gratitude & hoopla: Comfortable Christianity

gratitude & hoopla

"Nothing taken for granted; everything received with gratitude; everything passed on with grace." G. K. Chesterton

23.1.06

Comfortable Christianity

Nate at Eight Strings shares his father's tendency (btw, his father would be me) to speak with sometimes impolitic bluntness with regard to the glitzy trappings of contemporary mega-Christianity. Out-of-context example: Nate writes, "I have no problem generalizing here. American Christians are dishonest, materialistic, and judgmental." [But please do read the whole post: Moving Out Of Suburbia.]

My feeling is, this kind of passionate expression of hard truths, though it may ruffle our carefully-preened feathers, is very important. Let the "truths" be tested against Scripture, by all means, but we dare not avoid hearing and facing up to these things simply because the tone makes us uncomfortable. Nate's ultimate point, anyway, is that we are too in love with comfort. The greater culture is entertainment-driven, and all that we as God's truth-bearers seem to be concerned with is that we might be as entertaining as the culture--which winds up meaning we'll be as shallow, as trite, as artificial, and as self-congratulatory as the culture. We do all this in hope that we be found acceptable, that we fit in. We've got the mindset of a teenager trying desperately not to be found dorky. Please oh please say we're cool!

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In Addition: Milton at Transforming Sermons quotes Michael Horton writing in the same vein:
Being "countercultural" today often amounts to superficial moralism about sex and suvs, or perhaps creating wholesome novels with Christian heroes, removing offensive language from music lyrics, and encouraging positive values. Beyond that, many of the churches with which I am familiar are captivated by the same obsessions as our culture: religion as individual spirituality, therapy, and sentimentalism. It all serves to keep us turned in on ourselves, like a kid at a carnival instead of a pilgrim en route.
Oh, yes, that is an apt simile indeed!

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