Christian MediaEngaging Culture

Can We Stop Shooting Ourselves in the Foot?

Just when I thought we’d learned our lesson, we have another story of a very convervative organization attacking the culture on a minor issue, with the result that makes all Christians look like oppressive, over-reaching, party poopers. We live in a world where the possibilities for Christian engagement are vast –
evangelism, hunger, drugs, sex trafficking, and more – but we continue to harp on fringe issues like “Wacky Week” at a Wisconsin elementary school. Hey – I went to a Christian college and we had “Sadie Hawkins” day where everyone reversed roles. We even had a beauty pageant with the guys – especially the jocks – dressing like contestants. Remember those days? Read David Kinneman’s book “UnChristian” to find out how the culture views us, and why they aren’t listening to our message. Then let’s rethink attacking the trivial, and saving our energy and passion for issues that really matter.

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19 Comments

  1. I don't think that's an over reaction-there was nothing crazy about it, sure elementary kids don't need to be cross dressing…next your going to say that homosexuality identified as a sin is a minor issue, or that this watered down version of the gospel void of repentance, sin, and mention of the reality of Hell are minor issues..

    I beg to differ, these are not minor issues. where does it stop? We are to confront culture with unchanging Biblical truths. THe Bible sais today is the day of salvation (2 cor 2:6), that's urgency…go and preach-the great commission…if someone is headed for cliff do you warn them or tell them 5 years later as many suggest..it shouldn't take a person 5 years or longer to witness to someone they see everyday-we don't adapt the Bible to our way of life or to our culture, we conform ourselves to the unchanging truths of the Bible..

     Seriously, is a elementary kid supposed to be cross dressing? What good comes of that? That is something that is associated with a sinful lifestyle, so why are we glorifying it?

  2. The students get to pick what they want to do during Wacky Week.  One year the kids decided to dress like beach bums, another year it was something else.  This year the kids picked "senior citizens" and "dressing like the other sex."  These are elementary kids folks – "Wacky Week".  Lighten up and have a little fun.  No wonder the culture thinks we're nuts.  Sometimes I do too…    🙂

  3. These are the situations that must make Jesus just roll His eyes. We all get so easily off track.

    The Apostle Paul lived in the midst of one of the most corrupt and violent governments and what was his advice in his letters?

     

    Protest? Write letters? Run for office to make a change?

    Nope.

    Paul said, "Preach the gospel." That's all. I think Jesus said the same thing…

    I love what St. Francis said: "Preach the gospel always. Use words if necessary."

     

    Sometimes Christians should be seen and NOT HEARD (thank you, Petra!)

     

  4. Plus, to be honest, it's funny, when i was a kid i would dress up in all sorts and route through all the clothes i could find just to have a laugh and make my friends and family laugh, it was loads of fun.

    seriously, unwind a bit.

  5. I think a costume on an elementary school child and homosexuality aren't even a legit comparison.  I went to a Christian high school and we had a day in our englsh class where we were supposed to cross dress as an example of satire.  It was funny as the guys got really bad thrift store dresses and intentionally played it up, the girls did the same thing and it had nothing to do with sin or confusing gender roles.  I think we risk lining ourselves up with those who condemn women for wearing pants if we swing so far as to freak out about this.  It is in the same boat as The Davinci Code, The Golden Compass, and Harry Potter.  A big complaint over something that really did not legitimately influence chidren's views on God.  

  6. While that is true, they also shared their faith boldly, and died martyr's in many cases..let's be careful not to get caught up with a social gospel (Warren) that leaves out the whole (repentance, sin, faith, Jesus) gospel..in desperate attempts to stay relevant we have lost our message. What do you think. Is it dangerous to lead people to Christ saying "Jesus I believe you I recieve you" without explaining sin, repentance, and our need for a savior? I am concerned…

     Matthew 7:22 "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?

    Mark 6:7 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

    Luke 13 "I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish."

     

    Acts 17:30 "..but now commandeth all men every where to repent"

     

    I'm concerned this whole relevant movement is leaving out the basics..minimizing the truth and reality about Hell, downplaying sin and repentance and lacking urgency to evengelize. If someone was headed for a cliff (eternity) do you care enough to warn them, to have a conversation with them? Or do you care-a lie or nothing at all hurts worse. We could die any moment, and so could those lost ones around us. Are you going to refuse to believe in absolute truths, the authority of the Bible, and attempt not to offend.

     

    Seeker Friendly?

    http://www.gty.org/Resources/Articles/511

     

    Grunge Christianity?

    http://www.gty.org/Resources/articles/2643

     

    Matthew 7:34-39

    34Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

       35For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

       36And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.

       37He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.

       38And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

       39He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.

     

  7. Here's the situation Nanny911 – you've got the cart before the horse.  You're so worried about "compromise" and "watering down the gospel" that you totally turn off the people you're trying to reach.  You've got to engage them first.  You have to start the conversation.  Don't turn off the audience before you've had a chance to share your faith!  Otherwise what's the point if they're not listening?  

  8. The point is respectfully taken, however my problem with the emergant/relevant movement is that they have no sense of urgency. “Engaging” often time takes years, when in reality you can engage someone in conversation in seconds or minutes..www.wayofthemaster.com with Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort is example and they are very opposite of any emergent/relavant movement..they are direct and effective, they are reaching people. When you care and love someone and warn them of danger ahead, most people will respect that..just my thoughts..

  9. The points are not mutually exclusive.  Some will indeed respond to what you propose.  Others will not.  People are wired differently and often respond to different methods or are more open at key points in their life than others.

    We don't have to put all our eggs in one method of engagement.

    Jesus modelled confrontational evangelism and he also modelled long term relational engagment, so much so that he was accussed of consorting with prostitutes, tax collectors and wine-bibbers.

  10. Christ never attacked or protested what the Gentiles/pagans were doing. He lovingly accepted them and won many over because of it. The only people he verbally condemned were the Pharisees and Teachers of the Law, the ones who were legalistic and condemning the Gentiles/pagans.

    We can share our faith boldly, but who is going to listen to an uncaring “clanging cymbal”? (1 Cor. 13:1) Condemning a school or anyone who does not abide by our “Christian rules” is acting way out of love. Again this is what the Pharisees did by creating their own rules and regulations and were repeatedly scolded for it by Christ. If you truly care about the salvation of those around you, treat them with love, not contempt.

    I believe it is very valid to say that the message should not be watered down or parts omitted for the sake of relevance. The Bible is always relevant. However being relevant and attacking unbelievers for this “wacky day” or not saying “happy birthday” to my God on Christmas is comparing apples to oranges. They are not the same issue.

  11. Phil –

    I think you should create your own “Phil Book Club,” sort of like Oprah’s Book Club. Every time you suggest a book and I read it I am glad I did.

    I took you advice and purchased “UnChristian” and all I can say is Oh My Gosh! Is that a wake up call or what!

    I am one of those who doesn’t like to be called a “Christian” for the very reason he states in his book. But I am also guilty of some of the things outsiders see in us Jesus followers.

    I am on chapter 5 and I have to tell you this will probably be the most important book I read this year! Thank you so much for the suggestion.

    And seriously, I would add a Phil’s Book Club Link. It works for me!

    Remaining Steadfast,
    Dominique
    http://anunlikelyperspective2.squarespace.com

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