If We Hope to See Our Culture Take Christianity Seriously, We’ve Got to Take It Seriously Ourselves

John Stonestreet
John Stonestreet

Maybe you’ve seen that recent viral video from internet news and humor site Buzzfeed. In it, a half a dozen young actors take up the mantra, “I’m a Christian, but I’m not…”

“…I’m not homophobic,” says one. “…“…I’m not judgmental,” and “…I don’t place myself on a pedestal,” boast others. Most self-identified as gay, queer, feminist, or some other trendy label. Most striking to me in all these videos was how free their version of Christianity seemed to be from any external authority. There was nothing revealed in Scripture or history that seemed to matter in their understanding of Christianity. They made up a version of Christianity in which they were in charge. They felt fully up to determining the beliefs and behaviors they could accommodate to their faith. And they alone were the authority of their lives and loves.

In other words, their Christianity isn’t so much a worldview as it is a hobby—something fun and meaningful to practice in the privacy of their lives and churches, to bring meaning and purpose to themselves. But in public, their Christianity must be subject to the prevailing winds on sexual orientation and gender identity.

And it’s not just those Buzzfeed voices who treat comprehensive faith as a diversion rather than a worldview. In a recent “Question Everything” issue of TIME magazine, editors asked dozens of celebrities, activists, and writers for their thoughts on 21 questions people today are asking. Among the questions? “Is monogamy over?” “Do robots have rights?” and “What would you change if you could travel back in time?”

Now most of the questions touched on important worldview issues, like human identity, moral priorities, and individual morality.  But as Ed Stetzer and I discussed recently on BreakPoint This Week, it’s strange that it didn’t occur to TIME to ask for a theologian’s perspective. Christians were hardly even at the table to discuss what TIME considered our culture’s most pressing questions. Why? Because faith is seen as a private hobby, not as a public source of truth.

 

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SOURCE: Breakpoint
John Stonestreet