In an email to a friend, I recently wrote: “Let’s quit doing the Christian subculture – things that pull us out of the world that Jesus so naturally lived in. We lose, and those who are trying to be saved lose. He wants our lights to shine on top of the hill, not hiding under the sofa.”
About 10 years ago I read a book by John Fischer called, What On Earth Are We Doing that was formative in my early years of breaking away from the Christian subculture. It’s a quick read (189 pages), which are the only ones I seem to get all the way through, and I still recommend it on this topic. From the introduction, John writes:
“Now, enterprising Christians create and market thousands of products and services to a Christian market eager to pay for a safer version of contemporary culture – a sort of decaffeinated world where Christians can have their Christianity and their culture, too. This book is concerned about the emergence of a Christian subculture that encourages us to see ourselves as separate from the world not by beliefs and attitudes but by definable practices, identifiable markings, and cultural artifacts . . . I believe Christ established the church (his body of believers on earth) not to develop its own separate customs, civilization, and achievements, but to infuse the customs, civilization, and achievements of every age and society with people who love and fear God. In opting to abandon the world for our own safer version of it, we are failing to deliver on this vital aspect of our presence in the world.”
And that was published in 1996!
We need more like John.