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Thursday, October 2, 2008

Sunday Sundaes

Sonlight has an "unabashedly biblical, evangelical Christian base" (see #19). And I, without trepidation, freely admit that I am a Christian to anyone who asks.

But, on the internet, I tend to not mention my faith in Christ as often. Is it because I am "ashamed of the Gospel"? (Romans 1:16)

No.

But sometimes this whole "Christian" label thing goes nuts.

Bananas.

Perhaps with some vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup and cheery as well. The religious sundae, often proudly displayed on Sundays.

Why did we, as a subculture, feel the need to create GodTube, so we could change the tagline from "Broadcast Yourself™" to "Broadcast Him*"?

This kind of thing makes my skin itch.

Oh, I used to be there. I wore the all the cheap Christian knockoff shirts (that still cost a pretty penny). I was going to influence culture by demonstrating how "hip" I was, but with the extra-cool Christian twist.


HisSpace

But I was deceived. There is no way you can influence culture by merely repackaging it as "Christian." Not going to work. So, please, nobody start making "Strong Good" emails--unless you're trying to be purely farcical.

We Christians are an odd bunch of bananas, are we not? Add in the whole "homeschool" thing, and we can come across as really, really out there.

But this is what's odd: When I meet homeschoolers, chat with them, read their blogs, and discuss things, they really are very nice, "normal" people. They are no more out of whack than any of the public schooled atheists I know. Which, I think, is a good thing.

Are we really called to be "counter-cultural"? I don't think so. It was probably the biography of William Carey that first introduced me to this idea. He changed how he looked so he could better relate to the people around him. That whole "all things to all men" deal.

I think there's a phase in a Christian's life where the Christian fads are appealing. And that's okay. But at some point in time, I think that we should become more like Christ and hang out with the sinners where they are, rather than with the Sunday Sundae group.

I certainly have my own toppings that people may not want on their ice cream, but I do my best to enjoy it so much that others decide to give it a try. I think people seeing me enjoy my sundae will be more effective than merely proclaiming the superiority of my concoction.

How about you?

~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father

*It looks like they have since changed their tagline.
And, yes, I have an account.

16 comments:

Wendy said...

Good stuff to ponder, Luke. I think this is a hard area to live out. On one hand, the shirts you speak of probably don't make a big difference in adding to the Kingdom, yet a choice to upload to Godtube instead of Youtube where porn abounds might be wise. It all goes back to motives.

I want a heart that longs to hang with unlovely sinners with no agenda. So far, I'm still on the self righteous side, but I'm working on it!

Jenny said...

Are you hungry? Nuts, bananas, sundaes, and more bananas.

And what's with that Strong Good cartoon? HAHAHA!!!! I've never seen that before!

As for the actual intent of your post, I will admit that I've worn a "P.U.S.H." bracelet ("Pray Until Something Happens"). However, I wore it when I was overdue with second child. I prayed until something happened, then I wore it in the labor room for more literal encouragement. ;-)

(I tried to avoid the WWJD trend as my name starts with a J.)

Mrs. C said...

Well, I *do* see what you're saying, Luke, but it really bothers me when I can't sit through the PREVIEW time during a rated G movie with a four-year-old in a movie theatre without getting inundated with boob cleavage, butt cleavage (if you have to ask, DON'T!!) and a buncha crude jokes flying about.

So, instead of issuing a jihad and killing a few infidels, we Christians sometimes pop on a t-shirt and watch a GodTube video. We're an intolerant bunch for sure. Bless ya!!

Jennifer Sr. said...

I thought I was going to be able to fire off a response, but I think I am going to have to mull it over a bit!

....And I mean that as a compliment!

Luke said...

Wendy, you are absolutely right. There is certainly a benefit from a video site that is dedicated to avoiding the "stuff" on the rest of the internet. Absolutely. However, the cheap knockoff thing kills me. We can, and should, be more creative than that. We can, and should, be driving culture, not lagging behind.

More than that, however, there comes a point where we have to be able to interact with culture (even the very dangerous waters of YouTube) like Christ.

Jenny, I don't think was too hungry. I just got started on a word play and kept running with it.

I personally really enjoy sbmail.

I was all over WWJD, FROG (Fully Relying On God), and some awesome shirts: got Jesus?, Godizlove, to name just a couple. There is nothing wrong with that kind of thing, in and of itself. It's the hype that's disconcerting.

Mrs. C, wise and witty as always! I'm not exactly against the idea of GodTube--as I said, I have an account--it's the feeling behind it that gets under my skin.

Jennifer, I'm glad this post inspired some thought. When you come up with something, I would love to hear your insights.

Thank you all for your feedback. I love it when I can see blogs allowing us to live out the "iron sharpening iron" passage. You all definitely encourage me to continue to press forward.

~Luke

FULL OF JOY said...

Great post Luke. I totally agree, but I have to admit, I have been doing a lot of hanging out with the sinners in their place lately-it is exhausting! I feel heavy for them all the time, which is good because I have prayed more for them lately, but is hard bc I am so sad for them.

Anonymous said...

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Luke said...

Thanks for the reminder about Addicted to Mediocrity. I've heard about it before but had forgotten. And now I just found it on Google Books <beams>.

And I totally believe the story about the guitar shirts. Makes perfect sense on so many levels.

~Luke

mom24 said...

I like how you pulled this post together -except that now I must run out for a sundae! :-D

I get what you're saying and I also am amazed at how God uses different and crazy things to bring peeps to His truth. I always used to see the "Christianeze" stuff as us mirroring the culture instead of affecting it by showing lives that mirror Christ. But God does do His work in many ways that we don't understand or see.

These days (as a mom of 4) my major concern with the culture is giving my kids a strong faith which they can defend first. To others this can come across as isolationist, but really we want to teach them to be able to interact with the world while staying strong in God's truth (not something they can do as little ones yet). But our goal is to make them salt and light, not keep them to ourselves in a bubble (something that many think that homeschoolers do).

Thanks for dropping a note at my blog! It's nice to hear from some different bloggers....

mom24 said...

Oh yeah - I agree that Addicted to Mediocrity is a great one!

Luke said...

Two votes for one book? Hmm... I need to get on that <smile>.

~Luke

Anonymous said...

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Luke said...

Mandy,

A Wordpress login won't work on this Blogger blog. Did you try the Name/URL version of "identity"? I don't know if it works, but seems like a cool idea <smile>.

And you are absolutely correct: There is a place for such things. They certainly serve a purpose. Sometimes (often?), however, the purpose is less than ideal, and I think we should strive to excellence. Snappy shirts? All for 'em. Cool shirts? Wear 'em with pride. Cheap knock-offs? Please, no. <smile>

Thanks so much for adding your thoughts. Iron sharpening iron, and I could use a few more passes <smile>.

~Luke

Georgia said...

I am a fan of this post. I will be back.

Georgia said...

Ummm, I also linked to this. Maybe one of my 4 readers will be interested as well.

Luke said...

Thanks for the link, Georgia! Hope to see you again soon. <smile>

~Luke


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