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A View from the Altar / Freakazoids for Jesus
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Freakazoids for Jesus

Lots of people keep trying to put into words exactly why America’s peculiar version of Christianity is plunging headlong into defeat.  One of the best out there is David F. Wells, and I highly recommend his series of books on the subject beginning with No Place for Truth which was published many years ago.  Wells is a tad heavy reading, but for profound insight into a pathological culture, nobody beats him.

For people like Bro. Steve who need more basic material, pictures can help.  We received a magazine today called Ignite Your Faith published by Christianity Today.  It came unsolicited, and I have no idea how they got my name for a mailing list.  Now, these folks appear to be sincere so I’m trying to be gentle in my words, but suffice to say that some of the images in the magazine fall a bit short of the apostolic role model described byPaul to Titus, “[Teach] the older men to be serious, grave, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, in patience…. Young men likewise exhort to be serious minded….”  (Titus 2:2, 6 Reed’s paraphrase)  When I look at these “artists,” I get a different set of vibrations than the ones Paul recommended to his generation.

Switchfoot

Skillet

I’m well aware that each generation thinks the next generation is going to the dogs through their entertainment.  After all, the early boomers went to the dogs, then the “late boomers” like me went to the dogs, and everybody after us went to the dogs, too.

But maybe the Bride of Christ could invent a new tradition for our little piece of society, something along the line of not going to the dogs.  I simply cannot conceive of how we can hope for the next generation to arrest the decline of American Christianity when their role models are, first of all, entertainers, and as part of the entertainment package, deliberately freakish.  As Theodan asks in LOTR, “How did it come to this?”  Try to visualize Mary and the shepherds rockin’ while Switchfoot leaps around the manger in his fashionably dirty jeans.

kissYes, things could be worse, a little.  Christian entertainers could be dressed like the elderly guys from KISS and be sticking their tongues out.  But that leaves unanswered the more serious question of why Christians would want to move in the freakazoid direction at all. I understand why the Secular Man does it — it’s show biz and his god is mammon.  But how did it ever come to be accepted that Christians should behave like this?  On a related theme, I’ve written previously about the insidious acceptance of pulpit cussing.  Now another of world system’s bad habits, that of exalting garishly dressed singers to hero status, has become just another big leak in our boat, and we’ve already taken on a lot of water.  CleaversNobody expects young people to go around dressed as Ward and June Cleaver.  But I wish their role models were better than muffled  Ozzy Osbournes who mostly just refrain from biting the heads off bats.

Call me a prude — you could even be right about that — but American Christianity seems to have split right down the middle.  The reverent half seems flaccid and dull while the energetic half has jettisoned any semblance of reverence.  Saints of God, we have to change this.

2 Comments

  1. When you say, “American Christianity”, do you mean particularly Southern Baptists or all Christians in America?

    Posted on 22-Jun-09 at 23:16 pm | Permalink
  2. I am a Southern Baptist, and many of the SBC churches in the area where I live suffer this affliction. However, I’ve visited churches in other denominations including the conservative PCA and find this is widespread among evangelicals.

    Posted on 23-Jun-09 at 17:17 pm | Permalink

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