Let The Church Tweet Amen
As Christmas fast approaches, Grace got thinking about how her faith looks in the light of modern culture.
I’m realising our faith is the same, but the way myself and other Christians interact with the world changes with the times.
Christmas is coming and it’s kind of our thing. While everyone is putting up their trees and buying their presents, us Christians are taking some time out to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Traditionally there’s some bible reading, a multitude of services, a dedication to giving and serving others and general celebration.
More recently, we like to ring in the festive season with a massive gig that sells out the 02, aesthetically pleasing instagrams of low-lit churches and #JesusGang. As we enter into this time, I’m realising our faith is the same, but the way myself and other Christians interact with the world changes with the times. This made me wonder how else my Christianity translates to the modern era.
Thoughts and feelings regarding my faith include, but are not limited to:
1. flinching at outbursts of ‘JESUS CHRIST,’ but being too worried about ‘shoving my opinion down people’s throats’ to say anything.
2. hesitating before talking about my weekend because I’m not sure how my excitement over 11am service fits into talk about Instagram-worthy Sunday brunches.
3. being a dedicated user of Internet speak. I can’t say, “I’m DEAD”, without taking it back and assuring Jesus that ‘I’m going to live life’ under my breath. ‘Death and life are in the power of the tongue,’ after all.
4. people asking me what I’ve been listening to and struggling to name anyone that isn’t Kirk Franklin or Hillsong (this month’s notable exceptions are Justin Bieber, Adele and Fetty Wap).
5. discovering teachable links between rap lyrics and the bible.
I suppose a grime-loving, educated, (now) 21-year old doesn’t exactly scream pious Jesus-lover, but I like to think that’s the point.
To an extent, being connected to culture and having a faith confuses people because they think the two are mutually exclusive. “I thought you were cool,” was a friend’s response when I told him I was a Christian. I suppose a grime-loving, educated, (now) 21-year old doesn’t exactly scream pious Jesus-lover, but I like to think that’s the point. While he looked baffled, I assured myself I was still the hilarious, fabulously cool and quirky person I was five seconds before.
If the idea of Christianity makes you cringe, I understand. Watching the images flicker behind someone’s eyes on hearing the word is enough to put me off it too. People tend to imagine plain people doing uninteresting things. Yes those people are out there, but I can guarantee that that’s not what 90% of us are like. We’re pastors, priests and nuns, but we’re also graphic designers, musicians and journalists. We can go to bible study and still laugh at the latest vines. We don’t sit in cold dark ruins reading the bible all day. We’re part of culture, even if we don’t agree or take part in all of it.
My friend isn’t alone. There’s been a lot of talk recently about ‘cool pastors’ who dress like their congregations and hang out with NBA stars and celebrities. Remember that pastor that married Kanye? Initially, many were shocked that Kim and Kanye actually had a pastor (Jesus did say “come as you are”), but after that wore off, people thought, ‘who’s that cute looking guy who doesn’t resemble a Vicar of Dibley cast member?’ One look at his social media will tell you show you he cares about his wife, his friends, and fashion just like the rest of us. He just happens to be a pastor too.
Faith is a complex, multi-layered thing. It gets a bad rap most of the time, but I hope I can keep being someone people don’t expect. After all, it’s a belief, not a personality.
If you’re not already in the festive mood get into it with Temple Records Christmas showcase.