John is an old friend…emphasis on friend. Not only is he a pioneer in Christian music, but he is an author, creative thinker, speaker and teacher…he has keen insight into what many regard as a Christian sub-culture…that being, that which has been created over the last few decades that attempted to reflect all things of faith but has been reduced overtime to money-making, publicity seeking, ego-gratifying enterprises that have actually harmed the movement of Christ-following over time. I won't make any further comment here in this context…all I can say is that John's "catch" is worthy to be read…in fact, go to his website and subscribe. John's thoughts and reflections will be a good addition to your spiritual "diet":
The last Christian by John Fischer
So I am writing this from the office of the Chaplain at Olivet Nazarene University. They have me in a lovely guest housing but the campus controls the Internet and I can't get in on my laptop, so Chaplain Holcomb was kind enough to lend me his office computer.
I am here to speak in chapel the next two days and it occurs to me that you all might be interested in what I am going to tell 2,500 (mostly) Christian college students tomorrow morning. So here goes.
I'm going to tell them we need a new name. Say "Christian" and you're a political activist bent on taking everyone's freedoms away. Say "born again" and you're a religious fanatic. Say "evangelical" and you're an enlisted officer in a culture war. Say "Jesus freak" and you are… well, just that.
Point is: we've been labeled, but what the labels engender in people's minds has little to do with what we are called to be as followers of Christ. How did this come to pass?
Then I launch into a brief history starting with the high idealism and the crushing disillusionment of the '60s, the birth of a new breed of Christian through the Jesus Movement, and then how what started as Jesus music focused on the world turned into Christian music focused on Christians, and finally into a Christian subculture with a Christian version of everything. The point here being SAFETY became the key element and FEAR became the driving motivation and a big selling point for a safer alternative to the scary world out there.
The reason for this little history lesson is to show these students, many of whom have grown up in Christian homes and gone to Christian schools, that it has not always been this way. The Christian subculture is a product of my lifetime.
"The Christian subculture is more culture than it is Christian. It began as our attempt to affect the world, and has become evidence of the world's effect on us. The Christian subculture is not the church. It is not the kingdom of God. Both can do fine without it – both are doing just fine without it."
The final challenge? Be a Christian in culture, not a cultural Christian. The word Christian makes a really bad adjective. There is no such thing as a Christian anything; there is only YOU! Who you are is God's answer to the world.
The world doesn't need Christian music; it needs YOU making music. The world doesn't need Christian TV; it needs YOU in television. The world doesn't need Christian movies; it needs YOU in Hollywood. The world doesn't need a Christian coffeehouse; it needs YOU in Starbucks.
Heck with labels; the world needs YOU. You are the last Christian.