Saturday, January 05, 2008

Christian Stuff

Note: this is an edited version
Full version is elsewhere

Ever get tired of Christian stuff?

Sometimes I do.

Saw a commercial a little while ago. It was from Time-Life Publications for a series of Country Worship CDs. A whole series.

The songs they sampled were many I enjoy singing myself. There were smooth camera zooms of singers on stage and in studios singing joyfully, worshipfully.

I wondered how much they were really feeling about God as they sang into a studio microphone or to a cheering audience.

Now, I know it is possible to worship on a stage, to tune out one’s surroundings and open my heart to my Lord. But the commercialism of seeing folks who paid for concert tickets tied to a series of music CDs turned me off a little.

I guess it was the rapturous expression on some of their faces which felt a little forced, a little too much like acting. Sometimes I get tired of the Christian stuff.

There is a Christian bookstore on Division in Portland which is simply huge. It is filled with Christian self-help sections (quite the irony there), Christian jewelry, Christian bookmarks, Christian videos, Christian games, and a Bible for every type of person in nearly any circumstance.

Christianity is big business.

Once upon a time people only learned about our faith through word of mouth.

And when it was put into book form, it was a rare and precious thing, often chained to large tables to prevent theft.

When my Lord walked the dusty roads of Judea under the watchful eyes of roman occupiers he spoke gently, earnestly to those He met. He never published scrolls to appear in the self-help section of the temple.

When I think about how the world often equates western culture, especially the U.S., as “Christian” I wince. I love my country, but I know that the Lord God is not a U.S. citizen.

So, as I watched that ad for country worship music I felt a little like someone was spraying gold paint on glory.

Instead of a Christian, I’d rather be a Christ-follower. Even that term seems a little grandiose, as if my path is true and clear, that I am always steady behind my Lord.

I think it would be more accurate to call me "Jesus’ adopted little brother who is always needing to be bailed out of some fix he has gotten himself into."

Too often I write stuff on this blog which examines some particular view or idea I have of my faith in pithy phrases gauged with an eye to rhetoric; I’m just a clever primate.

What I want to say is I love God and it really isn’t about the popular sentiments of my culture as shown via those concerts and commercials.

I love God. For real.

I’m a big screw up, and I know it.

I also know that I have a personal relationship with the Creator of all things. I don’t care if I can’t look like those folks on TV worshipping God so fervently that Time-Life Publications wants a piece of it.

All I care is that I feel that way.

1 comment:

Vicki said...

I'm with you, Will. Amen.