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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Only Christianity We Have

I was tempted to start this with: "One of the more distressing things about modern Western Christianity..."

OK, sez I to me, give me a break. What other kind of Christianity do I know?

I don't know any other kind, except by reading about other places and times of faith, and imagining myself playing some kind of (preferably noble and heroic) role.

But it's all fantasy. I didn't walk through Jerusalem with Jesus, I wasn't shipwrecked with Paul, and I most certainly was not martyred with Stephen.

Instead, I live in rural New Mexico twelve years after the turn of the millennium, and my witnessing for Christ has to take place here and now, with a strategic plan that fits today's market. Growing a beard, putting on a robe, and talking to people in the marketplace isn't going to work.

Pity. It might have been fun.

But today's kind of fun, too. We have the biggest publicity tool in history at our fingertips, and can get ideas from concept to target audience literally as fast as we can type.

We have the ability to do research in minutes, that when I started grad school (1984) would have taken days or weeks. And the research we can do is dynamic - we can change the description of what we're looking for was the first flood of data comes in.

We can also know our competition (I was about to say enemy...it's mainly just competition). If we want to talk to kids, we can learn what they're interested in, and we can see what they post on the Internet.

We can look at the music to which young adults listen, reading the lyrics, and find ways to talk to them about a Christian message couched in a milieu they understand.

Walking with Jesus is attractive and cool. We can show this, with the same degree of professional presentation that Hollywood uses in pointless movies to part audiences from their money.

Sure, there's a lot of competition for time. But there's always been competition. Before we had dishwashers and clothes washers, those chores were done by hand.

Before we had the Internet, we had Dragging Main.

We've always had to compete with the World, to get Jesus' message across.

But now, thanks to technology, we can shout quite a bit louder.

(Enemy...yes, there is one, and he's pretty good with technology. We have to be better...and we have to be more interesting, and show that a Life in Christ is more interesting and fun than drugs, pornography, and rebellion for its own sake.)

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