Putting the “Sub” in “Sub-Culture”

I so wish I could convey to everyone I’m hearing from as part of our How Kids Think surveys that things aren’t “Christian,” people are. So many parents seem so very afraid of interacting with anything that doesn’t have a Christian label on it.

For instance, to make his/her point about why offering a movie review with a discussion question supplement would be a bad idea, one parent asked, “If Christ were here on Earth today, could you recommend any [movies] to Him?”

First things first: I don’t think there is anything I could recommend to Christ, but I’m absolutely certain there are aspects of our culture He would recommend to me – even ones without a Christian label on them.

I’m not afraid of things labeled “Christian,” but so much of life just isn’t labeled that way. Do we only shop at Christian grocery stores, eat at Christian restaurants, buy our clothes from Christian shopping malls, or fill up our cars at Christian gas stations?

Do I think Jesus would watch honest movies on the big screen depicting real life, and then interact with others about them? Absolutely.

Do I think he would be found in church basements playing sanitized versions of PS2 games with his youth group buddies? Not so much.

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23 thoughts on “Putting the “Sub” in “Sub-Culture”

  1. RT says:

    Something tells me Jesus would be hanging out at the scuzzy gas station five blocks away (the one that, frankly, scares me) with the few prostitutes and pimps that Lincoln has. So no, I don’t think he’d only be found shopping at the Family Christian Bookstore.
    I firmly believe that we Christians arrange a subculture so that we can feel safe from sinners. Too bad that’s even a desire as sin–deep, nasty, messy, painful sin–sits within our own hearts. Culture, subculture, whatever. You can’t escape sin. Jesus offers us something very different from escapism. He shines a light into all the mess and redeems it instead. I think a pertinent question is: Are you hiding or are you redeeming?

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  2. Lyra says:

    You go, Megan! Totally agree! I honestly want to throw up sometimes at all of the “Christian” labeled items in our little bubble we call “Christianity”. Jesus didn’t live in a bubble, did he?

    Like

  3. RT says:

    Something tells me Jesus would be hanging out at the scuzzy gas station five blocks away (the one that, frankly, scares me) with the few prostitutes and pimps that Lincoln has. So no, I don’t think he’d only be found shopping at the Family Christian Bookstore.
    I firmly believe that we Christians arrange a subculture so that we can feel safe from sinners. Too bad that’s even a desire as sin–deep, nasty, messy, painful sin–sits within our own hearts. Culture, subculture, whatever. You can’t escape sin. Jesus offers us something very different from escapism. He shines a light into all the mess and redeems it instead. I think a pertinent question is: Are you hiding or are you redeeming?

    Like

  4. Lyra says:

    You go, Megan! Totally agree! I honestly want to throw up sometimes at all of the “Christian” labeled items in our little bubble we call “Christianity”. Jesus didn’t live in a bubble, did he?

    Like

  5. Rose Bexar says:

    Of course, part of the problem with that question is the implicit assumption that Jesus doesn’t already know what’s in the movie theaters today. 😛
    You’re right, though. There’s value to be found outside the Christian bubble–outside the evangelical bubble, even (I’m sure the fact that so many of my favorite authors were Catholic is deeply disturbing to some people). And then there’s the Inklings challenge: if nobody’s writing the kinds of books, or making the kinds of movies, that you want to consume, why not do it yourself? Don’t just be counter-cultural; go counter the culture!
    *gets off soapbox before the full rant can commence*

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  6. Renae says:

    I think Christian parents *want* it to be easy. They *want* someone to give them a list of how many questionable words are said during the movie, or about the “terribleness” of the “mature theme.” It is much harder to actually engage the material, discuss it, and teach your children discernment by stepping out of the Christian ghetto and actually *interacting* with the world. I’m guessing that’s why “Plugged-In” is about as far “in the world” as many Christian parents are willing to go.
    So, and this is partly a response to your HKT post, if you were to pursue the “Critique for Kids” kind of publication, I’m guessing it would need to be “Critique Lite”… getting parents used to the idea of discussion and discernment using materials most evangelicals wouldn’t be “offended” by.

