Christianity: Now With Ranch

Most kids hate eating their vegetables. Two of the most vilified in the eyes of children are broccoli and spinach. Now when I was a child, I never understood this because they were my two favorites.

On the other hand, I despised carrots. I remember my mother telling me I couldn't leave the table until all of my carrots were gone. And I had them EVERY DAY. I used to smother them in yogurt or ranch dressing just to distract from the putrid taste. But there was still the bone-cracking crunch of a potato chip gone horribly wrong.

I've since grown up and put aside my childish ways. So does this mean that I suck it up and eat my vegetables without complaint? Even the ones I hate? Actually, no. I don’t like carrots. I've never developed a taste for them, and I doubt I ever will.

At this point, someone will likely say, "But they’re good for you!" I know. But so is broccoli. It’s one thing to avoid eating vegetables all together (good luck with that). And it’s another to simply pick and choose the vegetables we like. It’s not as though there isn't enough variety. In fact, I’d go so far as to challenge any nutritionist to tell me that I can’t get enough vitamin A from any other source besides carrots. Then again, I’m not really talking about vegetables.

photo credit: I Believe I Can Fry via photopin cc
I've heard the phrase "but it’s good for you" in more than one context. Lately, it’s been heavily applied to the Christian life. And it especially concerns me when the phrase is attached to products: inspirational books, devotionals, sermon podcasts, sacred music, Christian films, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not denouncing these things outright. But the last time I checked, the church wasn't buying into the whole consumerist culture. Perhaps I’m mistaken.

Yet I can’t shake the feeling that promoting Christian materials isn't the same as promoting the gospel. Even suggesting this to some makes you glad that Thor is fictional, and only our loving God controls the lightning.

In reality, it’s that weirdness that’s striking: just because it’s Christian, Christians should like it. It makes about as much sense as eating a vegetable because it’s a vegetable. Not all vegetables are good for all people, and they can even be bad for you depending on health conditions. I think that’s why there’s so much variety. Because there’s a variety of people.

Different kinds of people produce different kinds of things—there’s something for everyone. This should be exciting. And we certainly shouldn't feel obligated to like something just because the producer loves Jesus.

Some people will never like the music that Christians make. That’s ok. I hate that squash squeaks when you bite it. I’ll eat something else, and they’ll find encouragement in their Christian walk from other things. Either way, we should be careful not to sanctify consumerism under the guise of parental platitudes. That’s something that’s too hard to swallow, even with ranch.