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Billboards & Cotton Candy

July 3, 2008

I’ve really been thinking about culture’s influence on Christianity. When I drive home from work every day, billboards scream at me left and right (I don’t notice them in the morning because I’m just waking up). The “me’s” and the “you’s” shouting from the billboards make it difficult not to think about what I want or deserve. I guess I really do need an exotic vacation, a million dollars, and the perfect body.

Many pastors today preach right along with the billboards: “You can have it all now.” “Believe in yourself.” “God wants to bless you.” “God wants to make you rich.” The focus is drenched on man, but very little attention is upon God. This kind of teaching feels so good. It tickles my ears. I begin to think there really is so much greatness in me if I just tap into it. It even tastes like cotton candy but in the end, it bites me with a bitter, awful taste.

The truth is that living a life committed to Jesus Christ is far from this sugar-coated mentality of “Jesus wants to bless me and I am so great.” True Christianity calls me to a life of surrender (giving away my life), sacrifice, hardship, humility, loss, pain, and more. Yes, God does promise blessing and joy when I live life in Him and I am the first to say I experience his fullness every day, but he also tells me that above all else my heart is deceitfully wicked and apart from Him, I can do nothing.

This message is very conflicting with the message we hear in culture and even in churches today. And I might be lucky if I catch these words on a billboard. I have to constantly examine what my eyes and ears are taking in and line it up with Scripture.

Do you think many churches are teaching a false gospel? How has cultured shaped your view on true Christianity?

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One Comment leave one →
  1. July 4, 2008 3:10 am

    Hi Samantha. I just stumbled across your blog, but I really like the posts I’ve read and think you have a wonderful way of communicating some real truths. That said, I wanted to comment on this recent post of yours and say that yes, I agree – I think most churches in a misguided attempt to be relevant to today’s culture gets sucked into all of the “instant gratification” mentality that is so prevalent today. It’s the post-modern culture of “me” that sidelines Jesus and makes God a “co-pilot” rather than the center of the universe. My church has been focusing lately on contemplative prayer which means spending time focused on God – who He is, His glory, His majesty, and just sitting still in worship of Him. It’s such an unusual approach, but is really powerful because it pulls our eyes totally off of ourselves and shifts our thoughts and focus on Him – and what could be better than that? 🙂 I wish more Christians would start to practice this kind of reflection and prayer – take time out to just “be still and know that [He] is God.”

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