i actually turned the car radio on to a Christian popular music station today. My wife was as shocked as i was by this behavior. i did not mind the "family safe" (Their term) programming for a few minutes. This is a fascinating development given that i do not participate in the Christian Subculture as a general rule. Some people i know only have Christian friends, talk in Christian terms, listen to "Christian music " (not worship but "Christian pop") and have only a passing contact with those who live in a world apart from God. i am closer to the other extreme.
i usually listen to the Alternative Rock, Classic Rock, or Jazz. Most of my friends are not believers in the Lord, do not attend church in any form, have little interest in God and generally live as moral a life as they can. Many of the friends i have who know Christ were my friends long before they met Christ. It has taken some 11 years to come to know Christ. i believe in living in the world as a Christian. This is a difficult path. i find it relatively easy to keep God in my heart and mind while living all of my life within the context of the Church. But i choose not to live in that narrow subculture. i rather exercize my faith while truly being in the world but not of it.
When you are living for Christ in the larger culture it's much harder to keep your focus on God. The prevailing culture is so self-centered and contrary to much of what God is about. To grow spiritually your life has to become a life of prayer. You simply can't have a prayer time that you add to your activities. Prayer must inform all that you are. That is the only way you can keep tight with God. It is simply harder to be a Christian in the world. Prayer is just as much a way of life as evangelism is. D'oh !
Christianity is not about inviting people to church. It is about taking God to people. That is why we need to be missionaries like Jesus was. To enter our Fathers work in the world and not just play it safe. (BTW: when did "safe" enter the Christian vocabulary? Ask any Christian in China or the Middle East and you will discover that it is risky to be a Christian.) Living for Christ in the world is not easy. Then again, i am privileged to be a witness to many different people as i live for Christ in their world. i think it is plain arrogance for Christians to expect people to come to us. It is the "Field of Dreams" mentality ~ build a church and they will come. (Soap Box Alert) i'll quit now.
If i really wanted to shock my wife, i should have left it on that station for more than a couple of minutes. Not that i have anything against Christian pop. In my early Christian experience i listended to some powerful lyrics by: Larry Norman, Keith Green, Steve Camp, Mark Heard, and others who were not as commercial. The Commercial Christian Subcultre (CCS) is just not my cup of tea. Ok, i'll really quit now. . . .
Thin Space: Praise you God for your majesty and love for us. You became a man so we could be in relationship with you. You met us where we were even though we were your enemy. You died for us so we could live in you. Help me to live a life of prayer. i was just trying to go to a meeting and you invaded my normal activity. You are so glorious and majestic. Empower me to share you in a greater way. May the life you give me glorify you in all that i am.