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The cheese stands alone

Comments on this post keep coming in, thanks to a well-placed request from wing. My journal has never been such a popular place, and people have some great B&W icons. I'm starting to think I need to get one of my own (I haven't commented in the thread at all myself, because the B&W icon rule was my own).

The sociologist in me is fascinated by the discussion, which has become an often well-informed critique of evangelical Christian culture and marketing. Even so, I hope I'm not seeing a baby or two thrown out with the proverbial murky bathwater. For example, I can attest to many lives God has changed through Promise Keepers, including how He has affected me, even though my inner critic can pick at the movement like a pro. Likewise with some other artifacts of Christian cheese-- as a dairy product, perhaps it is simply an offshoot of the spiritual milk we all need as we develop in Christ.

I must, however, admit the following: I'm at a complete loss on the Jabez stuff, I have my own personal "WWJD" rant (it's a good one), and I believe that the count of Oprah's spiritual misfires is higher than the number of covers of her own magazine on which she's appeared. The inner critic is alive and well, often more concerned with the importance of his own opinion than anything else.

The unique and somewhat erratic social nature of LiveJournal highlights how much unintended influence this can have. Unlike my own journal, a personal observation here can snowball into a group discussion and social commentary within hours. Exchange of ideas and freedom of community expression are not facets of a standard personal journal; the difference is both a good and a terrible thing.

One factor in this tension is personal relationship. I perceive a difference in tone in the comments from those who "know" me in some measure as LJ friends, in contast to the many who brought their icons to be part of the show (which continues to be very cool). By and large, the latter had little connection (yet) with me, the author, and my experience. Or perhaps I read them differently. How fascinating and frustrating similar discussions must be for true authors and artists, who put their work out in public, inviting discussion and feedback, hoping for connection that is likely all too rare.

Oh, and while I'm thinking of it, I find the irony of so many of us who have a distaste/distrust for "movements" jumping on the "post your B&W icon" bandwagon absolutely delicious. We are funny, silly creatures. "Little dickenses," as dondlion once said. Perhaps the spark to defend a little of the cheese comes simply from my wanting to stay contrary, a true cynic's cynic.

God, thankfully, doesn't need my defense (though He may indeed call me to be a faithful witness). His wisdom is far above mine, and His works won't be thwarted by me or any other. May His Spirit transform me in the renewing of my mind in Christ Jesus.

Comments

Just remember, do as I do, not as I say, son.
Ahh, so that's why there were no comments from you. I did wonder. It's intriguing that the discussion continued so heartily without you egging it on; in my experience, threads of comments die quickly without some input from the author.

It's rough when the crowd decides to push one viewpoint (in this case, movements = evil), but without logic or support. You want to raise your hand and say, "But, but, but I didn't mean that at all!!" If it had been my journal, I would have been tempted to reply to many of the comments in a debate/argumentative style -- now imagine the snowball that would have caused!!

Neat experience for you to have.