Soul struggle

I am struggling with two ways of what I feel are the current "new" ways of being Christian.

The first is the voice which advocates using all the cultural tools at our disposal for the building up of the kingdom of God. So we blog, podcast, text, have websites, wireless capabilities, iPhone, twitter, facebook/myspace, etc. We meet at coffee bars and pizza places to have conversations and dialogue what it means to be Christian and what the nature of God is. We find specific outreach opportunities which have stories connected to them (such as adopting a family or drilling water wells in Africa). We read books by Leonard Sweet, Tony Jones and the like. We talk about emerging and the postmodern shifts in our culture. We seek out third places and look to highlight the sacred in these places. It is building relationships with strangers we meet in the places we go to. We call this incarnational.

The second is the voice which advocates the removal of things which can be distracting from the kingdom of God. So we move to abandoned places of empire or live in community. We seek to live simply and have few possessions. We share economic resources and constantly discover new ways to limit our use of resources such as energy, water or food. We find ways to struggle with systemic sins (such as poverty, racism, and economic injustices). We read books by Shane Claiborne, Tom Sine, and Chris Haw. We talk about cycles of nonviolence and nonviolent resistance. We seek out those in the margins to live with them. It is building relationships with the homeless in places which we would not normally go. We call this incarnational.

This is not a new struggle for Christians. How do the people of God relate to culture is a question as old as time, and I am beginning to be beat down by this struggle.