Dan Popp
February 15, 2017
Take my culture - please
By Dan Popp

You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain. (Exodus 20:7, NAS95)

"Cultural appropriation" is one of many new sins invented by the people who don't believe in sin. Though it defies definition, one example is said to be whites in the Fifties borrowing what was called "race music," and turning it into "rock 'n' roll." But if race music had stayed in the black clubs, who would ever have heard of Michael Jackson? Or Beyoncé? Or Kanye? Or hundreds of other African American performers who became rich and famous because the music of their grandparents found a wider audience?

The theory of appropriation is built on several layers of leftist fantasy: a dominant cultural group, an exploited minority, and their most laughable delusion: "privilege."

There is one despised minority, however, whose symbols are openly hijacked without a peep from the left, and that is Christians. Oh, you say, Christians are a majority! Not so, and never was so. You're counting those who are only cultural Christians: those who haven't been born again, but who just drift along in a sea of quaint moral ideas maybe having something to do with God, and perhaps even Jesus – as long as we don't get too specific about which Jesus. (Test question: Is Jesus the only way to God? Cultural Christians, or downright imposters like Barack Obama, have a hard time answering Yes to this.)

In the first few centuries, of course, no one wanted to "play Christian," since the followers of The Way were considered criminals and undesirables. Since Constantine made Christianity cool, it has endured the most, and the worst, cultural appropriation.

This was forced to my attention when I saw a Valentine's Day commercial from Zales jewelers featuring two women dressed as brides – apparently marrying each other. Someone told me about a Hallmark greeting card spot involving two men. Now, think about this for just a second. The full name of the holiday we just celebrated is Saint Valentine's Day. Do you think Saint Valentine would want his name to be used to promote lesbianism and sodomy?

I'm sure the barbarians will rush to condemn the cultural appropriation.

One man related that a group of his gay friends got together and sang Christmas carols in public last season. That's an offensive misappropriation of Christian culture. Jesus is the Friend of Sinners, it's true. But the kind of sinners He befriends are those who don't want to remain sinners; those who want to be forgiven and made right with God. The Lord didn't dine with people who wanted to justify their sin, and bully others into condoning it!

I wonder if the carolers might have struck up "Joy to the World," with its message of the absolute Kingship of Christ:
    He rules the world with truth and grace,
    And makes the nations prove
    The glories of His righteousness
    And wonders of His love....

He rules the world, His way. He rules not just with grace – our greasy grace that lets everything slide – but with truth. The wonders of His love are astounding, but they in no way dim the glories of His righteousness. His mercy does not nullify His justice. If this paradoxical God isn't the one you're singing about, it might be best to remain silent.

I believe that virtually all Christians have no problem with outsiders appropriating our culture – as long as they also take to themselves the beliefs that inspire that culture.

© Dan Popp


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Dan Popp

Dan Popp is a Christian, a husband, and a small-business owner. Writing has been part of his profession since the late 1970’s. He and his wife of more than 30 years, Vicky, live in Ohio.

On Twitter: @FoundationsRad


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