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  7. Rose Bexar says:

    Of course, part of the problem with that question is the implicit assumption that Jesus doesn’t already know what’s in the movie theaters today. 😛
    You’re right, though. There’s value to be found outside the Christian bubble–outside the evangelical bubble, even (I’m sure the fact that so many of my favorite authors were Catholic is deeply disturbing to some people). And then there’s the Inklings challenge: if nobody’s writing the kinds of books, or making the kinds of movies, that you want to consume, why not do it yourself? Don’t just be counter-cultural; go counter the culture!
    *gets off soapbox before the full rant can commence*

    Like

  8. Renae says:

    I think Christian parents *want* it to be easy. They *want* someone to give them a list of how many questionable words are said during the movie, or about the “terribleness” of the “mature theme.” It is much harder to actually engage the material, discuss it, and teach your children discernment by stepping out of the Christian ghetto and actually *interacting* with the world. I’m guessing that’s why “Plugged-In” is about as far “in the world” as many Christian parents are willing to go.
    So, and this is partly a response to your HKT post, if you were to pursue the “Critique for Kids” kind of publication, I’m guessing it would need to be “Critique Lite”… getting parents used to the idea of discussion and discernment using materials most evangelicals wouldn’t be “offended” by.

    Like

  9. Aubrey says:

    Jeff and I are bummed we’ll miss seeing you in St. Louis. We fly in Friday night just in time to drive straight to dinner, and then have to fly back out on Sunday morning. We’re planning a road trip in January and we’ll be driving through St. Louis then, too, so maybe we can catch up then.

    Like

  10. jessdager says:

    Amen to your post and Renae’s comment. I want it to be easy too, honestly, but I’ve found that the books, and blogs that make it sound like it is, or could be if I would just do ABC are not being honest. I’ve been shocked by some comments on the other site too. It’s been good though to remember (since I live in a very progressive town now) what some of the other “Christian” voices are like out there.

    Like

  11. caron easley says:

    it’s kind of funny to imagine jesus going to a movie theater. or, maybe i should rephrase: i can’t imagine it. probably because when i imagine jesus being ON EARTH, i DO imagine sandals, robe, beard, & lots of sheep roaming the land around him. so the movie theater doesn’t fit in exactly.

    Like

  12. Aubrey says:

    Jeff and I are bummed we’ll miss seeing you in St. Louis. We fly in Friday night just in time to drive straight to dinner, and then have to fly back out on Sunday morning. We’re planning a road trip in January and we’ll be driving through St. Louis then, too, so maybe we can catch up then.

    Like

  13. jessdager says:

    Amen to your post and Renae’s comment. I want it to be easy too, honestly, but I’ve found that the books, and blogs that make it sound like it is, or could be if I would just do ABC are not being honest. I’ve been shocked by some comments on the other site too. It’s been good though to remember (since I live in a very progressive town now) what some of the other “Christian” voices are like out there.

    Like

  14. Lindsey @ enjoythejourney says:

    Okay, so you did the alcohol post and now this! What are you doing, reading my mail??? 🙂
    Seriously, I am bothered by this as well. While we do strive to protect our kids and raise them in the best way we feel possible, I do not feel led to have 100% christian EVERYTHING in our path. I have friends who are shocked and horrified that I might consider a secular science curriculum over the religious alternative. And math?!?!?
    I do want my children raised in the faith. Firmly in the faith. But I also want them exposed to various people, cultures, and ideas because I want them to be able to:
    1. understand people from all walks of life
    2. love people from all walks of life
    3. REFUTE other walks of life and be firm in their Christian faith!
    You can’t be firm in your faith and really know how to defend your beliefs if you do not *understand* what the other people believe and why.
    I recently took my kids to see a dinosaur show (its very popular, Walking with Dinosaurs). One of my friends who is also a Christian homeschooler didn’t talk to me for a week because she was so angry that I’d put evolution in front of my kids. I don’t mind talking about evolution, because I want my kids to say “hey, that is the stupidest thing I’ve heard of, and this is why————-(insert smart case for Creation here).”

    Like

  15. Lindsey @ enjoythejourney says:

    Okay, so you did the alcohol post and now this! What are you doing, reading my mail??? 🙂
    Seriously, I am bothered by this as well. While we do strive to protect our kids and raise them in the best way we feel possible, I do not feel led to have 100% christian EVERYTHING in our path. I have friends who are shocked and horrified that I might consider a secular science curriculum over the religious alternative. And math?!?!?
    I do want my children raised in the faith. Firmly in the faith. But I also want them exposed to various people, cultures, and ideas because I want them to be able to:
    1. understand people from all walks of life
    2. love people from all walks of life
    3. REFUTE other walks of life and be firm in their Christian faith!
    You can’t be firm in your faith and really know how to defend your beliefs if you do not *understand* what the other people believe and why.
    I recently took my kids to see a dinosaur show (its very popular, Walking with Dinosaurs). One of my friends who is also a Christian homeschooler didn’t talk to me for a week because she was so angry that I’d put evolution in front of my kids. I don’t mind talking about evolution, because I want my kids to say “hey, that is the stupidest thing I’ve heard of, and this is why————-(insert smart case for Creation here).”

    Like

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