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“Ritalinization” of the evangelical church


Here is a link to some fine writing by John over at Jesus the radical preacher on the ritalinization of the evangelical church.

“Social stigma” has produced the ’secret service’ Christian…no one knows but God.

“Feeling lifeless” has produced the stimulate me on Sunday morning Christian. That’s the church’s job.

“Alienated from peers” has produced the tribal units–Calvinists don’t like open theists, KJVers don’t like TNIVers, Vineyard experiencers shy away from the dogma-driven, “feed me, feed me” whiners populate most pews and a myriad of other ghetto Christian groups exist in blissful isolation from the others.

Worth reading the comments connected to John’s post–there is some energy generated there.

Found the music of Jon Foreman last night.  I think the solo music of this Switchfoot member is more my style- mellow but words that connect.  Downloaded  “Instead of  a show” last night in which he calls the church out with a reference to Amos.

I hate all your show and pretense
the hypocrisy of your praise
the hypocrisy of your festivals
I hate all your show

Away with your noisy worship
Away with your noisy hymns
I stop up my ears when your singing ‘em
I hate all your show

Instead let there be a flood of justice
An endless procession of righteous living, living
Instead let there be a flood of justice
Instead of a show

Similar message to earlier post of John I mentioned at Jesus the Radical pastor

Evangelicalism in America is a “market” or an entertainment industry. God and Jesus and the Bible are products and worship services are shows.  If I’m in the market for a solemn,  sacred spirituality, I can go to the Episcopal service. If I’m shopping for the latest feel good, spiritual high, I can buy a ticket to the charismatic service. If I just want “the facts, M’am, just the facts,” I can go to a good Bible-teaching church. If I want Starbucks and brie, I can go to the emerging church. Get it? Isn’t it great to be an American Christian?  But it’s all Ritalin* for the soul. Just keep calm.

All that said, and as frustrated I get with the local church, I am still committed to the local church, imperfect as it is. God is at work and how easy it is to keep focused on all the things that need to change or that are wrong.  And, I need to be willing to continue to allow my imperfections to be seen so others will find the church a safe place as well.  Let it start here Lord.

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