Welcome to the age of Christian opinion. In just a matter of seconds, you can find a Christian article (and counter article) on virtually every topic.
Even more impressive than the availability of Christian opinion is the appetite of readers. All it takes is a catchy headline about a topic we care about (or are made to think we care about), and we eat it up.
We’re restless to hear, know, and explore opinions similar and different than ours. We want to know why we believe what we believe. We devour media to help us shape our ideas, our ideals, and our identity.
A Lesson from Ezekiel
Today I read the opening three chapters of Ezekiel, and they left me silent.
In these chapters, Ezekiel sees visions of heaven, sees God on the throne, and is given words to speak God’s message. The verse that surprised me is halfway through chapter three.
And I came to the exiles at Tel-abib, who were dwelling by the Chebar canal, and I sat where they were dwelling. And I sat there overwhelmed among them seven days.
The Hebrew word for “overwhelmed” can also mean “stunned” or “devastated.” Ezekiel didn’t hear from God and then erupt into prophecy. He sat, devastated by the sight and sound of God for a whole week.
And God didn’t correct him. He didn’t rebuke him. He didn’t tell him to get over it.
Listening for the Right Reasons
In today’s Pop Christian culture, Ezekiel could have made bank from a “Heaven Is For Real” knock-off. Yet besides the brief recounting in the beginning of his book, Ezekiel never mentions his heavenly vision anywhere else.
Ezekiel’s encounter with God left him in awe, and that was enough.
Contrast to that, I worried for a generation of Christians who are listening for the wrong reasons. I’m worried for those who listen only for the sake of speaking. I’m worried for those who bow their knee so that they can lift their voice. I’m worried for those who obey God for the sake of a great story rather than for the sake of knowing God.
I’m worried because I know that person is me.
I challenge you to stand in Awe Again
I challenge you (and me) to take a week without “Pop Christian” reading. I’m talking about articles shared via Twitter, Facebook, or other social media.
Adrenaline junkie, quench your thirst for the latest Christian opinion with the Word of God.
Don’t get me wrong – I truly value publications like RELEVANT, Christianity Today, Charisma, Prodigal Magazine, and more. I’ve been encouraged and challenged in my faith by each one of these.
But ultimately, it’s not about me. It’s about worshipping God – seeing how big and glorious He is – and standing in awe.
What do you think? What are the benefits and dangers of Christian opinion in a viral age? Share your thoughts in the comments below!