Friday, September 24, 2004

Christians Have No Imagination

There, I've said it. Did I tick you off? Good. There's a chance this post will get me some new readers even. But, I'm sorry. Is there no creativity or originality in the bunch? I work at a mega-church and I try to study other churches, especially mega-churches. Everywhere you look, all people are doing is (a) ripping off popular culture or (b) ripping off other churches.

Granted, in the second case, someone somewhere had an original thought to begin with before it got ripped off, but you can collect a bunch of Christian cliches, add some Biblical references, some insight and BAM! best-seller. Doesn't help if you're at a well-known church to begin with.

But, far worse is the first case. While I don't normally watch South Park (anymore), I did see one not too long ago where Cartman and the other kids had a bet as to who could get a platinum album first. The other kids practiced and practiced while Cartman took songs that had been popular in past decades and just changed every instance of "baby" to "Jesus". Quite clever, and a great example of what I'm talking about.

I'm tired of seeing permutations and adjustments to popular slogans, skewed pop culture references and tweaked corporate logos. I mean, anyone who knows me knows I love the Warhol effect - taking an object and repeating it with changes, or in a different medium and then tiling the image to show the changes. And I'm all for a great parody (The News was the best, the Mad TV does some good ones sometime. SNL, not so much.)

But I don't think the intent of these Christians is to parody. I think the intent is to draw from what people are already familiar with, and then using the "making it relevant" argument as an excuse to shortcut the process and in the meantime, to put it as bluntly as I can, steal from companies who have invested to develop a brand, come up with a tagline and to promote and market their message.

There is a difference between being relevant and just plain theft and it's time Christians stop being lazy and either make decent and logical connections between the secular material they're drawing from or come up with an original idea of their own.
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