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DMin, Leadership and Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

Be a Rebel for Christ’s Legacy

Written by: on March 2, 2017

Heath and Potter defines a ‘rebel sell’ as a “sale of commodities and myths which identify and define our culture. To work it must be supported by rules and consequences.” (323) “Counterculture acts upset those who define and monitor the culture’s behavior. Some counterculture behaviors are seen as being deviance where others see it as dissent. The author state there is a difference between the two. Deviant is an intentional disregard of the rules for self-purposes, whereas, dissent is the disregard of the rules for the better good – making a change in the rules. ” (73) Heath & Potter identified “Theodore Roszak as the one who introduced the term counterculture. He believes the traditional leftist parties, communist, and trade unionist were the stooges of technocracy.” (31)

America in 2017 is experiencing both acts of deviance and dissent. Some people in America are protesting the rules that are being changed by the current political regime and those who support the current political regime sees the protest as being un-American. I remember in years past under the second Bush presidency if you were not in agreement with him regarding the policies outlined in the name of terrorism, you were a terrorist. In fact, they consider themselves as the right-wing. Politicians focus on the needs, desires, or fears of the people and prepare their platform to fit their political and personal needs. They have marketing techniques to determine the needs of the people, and the people will vote for the one they believe conforms to their views and beliefs.

The authors discussed the views of Marx’s that the “middle class was a victim of illusion and that he referred to it as commodity fetishism.” (20) He stated that “The workers needed to be radicalize before they could be organized.” (21) The women’s march on Washington after the Presidential Inauguration was birthed from radical women opposed to the President’s views on women rights. A consumer can be easily manipulated into believing that they need this particular item to be considered in a specific class or believing that this price is a good deal. These same tactics are used by sellers when pricing items. Place a nine at the end of the price and this will convince the people to think they are saving money. Another tactic was 3 for $10 or 10 for $10; the buyer thinks they have to purchase that number to get the deal. Some advertise sexual visuals to buy their product to convince you that you will attract the opposite sex.

“Heath and Potter argue that ‘the counterculture,’ in all its attempts to be subversive, has done nothing more than creating new segments of the market, and thus ends up feeding the very monster of consumerism and conformity it hopes to destroy. ” [1] The authors addressed the idea that conformity drives consumerism. They state that young consumers may purchase items just to fit in and be like everyone else. As the person matures, their purchases may be based on the distinction. (103)  People want to be different, better than, unique, etc. from others.

Churches have that similar need to be distinct. Televangelist’s method of collecting donations through offering or selling of miracle items, transforming books, or idol jewelry is a commodity fetish, Make a donation of a set amount or above and you can receive these items. It is often believed that Churches want to win souls or is it, members? Their modification or expansion of its’ worship services to Saturdays, as well as, Sundays morning, noon, and night to meet the needs of the people thereby increasing membership and hopefully finance. Social Media has increased attendance in worship. If you are not able to attend physically or just don’t want to be a part of the corporate fellowship, you can visit or view the service on the internet, Facebook, or television for your viewing pleasure. There is a convenient button to click to send your offering. The church has become a church of convenience or is it one that is ministering to the people’s needs. This method of reaching out is not a negative commodity, but the church must be sure of its purpose in providing such a service.

Each church denomination believes their views are more in line with Christ or they are the true religion. The church leaders believe their denomination and worship style will move you to a closer relationship with God. They offer many programs that will provide for your needs and encourage you to participate. Some religions have conformity in their worship service. One example is the Communion, “Lord’s Supper.” Some denominations uniformly serve the communion in the same manner. Some denominations believe their method of serving is closer to God’s way and the effect that it has on one’s relationship with Christ bringing them closer to Christ. As church leaders, we conform to the way we dress when serving in our denominational church. Rather than conforming to the traditions of denominations wouldn’t it be great being a rebel for Christ’s legacy?

