're all evil. We all need Jesus. Not just those who don't attend your church or who vote Democrat or who read Harry Potter. All of us. Look it up, it's in the Bible.

So, at the moment, all I have is the fire in my gut, the passionate resolution in my belly, that I hate all things "Christianese" and I long to assist in the complete demolition of this man-made evil.

Now, to be honest I have no real idea what that actually works out to in the real world. Let me be clear; I am NOT advocating the wanton destruction of Christian bookstores; I am NOT organizing petitions to shut down Christian Television (although I'd probably sign a petition if someone sent me one); I'm not calling for people to light torches or assemble in protest...but maybe it would be good idea if we just simply tried to escape the pseudo-reality of Christian Subculture? Maybe we could just start living in the real world, as followers of Jesus, without seeing those imaginary boundary lines between "Us" and "Them"? Maybe we could talk to people and befriend them, and love them, regardless of whether or not they were Christians? Maybe we could stop seeking comfort and shelter within the invisible walls of our own safety zones and start realizing that we live in this world, the real world...the ONLY world, and begin living as Salt and Light to those around us?

Jesus prayed for us, those who would follow after Him, in this way: "My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one."(John 17:15) It was never God's intention to take us out of the world we live in. Why have we decided that it's ok to take ourselves out of the world?

Paul the Apostle also agreed on this point when he wrote, "I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world." (1 Cor 5:9-10)

Have we left this world for some virtual, "Clean World" where everything is Christian? Do we have to get our Christian Milk from a Christian Cow? Do we have to freshen our breath with Christian Mints? Do we have to drink Christian Soda and bowl at a Christian Bowling Alley?

This idea of withdrawl from the culture is evil. It is not God's plan for us. It is the fruit of our own sinful, selfish desires to be safe and comfortable, and in some cases to make money and perpetuate an industry. It is demonic, and it hinders the Gospel message by isolating the agents of change (you and I) from those who need "the hope that lies within", and I want nothing more than to see it die a horrible, agonizing death so that God's people can begin to learn what it means to be human and start relating to other human beings who are sinful and hopeless without Christ, just like everyone else.

The Christian Subculture is essentially a wall that we build to keep ourselves from the world. Like the Berlin Wall, or the Great Wall of China, or Hadrian's Wall, or the wall between Palestine and Israel, it is an artificial border designed by us, the supposed followers of Jesus, in order to isolate us from the ones we are commanded to love.

Jesus would want us to smash down that wall. It's the same wall built by the money changers in the Temple at Jerusalem which kept the common people from entering the house of God. Those systems were also man-made. Those systems also invovled making a buck on the sale of faith and the commercialization of God's name.

I'm not sure where to find the hammer big enough to knock down this wall we've built, but I long to find one, and when I do I will let it swing.

Keith
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NOTE: THIS IS A BLAST FROM THE PAST WHICH I'VE UPDATED AND REPRINTED HERE FOR YOUR EDIFICATION.

4 comments:

Mark Main said...

I had not read this one before. This is awesome. If you find a hammer big enough let me know. I'd like to take a few swings myself.

TMinut said...

Great post, really makes a good point about living in the world.

HOWEVER I partly disagree. One - christian music: for me I've discovered that playing a CD while I'm at home or in the car helps me immediately get my mind off of ME again and back on Christ where it belongs.
I could claim music is the exception but for someone else, it might be something different that helps them.

I AM has only 'come to me' once in a major way but that time period changed my perspective on the world and the people in it. It certainly isn't how I normally feel, normally I want to escape totally. During that time I saw people as loved creations that were not yet as they were meant to be, so I get your point and agree about being in the world as 'ambassadors'.

Anonymous said...

Well, I have finally found someone who resonates the thoughts our family has had over the past years. I have nonbelieving friends who often question those "Hypocritical Christians" who have those Christian bumper stickers on their cars, yet act so *#*$. I have to tell them that maybe it's the car that is Christian and not the driver. ;) As Christians from the Western World, I believe we have somewhat of a prideful attitude which is the complete opposite of the humbleness of Christ. On another note, while I know that we are called to be fishers of men, I would have to say that it is important to look at Proverbs and Deut. and take heed to guard our children from bad company. Bad company corrupts good morals; it doesn't say good company changes bad morals. As a home school mom, I feel that my call is to raise up kids with a strong foundation ("train them up in the way that they should go, so that when they are old, they will not depart from it." Deut.) and then once they have the Holy Spirit residing in them (not me being their holy spirit), it is then when they can rely on His spirit as they live the gospel and share it with others. Thanks for the article.

David Tacheny said...

Keith, you are on fire today .. go get them !!!!