This is a guest post from Richard Dahlstrom that I simply had to repost.
One of the things that’s most annoying about what’s come to be called “Christianity” in western civilization is its tendency to create people who are withdrawn from the real world.
This happens because of a false understanding of what “the world” means in scriptures. The result is an inherent suspicion of anything other than the Bible – “Christian” books, “Christian” music, “Christian” schools, blah blah blah. The fruit of this mindset is a group of people who are fearful and suspicious of culture at large, and unable to speak intelligently about much of anything, including the Bible. They become the caricature of genuine Chrst followers that its just so easy to mock – socially awkward and prone to dish out Bible verses, often offered way out of proper context, or as the answer to every problem.
At the other end of the spectrum are those who are intent on being relevant. They know bands, film, literature, maybe even theater or all manner of sport. But they don’t read their Bibles, or Christian literature at all. “It’s too confusing… nobody really knows what it means”, or “the Bible’s been used to justify slavery” as a way of explaining why they have time for Colbert, but not scripture or Henri Nouwen. The fruit of our obsession with relevance and neglect of the scripture is exactly the same as the Bible thumpers in the first paragraph:
Both are unable to build bridges between time and eternity, spirit and flesh, culture and Christ.
This is a tragedy of major proportions, both a loss to our beautifully broken and hungry world, and a loss to those trying to follow Christ down either of these misleading paths, for neither path leads to real intimacy and joy in Christ.