Fighting the cliché…
Tonight I find myself sitting on my couch with my boy sleeping on my lap in a way that allows me to surf the net, read some blogs and articles and also write this little ditty. I hope he can’t see the computer screen though, I want to save his brain from the flickering mosaic of pixels this computer is generating that can potentially form and possibly misshape his little baby synapses. But that’s another blog… (thanks shane hipps) As i read blogs and other Christian online publications I just realize how cheesy and cliché so much of the Christian culture and literature can be. But maybe that’s not all bad, right? Cliché doesn’t mean untrue, or unbiblical, heretical, or anything else that I would want to avoid as a follower of Jesus. I guess some times cliché is just saying what’s always been said in a way that it has always been said. Here’s the definition;
Dictionary.com :: Cliché A trite, stereotyped expression; a sentence or phrase, usually expressing a popular or common thought or idea, that has lost originality, ingenuity, and impact by long overuse.
I think this definition hits at the reason why I don’t resonate with so much of Christian culture (which I would say is VERY cliché). This definition reminds me why I don’t want to be just another cliché spewing Christian.
Cliché is defined by being the unoriginal, by lacking ingenuity… that’s fine. It’s hard be “original” when your following a 2000 year old rabbi and a God who’s been around since before their was a before. Maybe original is overrated. But cliché is also defined by lacking impact. And in my experience and understanding, God is far from cliché in even the slightest of ways. God’s shadow has an impact! His presence, even in the most indirect ways, impacts everything it draws nears to, impacts in such a destructive way that nothing is the same when it has experienced the presence of God.
So yea, I don’t want to be cliché. And if impact is the measuring stick, I would say most of American Christian culture is extremely cliché. It has little too no impact on our culture and on our world.
So how do we as Jesus followers and proclaimers of the Gospel communicate a message that is thousands of years old in ways that impact people today?
NOT a new question, I realize that. And most of times when people try being “relevant” they fail miserably and become either cheesy or just cliché. It seems this is a huge catch-22, right.
I don’t really have any answers but I think a lot of solution to avoid being just another Christian cliché lies in living. Living in honest, real, and engaged ways with culture and people.
We also might want to :: Avoiding the formula and engage our story (personal and communal). Avoiding the “right” answers and engage a fresh expression of our divine interaction.
I don’t know… How do you avoid being cliché? How do you avoid lacking impact and instead radically following Jesus and impact your world with gospel?
Grace and peace Erik