"Destroy The (Christian) Subculture!"
by Keith Giles
I've come to the conclusion that the Christian Subculture is evil. I want to destroy it. I want to choke the life out of it and watch it die. I want to strip the skin from its bones, shake the life out of it and break it into tiny pieces.
In the past I've written articles that express the dangers of the Christian Subculture, and it's no secret that I cannot stand Christian Radio, and have zero tolerance for "Jesus Junk" such as sanctified breath mints or t-shirts that christianize popular logos and advertising (see "Bud Wise Up" or "Lord's Gymn" for example).
A large part of why this free, weekly e-newsletter is called "Subversive Underground" is connected to my desire to see this world changed from within, which is a metaphor for the coming of the Kingdom of God here and now. The Christian Subculture prevents the breaking in of the Kingdom. It inhibits the Gospel message. It paralyzes the followers of Christ by isolating them from the people they are supposed to love and interact with on a deeply intimate level.
About a week ago I realized that my passion for deconstructing the popular "Churchianity System" extended beyond mere dislike. As I began to fully understand how insidious it really is, I resolved to dedicate myself to its demise. I am now fully convinced that someway, somehow, the entire thing needs to be knocked down with a very large hammer and burned into oblivion.
As part of the upcoming "Non-Con" (http://www.non-con.com) in March of next year, I had planned to have a "Burn Our Christian Crap" session where attendees could bring the symbols of their involvement with the Christian Consumerist Monster and we could all stand around and sing "Kumbaya" together while we tosssed our "Lord's Gymn" tees and "Carman" Cd's and other idols to materialistic spiritualilty into a giant bonfire, in homage to those horrible youth group parties where teens were forced to burn their Van Halen records and Rush albums (because they were "secular").
I've come to the radical conclusion that there is nothing secular. There is only the world we live in. This one, right here (look around you...yeah, that world), and nothing more. God created the entire world, and it's a fallen world I agree, but there is no "Sacred" or "Secular" division to this world, other than the artificially constructed one we've created to keep ourselves safe and comfortable and far away from "those evil sinners over there".
Another big revelation for you? We're all sinners. You. Me. That guy over there. Yeah, we're all evil. We all need Jesus. Not just those who don't attend your church or who vote Democrat or who read Harry Potter. All of us. Look it up, it's in the Bible.
So, at the moment, all I have is the fire in my gut, the passionate resolution in my belly, that I hate all things "Christianese" and I long to assist in the complete demolition of this man-made evil.
Now, to be honest I have no real idea what that actually works out to in the real world. Let me be clear; I am NOT advocating the wanton destruction of Christian bookstores; I am NOT organizing petitions to shut down Christian Television (although I'd probably sign a petition if someone sent me one); I'm not calling for people to light torches or assemble in protest...but maybe it would be good idea if we just simply tried to escape the pseudo-reality of Christian Subculture? Maybe we could just start living in the real world, as followers of Jesus, without seeing those imaginary boundary lines between "Us" and "Them"? Maybe we could talk to people and befriend them, and love them, regardless of whether or not they were Christians? Maybe we could stop seeking comfort and shelter within the invisible walls of our own safety zones and start realizing that we live in this world, the real world...the ONLY world, and begin living as Salt and Light to those around us?
Jesus prayed for us, those who would follow after Him, in this way: "My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one."(John 17:15) It was never God's intention to take us out of the world we live in. Why have we decided that it's ok to take ourselves out of the world?
Paul the Apostle also agreed on this point when he wrote, "I have written you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world." (1 Cor 5:9-10)
Have we left this world for some virtual, "Clean World" where everything is Christian? Do we have to get our Christian Milk from a Christian Cow? Do we have to freshen our breath with Christian Mints? Do we have to drink Christian Soda and bowl at a Christian Bowling Alley?
This idea of withdrawl from the culture is evil. It is not God's plan for us. It is the fruit of our own sinful, selfish desires to be safe and comfortable, and in some cases to make money and perpetuate an industry. It is demonic, and it hinders the Gospel message by isolating the agents of change (you and I) from those who need "the hope that lies within", and I want nothing more than to see it die a horrible, agonizing death so that God's people can begin to learn what it means to be human and start relating to other human beings who are sinful and hopeless without Christ, just like everyone else.
The Christian Subculture is essentially a wall that we build to keep ourselves from the world. Like the Berlin Wall, or the Great Wall of China, or Hadrian's Wall, or the wall between Palestine and Israel, it is an artificial border designed by us, the supposed followers of Jesus, in order to isolate us from the ones we are commanded to love.
Jesus would want us to smash down that wall. It's the same wall built by the money changers in the Temple at Jerusalem which kept the common people from entering the house of God. Those systems were also man-made. Those systems also invovled making a buck on the sale of faith and the commercialization of God's name.
I'm not sure where to find the hammer big enough to knock down this wall we've built, but I long to find one, and when I do I will let it swing.
READY TO PICK UP A HAMMER?http://stopconsuming.org/stopconsuming_home.html
THE NON-CON '08
March 14 & 15 at Triangle Square in Newport Beach
Jackie Pullinger, David Ruis, Cindy Reithmeier, John Thomas and you. (Only 100 seats available. Registration opens September '07)
NEW JOB: Started Monday, August 13th at Ingram Micro in the Marketing Department as a Copy Writer. My second time around at this company, but my first as a writer. I'm grateful for the chance to discover an incarnational ministry here. I'm grateful for another chance to enter the common workplace and learn to relate to other humans as a human being. Thank you Jesus. Thanks also to all of you who supported us and prayed for my family during this last year of temporary work and living week to week.