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Old 10-07-2006, 10:25 AM   #1
Pangloss62
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"Acquire The Fire"



A recent article in the NYT focused on the fear of many Evangelicals that they are "loosing" their youth to our wicked secular culture. They highlighted an Evangelical "tour" for teenagers called "Acquire The Fire." Basically, it's a "stadium extravaganza" for Evangelical Christian youth that features a lot of the same trappings of regular rock concerts but without any of the secular perversity of the latter.

At some point in the two-day show, the hip and charismatic host dude has all the kids write down "negative cultural influences" on a piece of paper and come to the front of the stage and throw the pieces of paper into a trash can:

Trash cans filled with folded pieces of paper on which the teenagers had scribbled things like Ryan Seacrest, Louis Vuitton, “Gilmore Girls,” “Days of Our Lives,” Iron Maiden, Harry Potter, “need for a boyfriend” and “my perfect teeth obsession.” One had written in tiny letters: “fornication.”

Some teenagers threw away cigarette lighters, brand-name sweatshirts, Mardi Gras beads and CD’s — one titled “I’m a Hustla.”

“I strip off the identity of the world, and this morning I clothe myself with Christ, with his lifestyle. That’s what I want to be known for.”


Aside from the fact that the term "lifestyle" was not around during the time of the alleged Jesus, how is having ersatz "progressive" rock bands and selling "cool" Christian t-shirts a rejection of secular culture? It kinda seems like cheating to me. If these kids are supposed to have the "lifestyle" of Jesus, wouldn't they have to walk around in woolen robes and leather sandals? Wouldn't they be hangin with, and giving comfort to, the AIDS-infected crackheads down in the hood?

And then there was a comment by one Rev. David W. Key, the director of Baptist Studies at the Candler School of Theology of Emory University, here in Atlanta:

"Today the culture trivializes religion and normalizes secularism and liberal sexual mores."

Just what does he mean by "the culture?" Isn't that kind of broad? And why couldn't secularism be "normal" anyway. In fact, the first definition for the word secular is "...of or relating to the worldly." That sounds pretty normal to me. I mean, how "normal" is it to rise from the dead and float up to some yet-to-be-proven place known as "heaven?"

Then there was this statement from a researcher that kinda took me by surprise:

“I met plenty of kids who told me over and over that if you’re not Christian in your high school, you’re not cool — kids with Mohawks, with indie rock bands who feel peer pressure to be Christian.”

Do any of you Cellarites' kids go to a school like that?
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Old 10-07-2006, 10:56 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pangloss62
“I strip off the identity of the world, and this morning I clothe myself with Christ, with his lifestyle. That’s what I want to be known for.” [/color]

Aside from the fact that the term "lifestyle" was not around during the time of the alleged Jesus, how is having ersatz "progressive" rock bands and selling "cool" Christian t-shirts a rejection of secular culture? It kinda seems like cheating to me. If these kids are supposed to have the "lifestyle" of Jesus, wouldn't they have to walk around in woolen robes and leather sandals? Wouldn't they be hangin with, and giving comfort to, the AIDS-infected crackheads down in the hood?
You're awfully picky when it comes to Christian kids, but you wouldn't have any problem at all with someone who decided to become Buddhist, yet didn't don a robe and sandals. That's the hard thing for those kids, and what makes their choice poignant -- they want to make themselves like Christ in spirit even though it sets them up to look like idiots to their friends --

Quote:
Originally Posted by Galatians 5:16-26
So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law.

The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery, idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and evying each other.
That makes them idiots to the rest of the world:

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1 Cor. 2 and 3, cherry picked verses
This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taugh by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned...

Do not deceive yourselves. If any one of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a "fool" so that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God's sight.

So, to answer your question, yes: we should be down by the crackhouse, giving comfort to the AIDS victim. But we should also reflect the Spirit in everyday life, because when you become a follower of Christ, you get a new set of desires. There's not room for two opposing spirits in your heart -- you can't serve two masters.

The kids at this rally or whatever it was were ritually and symbolically destroying their old carnal natures (this had already happened within them, they were just making it known publicly) and announcing their new life. The whole "born-again" thing that seems like such idiocy to everyone.
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Old 10-07-2006, 01:03 PM   #3
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Do those cute young emotionally overwrought girls there know that wearing t-shirts with electrical outlets makes dirty old men like me want to stick my prongs in them?
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Old 10-07-2006, 01:13 PM   #4
Pangloss62
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Quote:
and what makes their choice poignant -- they want to make themselves like Christ in spirit even though it sets them up to look like idiots to their friends --
It seems to me that they are just replacing one superficial culture with another. T-shirts, CDs, Christian Rock bands, light shows, etc. They shed secular trivialities for Christian ones.

