The deep contradictions of Christian popular culture
By Hanna Rosin
Hanna Rosin, Atlantic Monthly contributor, analyzes the perilous contradictions of “Christian” pop culture together with Daniel Radosh’s book Rapture Ready! She concludes: “It’s always been a stretch to defend Christian pop culture as the path to eternal salvation. Now, they may have to face up to the fact that it’s more like an eternal oxymoron.”
In relation to Rosin’s thoughts about American Christianity’s assimilation into the pagan culture, I wrote the following about what’s also happening to Filipino Christianity in a previous post “The Malling of Evangelicalsim”:
In the Philippines, the church has literally become the mall – many church services are in the malls, movie theaters, and restaurants. â€œReaching outâ€ is more like “Wowowee” and “Eat Bulaga” (racy Filipino noontime shows) evangelism. Evangelical churches adopt the crass sex, idolatry, and escapism saturating these two TV variety shows, on which the eyes of millions, from toddlers to centagenarians, are glued daily. This is why most Filipino evangelicals find nothing wrong in children (and adults too) body-writhing and hip-hopping to the vulgarities and sexual innuendoes of â€œIkembot Mo!â€ (â€Shake Your Bootyâ€), â€œItaktak Mo,â€ and â€œBoom Tarat Tarat!â€ in their church activities (I have no idea how to translate the coarse language of the other two).
How do evangelicals defend this assimilation of the church into the culture? For one, they always quote Paul, “I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some,” (1 Cor 9:22) but forget James’ warning, “that friendship with the world is enmity with God” (James 4:4).
Another usual alibi is that they mimic the world to be a good influence on those they are mimicking. Dr. W. Robert Godfrey’s article “The Myth of Influence” disproves this myth. The most common example of this is the Christian girl dating an unbeliever so she could witness to him, but instead is influenced by his unbelief and pagan ways. Perhaps evangelicals should remember Captain Picard who successfully resisted the Borg, whose ominous words, “Resistance is futile, you will be assimilated,” are as fearsome as today’s culture.