Monday, July 10, 2006

Christian Lite?

I was reading the write up about Amy Grant's 1982 album Age To Age at AllMusic, and came across the following:
She, Chapman, and Bannister, meanwhile, had purveyed a lyrical style that might be dubbed "Christian lite," since it emphasized a "personal relationship" with God that often came off as if the singer were addressing an earthly father or even an idealized boyfriend.
I found very odd that juxtaposition of calling something "Christian lite" that emphasizes a personal relationship with God.

Emphasizing a personal relationship with God is anything but Christianity Lite. It's the heart of Christianity, the point of it all. If Christianity doesn't lead us to a personal encounter and relationship with the divine, then being Christian is rather pointless. Christianity is not about believing all the right facts. Christianity is not about believing what the church or the pastor says, or doing what the church or the pastor says is right. It's about finding God for ourselves. Encountering God in our own lives. The experience of the divine. Finding God in ourselves and in our lives.

If we simply buy into packaged Christianity, that is Christian Lite. It's my view that we aren't meant to buy into a prearranged package that we take as given to us. We are to search deep within. Each of us listening to what God says to her within. Exploring the deeper truths that the Christian stories point to.

So, I'll take that personal relationship Christian stuff. And if sometimes religious songs that emphasize a personal relationship with God come across as singing about a father or about a boyfriend or lover, well, maybe there is a deeper message in that. Maybe, when we see a similiarity between these different types of love, we aren't watering down Christianity, but rather, beginning to find the deeper truth.