Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Avoiding the worldly star to legitimacy

Craig Williams hopes the upcoming film production of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe isn't turned into "just another Christian marketing scheme." Here's his concern for the church:
It is the constant search for a “muscular” witness that pushes us to make claims that seek to have legitimacy alongside the worldly claims of Hollywood and its surrounding culture. We do this with celebrities, with athletes, with films, with secular leaders, all whom we would consider successful or important. When the successful of the world affirm what we affirm we hope to ride their star to legitimacy. We want to say to the world, “See – if this film is successful, or this successful person embraces the faith, or this athlete converts – that proves we are not crazy and our position is one people want. We appeal to the culture’s definition of what is cool or strong or important and say “See, Jesus is just like that.” We want to bask in the light of worldly glory and success alongside the gospel.

Unfortunately, Jesus says this isn’t the way to legitimize our faith or gain standing. His ways are subversive. They are quiet, they are humble, they are bold as they stand over and against the culture or as they introduce an alternative sense of value, an alternative story. Jesus’ way is sacrifice, back-alley, backwater, behind the scenes, of where the culture is looking. He resists the red carpet and bright lights of the world. And in that way he chooses that which is insignificant in the world to bring down that which is self-important, great, and powerful in the world.

Amen. There's a lot of wisdom in Craig's post, and I recommend you read the whole thing.


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