Authentic Christianity

Dan Lenington on October 23, 2015

        Recently, I read an article entitled “Sniffing Glue” by Meghan O’Gieblyn from July 15, 2011. This was one of the most sobering articles I’ve ever read. Contrary to first impressions, the article is not about narcotics but instead about Christian pop music. The writer tells her own story of growing up in a Christian homeschool family in an evangelical church that promoted Contemporary Christian Music or Christian rock as a safe alternative to the secular rock music of the world. She tells about attending the Christian rock concerts and owning the CD’s of Carmen, Audio Adrenaline, Jars of Clay, the Newsboys, and DC Talk. She recalls attending youth conferences like Acquire the Fire, and Cornerstone. However, she explains that these groups gave her a taste for the full experience found in secular music. Soon, she was enjoying everything MTV had to offer and hiding it all from her parents. The reason MTV was so alluring was that it spent millions of dollars on market research to discover and feed the fleshly appetite of its pop culture consumers. Christian bands could only mimic what was already happening in the secular music realm. In contrast, the writer explains that the old hymn writer Fanny Crosby understood that Christian culture should remain separate from the worlds influence. She notes the consistent trend in churches to focus on consumer driven content such as including secular songs in worship, lots of entertainment, and refreshments. Finally, she says, “I continued to call myself a Christian into my early twenties. When I finally stopped, it wasn’t because being a believer made me uncool or outdated or freakish. It was because being a Christian no longer meant anything.” In fact, churches are only keeping 4 percent of their young people according to her statement. She closes by stating, “In trying to compete in this market, the church has forfeited the one advantage it had in the game to attract disillusioned youth: authenticity.” People can see through a fleshly market driven approach to ministry. To be authentic, we must give them the truth with love even when its hard. That is the only honest and biblical thing we can do. That's our goal here at GTBC.