Some Churches even adopt some of the traditions or rituals of other denominations. The Baptist, Methodist, Church of God In Christ, and others have joined in on the traditional Usher’s march. The African American Churches would have Usher day and invite other Ushers from other churches to participate. Then the highlight of the service is the march of the Ushers, Nurses, Choirs, and more. Seeing the competition among the different church ushers as they marched down the aisle and around the church to a rocking gospel song. Here is a sample view:

 

 

[1]  The Economist Newspaper Limited 2017,  http://www.economist.com/node/4027702 , accessed March 1, 2017.

About the Author

Lynda Gittens

9 responses to “Be a Rebel for Christ’s Legacy”

  1. Good thought to ponder “The church has become a church of convenience or is it one that is ministering to the people’s needs.” As a therapist, I have been frustrated with churches dealing with superficial issues and not addressing big issues attacking relationships, marriages, and our families. I am pleased to start seeing more church programs offer recovery programs for: addictions, trauma healing for women, and mental illness. I hope we have more churches dealing with sincerely ministering to people’s needs and not just becoming a place of convenience.

  2. Stu Cocanougher says:

    “Heath and Potter argue that ‘the counterculture,’ in all its attempts to be subversive, has done nothing more than creating new segments of the market,'”

    This is the irony of those who consider themselves “rebels” or “alternatives.” One classic example is when newly purchased jeans showed up on the market with giant rips in them. If my mother were to see them on display at the mall, she would be confused. In her opinion, ripped jeans needed to be repaired or thrown away. The concept of selling a $100+ pair of designer jeans with large rips in them serves a dual purpose. It creates a identity of rebellion while angering the older generation. The fact that the jeans were overpriced only illustrates this point further.

    https://scstylecaster.files.wordpress.com/2014/05/ripped.jpg?w=712&h=400&crop=1

  3. Geoff Lee says:

    The church certainly is guilty of buying into the consumer model. You may have seen the video sketch “Me church” – where you can have whatever you want from the church – a bespoke service. Many churches are not too far from that model, and the one that does the best in town is the one that is most distinct – puts on the best show….

  4. Jim Sabella says:

    Lynda, thanks for the great post! I agree that the need to be unique and distinct can be good and it can be not so good. You make an interesting point about the church and the need to be unique or different from every other church. It is both a weakness and strength. BTW: What a great video. I would love to attend a service like that sometime. Thanks for sharing it Lynda!

  5. Mary Walker says:

    Lynda, What a great video. “Some Churches even adopt some of the traditions or rituals of other denominations.”
    I’d love to go to such a service but I’m afraid my all-white reformed church would be shocked that I was even contemplating such a thing!!
    I agree with you and wish more churches would have your attitude -“Rather than conforming to the traditions of denominations wouldn’t it be great being a rebel for Christ’s legacy?” Amen, sister!!

  6. “This method [social media] of reaching out is not a negative commodity, but the church must be sure of its purpose in providing such a service.” Yes Lynda absolutely. I would argue that there is a way to foster community and use social networking technology as a vehicle and tool to engage and reconnect so many who have not been in the community of faith for a long time. You hit it on the head when you said it is about knowing the purpose for which it is being used.

  7. mm Katy Lines says:

    “Rather than conforming to the traditions of denominations wouldn’t it be great being a rebel for Christ’s legacy?”

    Interestingly, that was the rationale in the founding of our church movement, the Restoration movement. In the early nineteenth century, a group of leaders and churches came together (primarily from Presbyterian & Baptist backgrounds) and decided to form a unity movement, calling for “no creed but Christ” and seeking to model after the 1st-century church to find unity. They rejected all forms of “denominationalism.” After 200 years though, that 1st-century church goal seems naively ideal and our movement has built its own cultural identity (as well as 2 break ups and one denomination– the Disciples of Christ). We’ve recognized that it isn’t possible to fully renounce denominational traditions without creating new traditions in their place (which, in my opinion, isn’t a bad thing). The challenge is to recognize and mature thoughtfully.

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