Christian bookstores. Christian music. Christian radio. Christian magazines. Christian coffee shops. Christian mints. Christian television. Christian clothing stores. Christian schools.”What would Jesus do?” “Got Jesus?” Key chains, bumper stickers, magnets, etc. We live in a Christian sub-culture.

Now, on one hand, I can understand why Christians would have created this. They want a safe environment for their families. They don’t want their kids running into bad language, sex, drugs, violence. They don’t want to run into themselves. It makes them uncomfortable. They’re afraid that they will be pulled in by the “enticing sin lifestyle”. They are afraid that their Christian testimony will be damaged. It’s dangerous in the world. There are people who don’t care about others or God or morals or anything.

So they’ve created a sub-culture. And in order to make it more appealing to “non-Christians”, they’ve taken “cool” things from the world and made a “Christian version”. Everything from music to clothes. However, all this has done is make the Christian sub-culture more appealing to……..Christians? Now wait a minute! Wasn’t their plan geared toward non-Christians? Maybe in the beginning.

But is that really what Jesus would do? If they really want to follow their little slogan, doesn’t that mean they’re supposed to be in the world? And I know that a lot of their basis for the sub-culture comes from that same verse. They want to make sure they aren’t “of the world”. But in the process, they’ve managed not to be “in” it either. Jesus was “in” the world. Wouldn’t He want His followers there to?

After all, when Jesus prayed for us, He didn’t pray that we would be removed from the world. He prayed for His Father to “protect them from the evil one”. If Jesus had wanted us removed from the world, He could have done it a long time ago. But He hasn’t. Shouldn’t that make us as Christians stop and think?

Being “in the world” can be uncomfortable. It can be scary. There are people who can and will hurt us. But if Jesus truly is our Master Teacher, and we truly are His disciples, then we have Someone on our side Who those people cannot contend with. That’s not to say we shouldn’t be smart about things. But don’t let your need for comfort and safety outweigh your mission in this life. Jesus must have thought we could handle it. That’s why He entrusted His work to us.