american synchretism


hi readers all over the world (if you exist at all…) this is another rant from me…
Like I said, sometimes I feel like an alien. That applies to my own secular belgian culture and the evangelical and pentacostel churches I know alike, but it applies even more to some ‘christian subculture’ from other places that I sometimes encounter, which may be promoted as the one and only real christianity in its purest form, or something like that…

Take for example the american evangelicalism. Some of its culture and tradition is very weird to me, and focussing on very irrelevant details which mostly distract from the gospel instead of bringing people closer to Jesus’ eternal Kingdom… Like Marc Driscolls macho-sexism, or the patriotism interwoven in some forms of american christianity, or the whole pragmatic approach to evangelism which seems more like world conformity than anything else. I don’t buy any of it, and though some of it may be cute and harmless, I am affraid that lots of this kind of synchretism are very harmful to the gospel.

And if the church culture you are in in a middle european country is a bad imitation of some american church culture that wouldn’t even be relevant in its own surrounding would, then something is wrong.

We have to contextualise the gospel our way. We don’t have to repeat the irrelevant mistakes of another culture in ours because lots of evangelical and pentacostel churches have american roots. That’b be a very bad idea. We have to get to learn Jesus Christ as the way, the Truth and the Light, and make that true in our own life. And we have to find a way to contextualise that in our own world. We don’t have to use language and structures from another time (when they did still work) or another continent (where I hope they work) to our own culture to bring the gospel.

We have to live the gospel, bring the gospel, and let christ transform our (sub)culture and change our life… And it is unavoidable to have a certain degree of ‘synchretism’ when we are ‘everything to everyone’, or american to the americans, goth to the goths, african to the africans, flemish to the flemish people, to paraphrase Paul. But we as europeans do not need the enlightened american culture to understand the gospel… We need more Jesus, and less hypes, less consumer-capitalistic synchretism, less weird fundamentalism,…

More Jesus, more Father, more Spirit in our lives!!!

shalom

Bram

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