I’ve got a word or two
To say about the things that you do
You’re telling all those lies
About the good things that we can have
if we close our eyes
While browsing in the local Christian bookstore this afternoon, I was disgusted (but not fully surprised) by some of the titles I read. The titles promised wealth and the perfect mate, children who obeyed unconditionally, and even a house plan that would please God. But I’m glad God has my house plan ready for me…one less thing to stress over.

Long before I ever took a class under my writing prof – Prof H – I disliked what he called the “Christian Subculture.” For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, I’ll help you out a bit. The Christian subculture consists of all the overpriced merchandise, the music, the sportswear, even the food products that “good Christians” are “supposed” to buy. It includes the superchurches providing not only a place to fellowship and worship, but shopping malls, schools, and even living conditions for their constituents. This, imho, is borderline cult, but I digress.

Do what you want to do
And go where you’re going to
Think for yourself
’cause I won’t be there with you

Over five years ago, my youth pastor was speaking to his cell group leaders about a certain type of Christian which has spurred me to review my faith more than a few times. This type of Christian feeds off the “walk” of those around them. They look and act the part, basing all their actions and responses on what they see those around them doing. Feeder Christians can be leaders and oftentimes, they aren’t even aware of their status. They are parasites.

I left you far behind
The ruins of the life that you had in mind
And though you still can’t see
I know your mind’s made up
You’re gonna cause more misery

Unfortunately, these feeders need a environment that is continuous in its provisions. My YP’s theory (and it’s only a theory) is the stats on how many “on-fire” Christians lose their passion after they graduate from highschool/college. Once they leave the warm sanctuary of the quiet bay and encounter their first storm, they can’t handle themselves. They don’t know what to do to rely on their faith if there isn’t someone to show them exactly what to do step by step. Without the promise of a liferaft, a hot meal, and warm towels ahead, they’re lost. And also unfortunately, this lack of knowledge eventually brings about a falling away from frustration. Many of them just believe God has forgotten about them.

Do what you want to do
And go where you’re going to
Think for yourself
’cause I won’t be there with you

I’ve always feared being a feeder Christian. It’s so hard for me to balance the line between being in the world and not of the world, and sometimes it’s just easier to look around and copy how everyone else seems to be doing it. But I see the Christian subculture and wonder if we’re just looking at the way the world works and then creating another version of their system with a twist. A Christian twist. Coffee-sponsored by God. Why leave the church when you can just rent an apartment there? I’ve struggled to make my faith something that is mine. Not because I grew up with it. Not because I think everyone else expects it out of me…but because I value it. Because I think it has worth.

Although your mind’s opaque
Try thinking more if just for your own sake
The future still looks good
And you’ve got time to rectify
All the things that you should

Things have changed a bit since I was the highschool church poster-child. I’ve gladly given up that position to an exboyfriend. And I’m starting to challenge the way things are done. Obviously, this isn’t always a good thing, but generally I view it as positive because I’m tired of doing things simply because everyone else is doing them. For example, I don’t appreciate how certain members of our church try to get me to take up my old ministry positions through guilt trips. If I did everything now which I was involved in then, I’d burn myself out faster than a flashbulb.

Do what you want to do
And go where you’re going to
Think for yourself
’cause I won’t be there with you

I’m afraid that I was a feeder Christian in highschool. There were times I wondered if I needed to know more about my faith and was troubled when I felt shaky. But I’d just shrug it off as a “low point” and get to planning the next activity. Nobody ever questioned me…even when it was obvious I was involved in sin. And I learned to do the same – never question, even when it’s obvious.

Do what you want to do
And go where you’re going to
Think for yourself
’cause I won’t be there with you
Think for yourself
’cause I won’t be there with you

It’s a problem. I personally feel intrusive asking someone about their walk. It’s something so intangible to most people and so personal that we can’t possibly hope to understand our own…much less someone else’s. We can utilize the excuse “only God knows the heart” until we’re blue in the face to avoid confronting someone. During college, I was forced to learn to confront. That was not a pleasant experience. I lost friends. And I took a lot of the guilt on myself. But it was an exercise in faith and that’s something I need to do. Think about it for myself.

Lyrics by George Harrison

 

 

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