Sunday, June 30, 2013

Christians don't need heroes: Rick Warren and "Chrislam"

I'm way removed from Christian pop-culture. Like, way removed. Removed to the point where, right now, I'd like to make a reference to a band that someone mentioned and I was completely unaware of, and I can't. In all seriousness, DC Talk was the last "big" group I was aware of on the White side of American Christianity. On the Black side...Mary Mary and Donnie Mcclurkin, and I only knew about those because I dated a guy who was into them.

I'm a bit of a Luddite when it comes to pop-culture in general. I'm not up on reality TV, or car models, and as much as I like jewelry and fashion, I care more about what I'm expressing personally than I do any trend...which is why the (apparently year old) freak out over Rick Warren and "Chrislam" is difficult for me to relate to.

I sometimes feel I should be more up on trends in Christianity...I sometimes feel guilty for staring blankly at someone's excitement at getting tickets to see the newest big pastor or Christian super-group. I know Shaun King and Carlos Whittaker, but only through my personal followings of their Twitter accounts. I'm starting to feel less guilty for my distance, because I don't feel I lose much connection to other Christians by being off-trend. And watching the Rick Warren deal, I think there is more to be lost by following them too closely. The disappointment I read in just a few blog responses was, well, disappointing. It reminded me of my recent disappointment in reading up on G.K. Chesterton's treatment of African's and Jews in his work. That was a good reminder though...if I'm feeling disappointment at realizing that another human is, well, human, I've started losing perspective.

I've been struggling with this a lot lately. Watching my Facebook feed and the stark contrast of the reactions of leaders and friends to the striking down of makes me sad...sad and tired...not because these things shouldn't be addressed or discussed by the church, but that I know that it is issues like these that give birth to denominations in the church...something I think we should be anything but proud of.

Christians don't need heroes or flags or teams. We have a savior. I'm coming to believe that the Tim Tebows, Rick Warrens and T.D. Jake's of the world are just crutches-important and useful when you need them, but for the most part are just distractions from a deeper and richer perspective of Jesus.