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Christian Subculture and a Look at What Jesus Would (Really) Do

Christian subculture

What are your thoughts about Christian subculture? Read on for a hot take about this controversial topic.

I once watched the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards, with celebrities accepting award after award. When Miley Cyrus (aka, Hannah Montana) was named Favorite Female Singer and Favorite Female TV Actress, she thanked her “Savior and Lord Jesus Christ.” Now, nothing is wrong with doing that. But why make a point of it? It’s almost as if she had to say it to legitimize her standing in the “I’m-a-Christian” club.

OK, maybe I’m being harsh. But anyone can say they’re a Christian. What’s even worse than saying something like that when accepting an award is the response by the evangelical community. “Oh, look! Hannah Montana is a Christian! It’s OK now to watch the show and buy her CDs!”

We jump up and down and celebrate “yet another Christian shining their light in evil Hollywood.” We celebrate that she’s part of the club … until she messes up. Then we throw her out of the Christian subculture. “Oh, we don’t let our kids watch that show. Can you believe what she did? And her father … and he says he’s a Christian. Tsk, tsk, tsk …”

Christian subculture: What are we doing?!

We have Christian-ized everything from video-upload websites to popular video games. You may wonder, “What’s the harm in doing stuff like that? Don’t we want to have Christian alternatives to the world?” I don’t know anymore.

We’re so busy creating a subculture called evangelical Christianity, we get obsessed with sanitizing everything so it’s acceptable. Yet we don’t go out and engage our communities and build relationships with people who need Jesus. Then we pass that attitude on to our children.

I remember Kid Nation episode four, titled “Bless Us and Keep Us Safe.” If you never watched the show, it aired in fall 2007. A group of kids went to a New Mexico ghost town to see if they could run it without adults.

The kids quickly separated into different belief camps. The most vocal were the Christians. I wish I could say I was proud of this. But most of their statements were “Christians rule!” and “Christians are better!” These kids polarized themselves into a group and ostracized others simply because of different belief systems. It was completely foreign to these kids to be respectful of other beliefs while holding on to their own.

At the end of the episode, many of the Christian kids finally entered into conversations about faith or lack thereof. The sad thing is, most were confused about their beliefs. Many of us would say, “Well, they didn’t receive enough truth. We didn’t teach them apologetics and enough Bible stories. We didn’t teach them to be deep in their spiritual walk.”

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Henry Zonio, a husband of one and father of four, has 13 years’ experience as a full time Children’s Pastor in the United States and Canada. He is on staff at Redwood Park Church in Thunder Bay, Ontario, where he has the freedom to experiment with spiritual formation strategies. Henry serves as the Children’s Ministry Network Facilitator for the Central Canadian District of the Christian and Missionary Alliance in Canada. Henry also authors Elemental Children’s Ministry, a blog that facilitates conversations about the mutual influence of children’s ministry and culture. After growing up in California enjoying water sports, he has expanded his H2O experiences to include sitting in a sauna for insane periods of time, followed by rolling in the snow. Used by permission of Henry Zonio. All rights reserved. This article was adapted from a blog post by Henry Zonio at ElementalCM.com