I've come in contact with several people in my life who live in a very sheltered world. Something about this way of living has always bothered me, but I couldn't put my finger on it. Thanks to Rob Bell, I think I've got it.
"Christian is a great noun, and a horrible adjective," he says. I've heard this quoted before, but until I read it, it didn't start to sink in.
A person I know, like many others, only believes in reading "Christian" books and watching "Christian" movies. This person doesn't like having a child in public school because of the "things she is exposed to." I've never agreed with this. Sure we are supposed to be in the world but not of the world, but whether we want to face it or not we are, in fact, in the world.
How are we supposed to reach out to those who don't know Christ if we don't know anything about their lifestyles? Besides, what makes something "Christian"? Does it have to have a cross on the cover? Does it have to be written by a pastor?
God made everything right? Everything around us is true. He is the truth, and though we as humans have distorted some things, inherently, all things are true, and Jesus the truth. Right?
I'm not gonna lie, some "Christian" music is really bad, as in, it is a disgrace to the artform of music. Some non-"Christian" music is really good and beautiful. If God gave us good a beautiful music to listen to, then it is in fact glorifying him. Just because the lyrics are not referring to him does not mean it is not there for us to see and appreciate and thank him for. This is not to say that music that sounds beautiful but has horrible, vulgar, disgusting lyrics is directly from God and we should listen to it all the time, but a good John Mayer love song is not going to hurt us.
And believe me, I do thank God for John Mayer.
The point is, as Christians, we have the ability to find God in everything, so we shouldn't limit ourselves to things that have the word "Christian" in front of them.
Also, just as a side note, something that has always bothered me: The point of "Christian" bands and "Christian" writers and such should be to reach out to those who don't know God in the way that they do. How can this be done if in every music store and every book store there is a seperate section for these things? Within the "Christian" section at music stores you find every type of music from rap to southern gospel. You'd never find things organized this way elsewhere. Why should they all be lumped together because the lyrics have a common theme. If that is the case, every music store should have a "love" section, an "angry" section, and a "poetic" section, in which you might find 50 Cent and Harry Connick Jr. in the same spot because they both sang songs about New Orleans. So why do we do this with "Christian" music. It's never going to be listened to by those who might very much need to hear it if it is kept in a section that no non-believer is ever going to be browsing.
I could go on about this. It's one of those things that bothers me.
Rob Bell also pointed out that as missionaries, it is not our job to bring God to people in places that have never been reached. God is everywhere. He is in all places. It is our job is to help people see God. He suggests changing the word missionary to tour guide. Tour guides simply help people see things that have always been there, they just never knew it before. That is the same thing missionaries do. God has always been the provider of food even to those who don't know him. He was always the one who made the trees, and the clouds, and the water. He is everywhere, and for us to try to carry him to places where he has never been can be pretty heavy, and when we get there, we will only find out that he is already there, and that we have wasted that extra energy.