Monday, January 03, 2005

Talk radio

I stumbled across this radio station a few weeks ago. The Quake (960 on your AM dial) is described on its website as Talk Radio from the Left. I first tuned in to a program called The Majority Report, hosted by Janeane Garofalo (SNL, Reality Bites). I found it very interesting.

Yesterday Mandy and I listened to this program on our way home from Marin. They had this chump from an organization that is devoted to saving Christmas. He ended up saying that the Jews, who have been stealing his Christmas decorations from his yard, are the ones behind the conspiracy to steal this blessed holiday. He said that they are jealous, and he slipped in the important fact that they are lost because they have not accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior. He also said something to the effect of the Jews making their point by stealing Christmas decorations is the same as Muslims making their point by blowing things up. He finally got hung up on.

Here’s what irritates me. This guy is their picture of Christianity. He makes no sense to them. Now I know that this is not a proper representation of Jesus, but they don’t. Mandy made the point that they actually want to talk to boneheads like this guy, rather than someone like me. They are reacting to an extreme, and though I don’t like that they too have taken it to their own extremes, I don’t really blame them.

I’ve been thinking for awhile that terms like “Christian” and “church” really get in the way of what we’re trying to do here (entering into the Kingdom life that Jesus grants us). Think about the definitions we have for these terms:

Christian: a person who, upon realizing that because of their sin they are separated from God, has, after also realizing that God has provided a way out from this predicament, asked Jesus to come into their hearts and become their Lord and Savior (that was a really long sentence; sorry).

Church: the place we go, normally on Sundays, to worship, hear a message from the Bible, and fellowship with our Christian (see definition above) friends.

Now, before we go any farther, know up front that I’m not going to replace these definitions with new ones. That would be too easy. It’s something that we all need to do some thinking and dreaming about. I will ask some questions, though?

What was Jesus like? Describe him to me.
What does a follower of Jesus look like?
What does a community of Christ-followers look like?
What does that community do? How do they live? How are they looked upon by their neighbors, friends, family, etc?

What does all of this have to do with a radio program? This radio program helped me see once again the importance of wrestling with these questions. I am becoming more cynical about the church and the state of Christianity, especially in this country? I don’t want to be cynical. I believe that God is still around, that He is “up to something.” I don’t believe He is up in heaven fretting about this predicament. I’d like to think He’s pretty chilled out at the moment.

I, on the other hand, am not always “chilled out” over our present conditions. The world is changing, and I am not sure how prepared the church is for this change. Are we going to continue fighting to try to keep America a Christian nation? (That’s another good question worth pondering, by the way).

To end today’s posting, I am very happy that I have friends to work this out with. If I had to do it alone, I think I’d get tired pretty soon and settle with being cynical. Thankfully, I know that’s not my only option.

More to come…


1 comment:

Jason Elder said...

Yep, it's much easier to be cynical. I think that Mandy is correct in saying that they would rather talk to knuckleheads like that caller because it feeds a stereotype and helps the radio program cement its listeners. I also think that this is more proof that we need an awakening to happen with the total "church culture" in America. Well, I'll be doing this with ya. --Jason