I’ve had some loving criticisms to throw at Christian culture lately, and while I may be giving off the impression that I despise the church and its culture, I want to make it clear that I very much love it. There’s a warmth to it that I don’t find anywhere else, and my only intent is to make it a little less fake and, dare I say, childish.
By “childish,” I mean to say that we seem to live in some sort of bubble where the psychological, physical, and cultural realities aren’t allowed to seep in. We take the belief that we’re in this world, not of it, and use that to mean we’re not really a part of human culture. We set hard and fast rules about what is and isn’t acceptable, which is a good thing for the most part, and a bad thing when these rules make us play it too safe.
When we do that we do two detrimental things. Firstly, we narrow our minds till we’re jumping at shadows and getting angry and innocuous things that even appear to border on sinful, whether it actually is or not. Secondly, we become unapproachable and unrelatable. We isolate ourselves so much from the outside world that the outside world doesn’t deem it necessary to listen to us.
Case in point, Candace Cameron Bure of Full House fame released a video on her TikTok that caused an uproar among the Christian community. In the video, she mouths along to the song “Jealous Girl” by Lana Del Rey.
“Baby, I’m a gangster too and it takes two to tango/You don’t wanna’ dance with me, dance with me,” she mock-sings.
As she does this she picks up her Bible and holds it against her. A caption over the video reads “When they don’t know the power of the Holy Spirit.” It’s a bit cheesy but hardly problematic in any way. Bure isn’t wearing anything skimpy or blatantly sexual. She doesn’t move in any way that I would deem overtly seductive.
Bure came back to it later, only to find that many Christians had expressed immense displeasure over it for being sexy and seductive. According to Fox News, she proceeded to issue an apology for what she posted:
“I just came home and read a lot of messages that were not happy with my latest Instagram post that was a TikTok video,” she explained. “And I usually don’t apologize for these things, but a lot of you thought it was weird, and I’m sorry. That was not my intention. I was using a very specific clip from TikTok and applying it to the power of the Holy Spirit, which is incredible.”
The star noted that she was actually surprised that the word “seductive” was used to describe the video, jokingly calling her acting abilities into question.
“And so many of you thought that I was trying to be seductive, which clearly means I’m not a very good actress because I was trying to be strong, not sexy or seductive,” she said with a laugh. “So I guess that didn’t work, but I deleted it.”
“Maybe I was just trying to be too cool or relevant in a Biblical way that didn’t work,” Candace concluded. “Anyway, most of you didn’t like it, clearly, but there was a small percentage of you that appreciated what I did and understood my intention. But anyway, it’s gone. Now I know what you don’t like.”
I really wish she hadn’t issued the apology. She had nothing to apologize for and not doing so would have made it clear to these “play it too safe” Christians that the outrage brigading isn’t going to fly here. Their influence should be lessened and the first step is to deny them their demands. Sure, it’ll result in anger and promises to never consume her product ever again, but so what?
Very rarely do these internet mobs truly affect the numbers by themselves. Intimidation has to occur so that the business changes things for them.
Again, to be clear, I don’t expect or want Christians to become overtly sexual and every Christian woman with an internet account to go early aughts pop-star on us, becoming increasingly sexual till it becomes over the top and, frankly, try-hard. Thing is, at this time, Christian culture already is a bit too try-hard and we’ll never step out of that unless we become okay with making art that has a bit more edge to it than normal.
It’ll be awkward and cheesy at first, sure, but as it matures and content creators become a bit more bold and confident with their creations, things will begin to fall in line.
But outside of that, the church needs to stop looking at things like this as “dangerous.” It’s not. Bure didn’t even approach anything sensational, yet Christians making it seem like she did will only cause people looking from the outside to view Christianity as an overly sensitized cult who become easily angered at the drop of a hat.
This kind of stuff is hurting the church, not helping it. We need to break out of this childish notion of purity.