Driving into work this morning, I was listening to my favorite Christian artist, Todd Agnew. His insights that he presents about today's church through his music are amazing. Songs like "My Jesus" and "On a Corner in Memphis" are my anthems, so to speak, about what is wrong the churches today. Couple this with a TV show I watched last night on cable called "Wretched", I knew that God was prompting me to write about it today.
Why is it that we Christians spend so much time trying to imitate the world? It's not like the world has got it all together, or is the best of example for us. The truth is quite the opposite. In fact, imitation of today's culture is what is ruining the effectiveness of the church. It's getting to the point that Christians can imitate almost anything going on in the world as long as we are wearing a Jesus t-shirt at the time.
Let me give you some examples that have come to my attention in just the last few days:
Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker wrote a spooky novel called House. Now they have made a movie of it and it is rated R!!!! How do you explain that one to the kiddos that want to go see the movie because it is written by two very famous Christian authors? How can Dekker and Peretti possibly justify that? ( other than for the money, of course )
First, there was High School Musical, then High School Musical 2 &3. Now, (surprise, surprise) there is Sunday School Musical! I have seen clips of this lame thing and it is awful. Bad dancing, badly dubbed singing, and very poorly filmed. But, hey, at least their wearing their Jesus t-shirts!
I saw a clip on YouTube from a large church and during the worship part of the service, the guitar player broke out into a ( I kid you not) 2 minute guitar solo! Who are we worshiping here. Jesus or Eddie Van Halen? It's hard to tell sometimes.
The book Twilight was about teen age vampires and werewolves. It is a phenomenal success. How long before something like that hits the Christian marketplace. Believe me, it is coming!
( ADDED 9/14/09...I saw a Christian T-shirt today that is the exact same logo as the movie, but says " The Light" instead of "Twilight". Told ya!)
Well that's enough, but there are many more examples available to us. I don't know about you but I get all I can take of this messed up world just living life. And I sure as heck don't want to imitate it. So what do I do? I can go from the extreme of joining a monastery and chanting for the rest of my life to cramming my Jesus shirts into the bottom drawer someplace and just join right in with what this world has to offer. But I think I will do neither of those things.
Instead I will strive to imitate Christ more everyday. And a lot of people won't understand or even recognize who I'm imitating. An imitation isn't very impressive if your not familiar with the original. The challenge lies in revealing Christ through our imitation of Him. We need to be praying that God will show us ways of revealing Christ that are not worldly rip-offs. We need to be less imitative of the world, but more innovative of how we share Jesus.
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