Let me first make a confession: I hate going into Christian bookstores. Don’t get me wrong; I have nothing against the people who own and operate those establishments. The reason I have an issue with them is that Christian bookstores symbolize for me the growing trend of isolation that is being perpetrated by well-meaning people and in the name of Jesus. No doubt it is important to have safe haven, but we have plenty of safe havens in our homes and churches, why create more? Plus I find more of what I am looking for in the religious section at Barnes and Noble than I do at most Christian bookstores.
It is not just Christian bookstores, but other isolating movements such as the former Godtube (YouTube), MyChurch (MySpace), and now Godwitter. Not sure what “witter” is, but the site is obviously a “Christian” version of Twitter. Relevance is not defined by “Christian” people ripping off a good idea and running into a cave with it.
Isolation lets the corruption of our world to run unabated. Have you ever considered what would happen if your white blood cells decided to just hang out in your lymph nodes and never enter the veins? “Oh, I don’t want to be influenced by those red blood cells. I just need to stay in my safe little node.” The red blood cells are not the enemy, the virus and bacteria population are! Remember the phrase “what you meant for evil, God intended for good” (Genesis 50:20)? Twitter and YouTube are tools that we can use to share a message to people who would never even consider venturing to their Christian counterparts. Relevance is about stepping into our world and being the salt and light (Matthew 5:13-16) in those places, sharing Christ’s love by involving ourselves in relationship to our culture.
Afterthought: When as a Christian I start to not only feel anger about these things, but then start to think that they are comic parodies, can our involvement really say anything good about being a Christian to our culture? Does this not become one more embarrassing joke that pushes people away?