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AlyssaArens
Dr.KendraParker
ENGL11303
26January2015
ChristianityforDummies:TomsShoesandaGuitar
Formany,faithisacomplextopic.Somehavegrownupalwaysbelievinginahigher
power,whetherthosebeliefsweretaughtwithinafamilyorculturalcontext,oriftheywere
merelydiscoveredoutofpurecuriosity.Othershavehadmonumentalexperiencesthathave
causedthemtorunawayfromthepossibilityofanysortofGod thatlooksoutforthem.And
fewaresufficientlyscientificallyeducatedtothepointwherecreationismisirrelevantandfor
theuneducated.However,withnearly4,200religionsbeingpracticedallaroundtheworld,itcan
bedifficulttopinpointwhatistrue;andtherefore,whatisworthinvestingoneslife.The
millennialgeneration,perhapsthemostliberalgenerationthatAmericahasseeninitsexistence,
maynotseefaithassuchamindbogglingthing.Believinginsomethinggreaterthanoneselfis
humbling;infact,itiscool.Faithisnomorethandonatingsomemoneytocharities,adopting
themodestishottest Christianstyle,andlearningtoplayacouplehymnsontheguitar.The
21stcenturyChristianlifestylefadofthemillennialgenerationhasbothintriguedandrepelled
nonChristians.
TheincreasinglypopularfadofthemillennialgenerationChristianlifestylereveals
Christianstobeplacidminimalists,leadingnonChristiansintotheperceptionthatChristians
liveasimpleandeasylifestyle.Christiansgrowingupinthe21stcenturyhaveadoptedacertain
look thatisvisuallyappealingtomanyoutsiders.Itbeginswithstyle:theTomsshoes,

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Patagoniasweaters,andtattoosoftheirfavoriteBibleverses.Theoccasionaldreadlockcan
reallyaddtothelook,aswell.However,morethanjuststyle,Christiansareoftenknownfor
participatinginaparticularsetofactivities.NotonlydotheyspendtheirSundaysatchurch,but
theyspendtheirfreetimeplayingguitar,divingintoTheWordatlocalcoffeeshops,andtaking
annualmissiontripstothirdworldcountries.Althoughnoneofthesestyleorlifestyleaspectsare
bad things,theyarenotnecessarilygood thingseither.Insimplerterms,brandsand
hobbieswillnotgetsomeoneaticketintoheaven.Thereisnolook thatallChristfollowers
mustadhereto;neitheristhereanexistingformulaofactivitiesandaccomplishmentsthatmust
bedonetoequalapleasedGod.Itisevidentthatineverysociety,eachgroupinhibitsitsnorms
andstereotypes.However,beingaChristianisnotmerelybeingapartofagroup.Christianityis
alifestylechoice;andalthoughthatmaycomewithcertainactivitiesandtraditionsthatother
Christiansmayshare,therearenolifestylerequirements thattheBiblehaslaidout.
Thedangerincreatingtheseunestablished,yetevidentlyexistent,parametersand
expectationsforChristiansisthatitiscontradictorytowhatGodspeaksinHisWord.On
multiplebiblicaloccasions,theLordcommandsnottofixoureyesandprideuponearthlythings,
andthatthesethingswillleadtodestruction.However,forcurrentdaymillennialChristians,
styleisbecomingaviceforconveyingtheirfaiths.Simplylookingthepart hasbecome
enoughforcurrentChristians.AndalthoughTomsshoescommitnoevidentharmtotheworld
infact,theirclaimisthatwitheverypurchase,theywilldonateapairofshoestoan
underprivilegedchildwearingthemisfarfromevangelistic.Goddoesnotsay,Gointothe
worldandproclaimthegospeltothewholecreation,whilewearingTomsshoes.

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TheseriskystereotypesthatChristianshaveputuponthemselvesmayactuallyhavean
oppositeevangelisticeffect.NonChristiansmaybeeasilyattractedtothevisualoutside
appearanceofChristians.Tothem,theChristianlifestylemayappeartobenomorethana
brandnamepairofshoes,aguitararoundyourneck,andsomevolunteerhours.Thisresultsina
Christianchecklist.However,whenanalyzingGodstruecommandsforaChristianlifestyle,
oranylifestyleforthatmatter,itisevidentthatalifestylecannotbeconvertedintochecklist
form.Iffaithwasmerelymaterialisticandeasilytangible,thenitwouldbesimple:Patagonia
sweater?Check.Guitar?Check.ShorttermmissiontriptoAfrica?Check.Peopleareadopting
thewrongideaoftheChristianlifestyle.RatherthanclaimingChristianitybecauseoftheir
loveforGodandtopreachtheGospel,theyclaimittobeapartofanemergentlypopulargroup.
Asfarasevangelismgoes,thesematerialisticChristiansaredoingnothingfortheirreligion,and
nothingforGod.IfmaterialisticChristiansarepreachingtomaterialisticChristians,allthat
resultsisabunchofTomswearing,KumbayasingingChristians thathavenorealreason
behindtheirfaiths.
The materialistic lifestyle of millennial Christians obscures the underlying motivators
behind a Christian faith, resulting in a skewed view of Christianity by non-Christians. Teenagers
have always been known to keep up with the latest fashions and fads. In fact, it is human nature
to go with the grain, to follow the crowd. Although this increasing acceptance of the Christian
lifestyle is encouraging to Christians of all generations, this presents a dangerous future for
Christianity. Faith has become such an egocentric thing in American culture. It is about what that
Christian is wearing or where that other Christian is going on his or her mission trip. Christians
are living out this specific lifestyle only to receive praise and admiration of others. This causes us
to take a step back and wonder why Christian culture is becoming so widely accepted amongst

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millennials. One evident explanation is that the current generation of Christians is becoming
increasingly liberal. Although the Bibles truths defend many conservative political views on
subjects such as gay marriage and abortion, these do not seem to phase millennial Christians.
Rather, they believe they have the inner power to apply the Bible as they wish, however it may
fit best into their lives. The millennial generation has grown up in a world that is tailored to
simplicity and pleasure, and that is just how they view and apply faith. So, although millennials
may be in the scheme of depicting such an appealing Christian lifestyle, it is highly possible that
their actions and motives do not reflect a God-lead life at all. Another reason for the acceptance
of the Christian lifestyle is that its trendy aspects coincide with common culture. Millennial
Christians embrace minimalism, caring for the environment, and exploring Gods creation. These
also are all popular topics in American culture. So, although these new Christians are not
completely aware of what a faith is, and what following God is meant to look like, it can be
easily played off. They attach onto what can be seen: the style, the volunteering, the hobbies,
rather than a private faith practice that is intrinsically motivated. Unfortunately, this materialistic
Christian lifestyle only leads outsiders to believe that Christianity is nothing bigger than oneself.
God claims that all can and will be used for His glory. This statement includes style,
talents, struggles, etc. Although the lifestyle of the millennial Christians is not necessarily sinful
or self-harming, it is not being aimed towards evangelism and furthering the kingdom of God.
Rather, it has become an egocentric phenomenon that aims only at achieving a certain look.
Unfortunately, the results of this Christian lifestyle has the tendency to go against much of what
is said in the Bible, by putting undeclared expectations and regulations amongst Christians.
Although the popularity of living a Christian life is increasing and may be more accepted by the
increasingly liberal millennial population, it lacks roots of reason for having a faith.

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