It seems that the goal for most Christians is to separate themselves as much as possible from the world around them. The thought process goes like this… “I am supposed to be sanctified and holy. I cannot allow the world to corrupt me from living in righteousness and drawing me away from having a clean and pure heart. Therefore, I will only listen to Christian music, read Christian books, have Christian friends, see Christian movies, talk to other Christians, and go to Christian gatherings.” And it is usually the case that each of those Christian things that people are engaging in, only encourage them to even more continue separating themselves more and more.
For me, I think the mere labeling of everything being either “Christian” or “secular” is a false dualism that has perverted the church and allowed it to lose its saltiness and effectiveness in our communities. We have been hoodwinked and bamboozled by main stream Christian culture into believing that the Christian bubble lifestyle is somehow a faithful attempt to bear one’s cross daily just as our Lord did. I disagree terribly. In fact, more and more I find some aspects in “secular” culture to line up more with the teachings of Jesus than many of our so called Christian products that we sell in the Christian Marketplace. While I am amazed at the enormous consumer power of those who call themselves Christians, could that consumer power be put to better use? And while it’s nice that we consume ourselves trying to be more holy, have we neglected our moral responsibility to engage and serve a world that is broken and in need of the love of Jesus? Can it be that in attempting to be more spiritual and faithful, that we have actually become more like the Pharisees and Sadducees described in the Gospels, and have actually departed away from the life of Jesus who engaged the people, becoming like them in such a way that he could empathize with them.
This is not a challenge to lose our distinction as the people of God, nor to stop pursuing God through Christian interaction, reflection, and community. Yet the unbiblical approach that has become a standard way of thinking in American Christianity continues to erode the very core values Jesus taught. I think the time is now for us to get out of the pews and onto the corners, what do you think, freestyle with me?