Is the church relevant to today's world?
This is the question Bob Briner addresses repeatedly in his book Roaring Lambs.
Copyrighted in 1993, it has some obvious time lag problems, but I believe it still speaks very well to the problem at hand. Is the church actually accomplishing her mission to be the "salt of the earth."
Salt. Makes almost everything taste better (exceptions: Jello and bananas). But if the salt is in one pile (or worse, yet, still in the shaker) on your plate and your food is in another pile, the salt does no good.
This is why, according to Briner (who died in 1999, by the way), there is a tragic absence of "Christian" influence in journalism, movies, television, literature, and art. Oddly enough, he doesn't address music. I wondered why.
He says, "We feel we are making a difference because we are so important to ourselves." OUCH!
Christians are writing plenty of books and writing plenty of songs, but we are only writing them for each other. Fortunately, since the book was written, that has changed a little. There are quite a few musical acts that are "crossing over." I'm sure that groups like Sixpence None the Richer and Jars of Clay would be in Briner's "Roaring Lambs Hall of Fame."
But he complains that our churches don't encourage enough young people to go into careers of writing. Writing articles for leading newspapers (Cal Thomas, noted opinion writer, writes for the Los Angeles Times), writing for Hollywood (we need Christians writing good, solid screenplays...there are producers looking for them), writing for television (we did have Touched By An Angel and Seventh Heaven since this book was written, as well as Joan of Arcadia), writing good quality fiction with positive story lines.
Although I get tired of hearing the idea that all of the world's evils are the churches fault, I think that Briner has a seriously valid point. We should encourage our young people just as enthusiastically when they choose to go into journalism as when they choose to go into the mission field. We have commissioning, laying-on-hands, praying services when our young people go out to serve in the mission field. Why don't we have the same for youth who are heading off to college to study art or television writing/production, etc.? We should!!
We need to be salt. We need to be influencing the world. Oh, and by the way? He abhors boycotting. Why? Because the boycotters NEVER offer a viable alternative. He calls them the "blasters and boycotters," and opines that money sent to them is wasting God's resources.
If you believe that we need to be doing a better job of being "salt" in the earth, you should get this book and read it.
But don't order it from Amazon. They'll send you the wrong book. Twice. Order it from some place like Christian Book Distributors, or even Barnes & Noble.
Now, I'm reading Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris.
Doesn't exactly go with the last one, eh?