Sunday, July 12, 2009

Thoughts from others
The culture that surrounds religion

I feel like Disneyfied Christianity is all about magic words and easy solutions to life. If you say this one prayer, you'll know eternal happiness. If you keep the main thing the main thing, you'll find the answer to your problem. If a magic prayer is the only thing you need to find eternal peace, why would anyone NOT say the magic word? - Meredith

I think, like in everything, there are exceptions but if you are asking for a generalization I'd say Christian Culture in America is more of an emotionally driven self help group than a following of Biblical truth. - Summer

What I think would be interesting to know is what percentage of Christians would look at your list and say, "Oh yeah, I was so there, but I'm not anymore." Then you look at their lives and think, "Oh yes you are." - Tucker


Meredith said...

Meg said:
"But first, is this your definition of Christian culture?
"Or do you have any more ideas about it?
"I'd love to hear where you're coming from with all this."

I don't know if I think it's possible to define something as broad as Christian culture. Reducing life to the "cake or death" options is just one thing that has fallen apart for me with my experience of Christianity lately. I would emphatically agree with what Tucker said and define Christian culture as a series of clubs, which like all other clubs (including country clubs) think they are the best ever. I don't think being part of a club is bad, though. I think it provides comfort and a sense of belonging. But I think most people identify with whatever religion they belong to because of the people around them, not because of a deep conviction about whatever detail sets that religion apart from others. Right now I'm kind of being a part of the Christian counterculture club, I think. (We have not abandoned the beliefs of our forefathers, but we talk to each other about the lame and silly parts of those beliefs, because we're smart and edgy like that.)

Honestly, I'm not totally on board with the idea that God is the smartest person ever but would rather hang out for all eternity with Britney Spears than Ghandi. Something doesn't add up about that, but I think if you looked at their club membership, you'd see that Brit's on board with Jesus, and Ghandi wasn't so sure.

My background is kind of summarized like this: growing up, my parents were atheists, new age spiritualists, joined a religious cult in Southern Oregon, and then converted to a more mainstream American version of Christianity based on televangelists and mega-churches. I have been a part of Calvary churches, a Presbyterian church, and a Foursquare church, and gone to Episcopal and Catholic churches every once in a while. When I was in Ukraine the Russian Orthodox church was part of some of the ceremonies I went to, but I never actually attended a service.

Meredith said...

Also, speaking of Lord Save Us From Your Followers, I think the St. Augustine quote Tony Campolo uses is applicable to how I feel about Christian culture:

"The church is a whore but she's my mother".