Meghan O’Gieblyn writes:
Despite all the affected teenage rebellion, I continued to call myself a Christian into my early twenties. When I finally stopped, it wasn’t because being a believer made me uncool or outdated or freakish. It was because being a Christian no longer meant anything. It was a label to slap on my Facebook page, next to my music preferences. The gospel became just another product someone was trying to sell me, and a paltry one at that because the church isn’t Viacom: it doesn’t have a Department of Brand Strategy and Planning. Staying relevant in late consumer capitalism requires highly sophisticated resources and the willingness to tailor your values to whatever your audience wants. In trying to compete in this market, the church has forfeited the one advantage it had in the game to attract disillusioned youth: authenticity. When it comes to intransigent values, the profit-driven world has zilch to offer. If Christian leaders weren’t so ashamed of those unvarnished values, they might have something more attractive than anything on today’s bleak moral market. In the meantime, they’ve lost one more kid to the competition.
You’ll want to read the whole article. I connected with a lot of what she was saying. I remember those same concerts, those same songs and in the end, experiencing those same feelings of emptiness and loss. Christianity had become a commodity and frankly, MTV did it better. Counting Crows, Third Eye Blind and the Goo Goo Dolls all had better sound and more interesting things to say. Which led me to buy what they and other like them were selling. A life about me, by me and for me.
By God’s grace, He saved me (from me). He showed me that Christianity is no commodity, but a relationship with Him, where me dies and yet, a new life is found in Him. I walked a different path that Meghan. I did not leave the faith. I hope and pray that she realizes that she did not need to leave the faith either. For what she described as “Christianity” is not Christian at all. May church leaders and future church leaders (like myself) be warned of the results of fishing for men with bait we see on TV. They may swallow the hook, but in the end, they’ll be the ones who got away.