Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Church And Culture

Anti-Climacus writes:
for about six years when I was approximately teenage-ish, my family attended a (conservative) evangelical church (on the Willow Creek model, if that means anything to you). The church was good to fine in most respects, with the odd exception of its approach to culture. It had been a standard part of evangelical thinking up through the 90s that to be Christian meant to be not secular: one should only read books by Christian authors with explicit Christian themes, only listen to music performed by Christians about Christian themes (the discerning reader may have sensed a pattern already), etc etc. I remember sermons that specifically inveighed against Nirvana, and being told that listening to Jimi Hendrix was morally dubious, at best (let's not even get into their reaction when I read The Stand in junior high).

This reminds FLG of a story.

Back when he was a wee lad, 'round 2nd grade, say seven years-old, FLG was at church with his father. It was a Baptist church, if that matters to anybody. Anyway, there was an announcement that a guest would be speaking downstairs after the services about the Care Bears. Now, FLG was a bit too old for the Care Bears at this point, but his little brother was way into them. Positively loved them. FLG's father, who knew FLG's brother liked the Care Bears but didn't know much about them, decided to stay and listen. Needless to say, Wee FLG was not happy. Well, that was until the guest speaker started up.

According to this speaker, parents of the congregation should not let their kids watch Care Bears. FLG's ears perked up.

"The Care Bears claim to teach love and caring, but they never mention God. Therefore, it's a false love because all love comes from God. The Care Bears love isn't love at all. Their power is a rainbow, and we all know what that symbolizes."

FLG even then had a low tolerance for idiocy. He leaned over to his father and said, "this lady's crazy." Unfortunately, he must have said it too loud because some people turned around and the speaker zeroed in on Wee FLG.

"Do you watch the Care Bears, young man?"

"No, but my brother does."

"So you don't like it?"

"Not really. I'm too old. But it's not bad or evil or whatever you are saying. It's just a bunch of bears telling kids to be nice and caring."

Then her tone became a bit too condescending even for Wee FLG.

"You're too young to understand, sweetie."

That's when FLG's father chimed in.

"I don't think it's my son's youth that's the problem. It's that you aren't making any sense. Your complaints against Care Bears, the reason you call it evil, is because it doesn't explicitly mention God as the source of all love and because it has rainbows. So, basically, if I may cut to the chase, you're saying that Care Bears, a cartoon, is trying to turn our children gay. That's laughable.

But even if it were true, who cares? It's not going to work. Aren't we taught as Christians, and you yourself made perfectly clear, that the source of all love is God? If so, then doesn't the Care Bears' love emanate from God anyway? Who cares if they specifically mention God each time they express love?"

"But homosexual love is not true love, it's lust and an abomination."

"If you say so, but the Care Bears aren't lusting. They're just cute, stupid bears on a cartoon telling kids to be nice to each other. Oh, sure. They've got rainbows. But they've got lucky clovers and suns and hearts and cupcakes, too. This is the worst kind of paranoia. Come on, FLG, let's go."

"Daddy, I don't want to go to that church anymore."

"Me neither, FLG. Me neither."


Withywindle said...

Tertullian (the original Mr. T) is gonna smack you upside the head.

FLG said...


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