Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Password: Christian

The fortress is ready and secure. The bridge is up, the portcullis is down, the gates are shut, and the guards at the ready - armed and aware. They know that they may be attacked at any moment, so each second they must be prepared.

But the enemy is subtle, gentle even. This time the enemy does not come as an army. Instead he comes as a lone traveler, selling wares. He looks to be no threat. And when the gatekeeper asks his business, the traveler replies with a code word. Suddenly, the bridge is let down, the portcullis is drawn up, the gates are flung wide open, and the guards abandon their posts. 

The code word? 

* * *
Despite the fact that our country seems to be growing less and less godly, there seems to be no lack of "Christian" things. (Or at least, things labeled as Christian.) There are movies, music, t-shirts with catchy sayings, books, websites, blogs, posters -- anything you could ask for. Yet despite all of these "Christian" things, many of us believers seem to lack something even more important than the latest contemporary worship CD or the newest "Jesus" t-shirt. We lack discernment. 
Most believers know that they must be careful of the world. We are called to be the salt of the earth and the city on a hill in Matthew 4:13-16...verses that most church kids know well. In Romans 12:2, we are told not to conform to this world, but to be transformed. In Ephesians 4:23-4, we are told to put off our "former conduct" and "put on the new man." We know all this. 
And yet the enemy knows that sometimes subtle untruths are more effective than blatant lies. And so the enemy does not come as an army. He disguises himself and comes alone, and he knows the password. 
As soon as something is labeled as "Christian", our barriers go down. We stop being discerning, because it's Christian after all! And we embrace it, accept it, believe it, enjoy it, and forget to search the Scriptures daily to find out whether or not these things are really so (Acts 17:11). 

* * *

I'm not saying that listening to Christian contemporary music is wrong, or what wearing cute shirts with Bible verses on them is wrong. But I am saying that we should be careful. 

I'll use my favorite example, Christian radio. Listen, actually listen, to some of the lyrics in those songs. The other day I was listening to Christian radio and heard the song, "More Than You Think I Am" by American Idol star Danny Gokey. One of the lines (form God's perspective, I'm guessing?) says, "But let Me tell you secrets you have never known / I think of you as My best friend." Um, pardon me, but does the idea of God needing a human best friend frighten anyone? Contrary to humanity's egotistical nature, the universe doesn't revolve around us and God definitely doesn't need us for a best friend. Does He love us? Does He want to have a relationship with us? Does He want us to glorify and praise Him for what He has done? Yes a thousand times. But God thinking of us as His best friend implies that God needs us. God existed before time and before us, and He was not any less God without us. Yet at the moment this song is listed as #8 on one of the most popular radio stations list of "Top Christian songs." And this is not to pick on this particular artist, I don't know much about him except that I heard a song that he wrote and I Googled his name. I'm not trying to question his  faith or relationship with God, I'm simply using this as an example of a popular Christian song that may not be quite doctrinally sound. 

* * *

You see a bunch of Christian tees in a department store.  You think, "Wow, Christian t-shirts! America must still be Christian!" Or has the gospel been watered down so much that nonchristians don't see you as any different than themselves?

While you're looking at the tees, a Christian song plays on the store's radio. Yet why would nonchristians be interested in listening to music about Jesus, whom the world hates? Or is it that this music isn't really about Jesus at all?

* * *

Let's put our defenses back up. Just because something is labeled "Christian", it doesn't mean it is truly something that glorifies God and points others to Him. Search the scriptures daily. 
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  1. You make a really good point in this. I think this is also true for things that are labelled as 'Christian' that are negative and may not be Christian. For example, the other day I heard someone claim that Christians approved of slavery, and showed a Bible verse that was taken out of context. To some unaware non-Christians, this paints a bad image of Christianity, and many may think all Christians are fundamentalists. I know this post is different from my example, but I really loved what you said and I thought I could share some other examples of why we should be cautious. :)

  2. Excellent points! My Mom and I were in the car listening to a christian CD she'd gotten from a friend, and had a similiar confusion over some lyrics in one the songs. I looked them up, read them allowed to her, and it turned out they weren't actually bad or non-biblical, but the casual way in which they were sung made them sound that way.
    With all the "chirstian" movies coming out with twised interpretations of the bible, and what christians really believe, one certainly needs to keep a wary eye.
    - Genevieve


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