I received a free issue of Collide Magazine with an order I placed for some books online recently. They subtitle themselves, “Where Media and the Church Converge.” I was drawn to their article titled “Our Parallel Universe: The Christian Subculture Goes Online.” An excerpt:
For the purposes of this article, the Christian subculture or parallel universe is characterized by the places and products Christians have created for themselves, which both resemble and reject popular culture. These products and places typically take something found in contemporary society, remove the immoral or secular elements, and replace them with a Christian worldview. The result is a culture within a culture, whose products and places are similar to those found in the mainstream, but different. They are parallel.
Essentially, Christians are taking all the good ideas by others and making them our own, only more wholesome. While this is not necessarily bad, I’m not sure it’s best. When we separate ourselves from the world in this way, we seem strange. We seem disconnected. We also withdraw our witness from the popular culture when we make a parallel one. GodTube is fine, I guess, but why not flood YouTube with Christian content? Are we afraid we’ll offend? Are we afraid people will question what we believe? Why be safe when we’re called to be salt and light?
It comes back to my basic premise for culture and kids. We can build a wall (the parallel culture) to keep out the bad stuff of the world, or we can give our kids better armor to be a light in the world.