* I wrote most of this post a few weeks ago and left it in draft. Sometimes I feel that too many of my posts are venting or being on a soapbox….so I decided not to publish it. But I just finished reading a book that I thought would tie in with my below thoughts. So here is my post, and a book review will follow in the next few days.*
Do you live in a Christian bubble? Do you have any friends who are not practicing Christians? Do you read secular news to get opinion and commentary from those who believe differently? I live in the Bible Belt and I fear too many Christians down here are rather clueless and never move out of their bubble whether in everyday life or in what they read in print or online.
Two examples to give you an idea of what I am talking about:
Awhile back in a small group, it was asked what people in the world generally think of evangelical Christians. I was about to answer something like “well, unfortunately we can be perceived as arrogant and judgmental and too often it is true.” But before I could answer, another person answered saying something like: “why, they think we are wonderful people who just love and care for everyone.” I was speechless.
More recently, in a Christian setting, a video segment was shown where people were interviewed on the street and asked who they thought Jesus was. None of the replies were obnoxious (like Richard Dawkins) but typical replies ranged the gamut: a good teacher, a legend, a magician type like David Blaine (haha), a revolutionary that started a new religion, a mentally imbalanced person who thought he was God, Christians think he died for their sins but I don’t believe that, an important historical figure, etc. When the video segment was over, people were gasping and the gasps were a pronounced sound in the room. Many in the audience were simply shocked that people thought these things about Jesus. Again, I was flabbergasted that everyone was surprised by these rather typical replies.
Our culture in the US has increasingly secularized over the last few years, and faster than I think anyone anticipated. Yet, the Bible Belt is behind the trend and Christianity still holds more influence. If the nation as a whole has moved into post-Christendom, the Bible Belt is still semi-Christendom. Yet, things are changing in the Bible Belt and it seems we have the opportunity to get ahead of the trend – and learn how to live as a Christian and communicate faith in a post-Christendom world. And the book review will continue with these thoughts…