If you are a Christian in the United States and Pay attention to Christian culture and doctrine, chances are you have come across the term “churchianity.”
- It describes American church culture, especially Protestant/evangelical culture
- It mocks secular cultural influences on Christianity
- It mocks those who are influenced by the world
- It mocks those who are in church for #reasons
- It should be used to convict the lukewarm
- A Churchian’s Christianity and faith should be questioned
Churchianity is a perfect term to describe the culture of the American “church” today, especially the Protestant/evangelical church. Many are familiar with the secular cultural influence of Roman Catholicism, hence the emphasis on Irish-Catholic, Polish-Catholic, French-Catholic, etc. However, this cultural influence has drastically impacted all of evangelical culture within the U.S.
What is the cultural influence?
Churchianity is the idea that the church should subscribe to culture, or at least the idea that church goers conform to the image of this world, while nominally claiming Christ.
They often believe if they just did what everyone else did, somehow they will be an influencer on non believers to convert. (This is akin to what many will describe as “beta” behavior- conform and submit when your call is to stand firm and lead). Perhaps this is why so many churchians have confused and swapped their marriage roles.
Churchians dress the way non believers dress. They read the same books, attend the same movies and concerts, and pretty much act “normal” as it applies to everyday American life.
They attend churches of all types of denominations, and generally are happy or content with the church they go to. That’s where their family and friends go, and it’s where their favorite KLove songs are sung.
They may even post massive amounts of articles quoting authors who quote scripture!
Some are poor, some middle class, and some are wealthy. Many live lives that aren’t overtly sinful in the “majors,” (fornication, adultery, murder), although many do without guilt.
Their hallmark is they do not take the Bible seriously. They place culture over the Bible.
Here are the areas where they allow culture to influence the church and its members:
Music/style of worship: service revolves around the “worship,” which is normally packed with songs written to mirror pop culture. Songs may be long, but feature long gaps between lyrics, repetitive lines, etc. The songs are sung by a band/worship team, that drowns our audience participation. For more info, listen to KLOVE.
Service: people love having their ears tickled, and what better way than through entertainment, whether it be via movie or tedx speech. Statistically speaking, on average people can maintain concentration on a topic for 30 minutes.
Hence the one hour service which typically goes like this: music, intro, quick sermon, maybe an announcement, and music.
More and more prominent evangelical churches advertise big productions, provocative topics/speakers
Movies: marketers shamelessly use the “Christian” label to market sub par, corny movies (Gods not dead) to the church going masses. These films spark books, concert tours, merchandising, and provoke thousands of blogs throughout the Christian sphere.
Ironically, it’s the non marketed films, such as risen, or passion of the Christ, that have beautiful cinematography, acting, and faithfully present a gospel message. On the other hand, the deliberate, in your face attempts come off as trying too hard, purely fictional, and setting up scenarios that don’t happen in the real world (like the idea that everyone gets saved going to the newsboys concert).
Clothing: companies cater to “Christians” by marketing fashion. For instance, NOTW sells clothing, merchandise, and bumper stickers to advertise they are not of this world, while ironically confirming to this world’s standards.
Fundraisers for mission trips: the trips mirror what is commonly referred to as “senior trips.” The fundraising for the trip is the same as other fundraising efforts seen at your public high school. Car washes, candy sales, etc. Some get real creative and sell home goods.