And studies have already shown that their is lots of recidivism with teens that make such "pledges" of faith. I see these kids a being less "born again" that just being ripped off. The mega-churches are loosing their market share and they are desperate to recruit new members.
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Old 10-07-2006, 01:28 PM   #5
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You're trying so hard to make a point against christians that you're missing the boat entirely. The clothes you wear make a statement about what you believe, especially when you're a kid. They believe in Christ, so they wear shirts proclaiming it. They listen to music that contains messages that go along with their viewpoint.

You know, kind of like people who aren't Christians.

Hypocrisy seems to have escaped from the corral and bitten some non-churchgoers as well. Call the CDC.
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Old 10-07-2006, 01:56 PM   #6
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I don't think Pangloss is trying to bash Christians so much as these particular tactics, which aren't exclusive of Christians. I've actually been to a few of these rallies (I know, gasp) and they DO have loads to sell as Pan mentioned and the kids are understandably overwhelmed and overcome by all the high, high emotions and you've got to wonder how much is manufactured emotion and how much is real. I've been to revivals and "singings" (a Southern Baptist thing I believe?) and they can whip up emotion so high even I am tempted to come to Jesus.
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Old 10-07-2006, 02:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pangloss62
“I met plenty of kids who told me over and over that if you’re not Christian in your high school, you’re not cool — kids with Mohawks, with indie rock bands who feel peer pressure to be Christian.”

Do any of you Cellarites' kids go to a school like that?
Yeah, it's called small-town America. Hell, even in my solidly blue city (in the middle of an all-red state), I worked briefly for a company where the CEO led the whole company in a prayer at the Christmas party.

When you're so convinced you're right, it can be shocking to find out that there are lots and lots of people who disagree with you.
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Old 10-07-2006, 03:13 PM   #8
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Why is it so unfathomable to you people that there are actually Christians who become that way on their own? What is it that compels you to be deliberately obtuse when this subject comes up? Most of you don't really want to know the answer to any of your questions, you just want everyone to know how much you hate the concept of God and wish that people who believed in him felt as stupid as you think they SHOULD feel.

2,000 years ago, Jesus said "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own." These kids are making a public statement that they are choosing Jesus over the world. They aren't choosing "church" or "xtians" or "religion". They're choosing Christ. I wonder if you really really can't comprehend that, or your hatred is so deep that you refuse to admit it aloud.
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Old 10-07-2006, 03:17 PM   #9
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I don't hate Christians. My mother is a Christian. A true Chrisitan.
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Old 10-07-2006, 03:21 PM   #10
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Oh, but she IS Catholic.


Maybe that makes a difference?
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Old 10-07-2006, 03:27 PM   #11
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Huge.
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Old 10-07-2006, 03:38 PM   #12
Trilby
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Originally Posted by Bullitt
Huge.
So, it's NOT just that you must be Christian--you must subscibe to YOUR brand of Christian. OH, I see! If noodle means a certain type of Christianity, he should say so. Stupid of me to imagine all followers of Christ and the New Testament would be considered Christians, eh?

Must be nice to be all saved and everything.

Last edited by Trilby; 10-07-2006 at 04:19 PM.
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Old 10-07-2006, 05:22 PM   #13
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People who walk their talk, truly understanding their own path, are cool. Not plentiful, but cool.
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Old 10-07-2006, 05:48 PM   #14
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Looking down on people because of their religion... now that is sad Pan.

You are not saying you don't like something they are doing, something they have done to others.... you just don't like their path.

You are a bigot.
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Old 10-07-2006, 06:20 PM   #15
Bullitt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brianna
So, it's NOT just that you must be Christian--you must subscibe to YOUR brand of Christian. OH, I see! If noodle means a certain type of Christianity, he should say so. Stupid of me to imagine all followers of Christ and the New Testament would be considered Christians, eh?

Must be nice to be all saved and everything.
Sorry Bri I should have said more than one word.. in my opinion, a "real" Christian should be focused on helping other people in all walks of life. Jesus's whole ministry was healing and teaching about love and forgiveness. To me, Catholics have become way too caught up in the religion of Christianity, the cermonies and rituals, etc., and kind of lose the whole message Jesus was giving.
The amount of money and gold and crap that goes into the Vatican alone just disgusts me. Just looking at Jesus's ministry, it makes perfect sense that he would much rather we have spent all that on feeding the hungry, and healing disease instead of flowing ornate robes and other junk.
I did not mean to offend you Bri and I apologize, I just have a very simplistic faith and viewpoint as to what followers of Christ should look like and do.
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