Christ and Culture: a visual reflection

Contemporary Christians often strive to be relevant. Not relevant in the sense that the gospel is spoken in answer to the existential questions and angst of our day but rather they so often sacrifice that kind of authentic relevancy for a superficial (and usually failed attempt) at cultural relevancy. 

We explicitly mimic and copy the dominate culture in which we live. They say that imitation is the highest form of flattery and, if this is true, the church has constantly sung the praises of the ways of our world.  

At times we make the sacred foolish for the sake of what is not even clever 

We are so thoroughly influenced by this world that the church becomes a business, entertainment, education, social club or a sports team screaming yay for our team and shouting boo’s at the others. 

We become so intoxicated that we lose any message at all as the waters become so muddled that that there is no telling what is happening anymore. We are left with such unclear and indecipherable ramblings of a drunk 

But sometimes it is very clear what is happening. We mimic the very power structures of empire. We bow before it, kiss the emblems of power. We want to be the principalities and powers. 

 The church actually just adopted the garb of the royal courts as they ordained and set apart their own judges 

and of course those bosses bosses are just even more ornate and identical. “Like a Boss” 

Even our building are just copies as we seem to try so hard to be just like the world. They used to be modeled after the royal courts and today they are modeled after shopping malls, probably because it is the corporations with the seat of power we seem so desperate to attain. 

 Look at how they recruit our young men by seducing them with images of power, honor and strength. As though we are just thankful that they showed us how to create such wonderful propaganda. 

But this is not a them thing, its a us thing. We love our iconic and venerable figure head leaders who we admire and adore. We love our Caesars!  We love to put our leaders on a throne, even though WE already have a king. 

I just wanna end with two screen shots from a Google search.  I searched Google images for “worship crowd” and  “concert crowd.” Can you even tell which is which?

Shouldn't we, as the presence of the Kingdom of God, be transforming the culture in which we live rather than being transformed by it? I just can't help but wonder who the church is actually imitating. It seems that we have imitated, been intoxicated and even infected by empire and our dominate culture.


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