How Important is Being Popular?

I was reading a commentary by Chuck Colson. He was thinking back on the interview with John Lennon some 40 years ago in which the Beatle claimed that Christianity was fading and that the Beatles had become more popular than Jesus. Colson observed that Lennon wasn’t being mean-spirited or arrogant, he was merely stating the facts as he saw them, indeed as many in Europe saw them.

I am not surprised. Actually, it seems almost Biblical for the message of the Lord to become lost in the last days. And it causes me to wonder how American evangelicals will respond to the waning of their influence in post-Christian America. What will it mean to be faithful in a minority religion? For years we’ve lived in what we have been convinced was a Christian nation founded on Biblical faith. We have, in our own eyes, been in the majority, the popular favorite.

So, what if that changes? What if we and our faith become unpopular? What if we find ourselves being swept out of the mainstream and relegated to the backwater of American culture? It can’t happen, you say? Why not? It wouldn’t be the first time Christians had been in the minority–ignored sometimes; persecuted at other times. Certainly other religious traditions have persevered as unpopular minorities. Does it matter to us if we are popular? How difficult would it be to go on believing if we felt we no longer belonged–misfits in an unsympathetic culture?

If we lose the “culture war”–a war that I’m not altogether certain we are to be fighting–will we stand as a culture unto ourselves, faithful to our savior and determined to serve Him no matter what?

“As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord…” These are noble words. May God give us the grace to live them if–or when–the time comes.

One thought on “How Important is Being Popular?”

  1. Dan,

    Glad to see you writing! I too think the ‘culture wars’ aren’t the best use of the Lord’s time. If our faith becomes unpopular, maybe it will help us live in community? The evangelical method of having one guy preaching to a crowd on Sunday is well known to be one of the least effective ways to get a message across. Where ever 2 or 3 are gathered…


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