How come Christians, or more broadly ‘Christian culture’, seems to spend a lot of time, money, and resources creating Gody, and often times gaudy, imitations of things found in mainstream culture? Why does Christian culture constantly strive to be utterly unoriginal?

The question about the lack of originality in Christian culture came to mind when I received some spam proudly announcing the arrival of a new Christian video sharing service called GodTube.

“You may have heard of youTube where you can upload and view videos for free – well now there is GodTube” Announced the spam that was presumably aimed at the woefully uninformed folk of faith who have somehow never heard of YouTube, the video sharing service recently sold to Google for a gajillion dollars or something.

“GodTube is where you can upload, share & watch videos in a Christian environment.” And there’s the special key phrase that assures them an audience. “Christian environment” meaning free from all that other stuff you might come across on YouTube like a video of Jesus getting run over by a bus or a mock commercial for the Jesus action figure.

The wording of the heavenly spam seemed to suggest that Christians are perhaps largely unaware of social developments. The reader is told “Technology is an amazing part of life” and that “More & more people are online searching for ‘stuff’.”

Ah yes, “stuff.” Who knows what things could posses our minds if we should happen upon some “stuff.”

Mocking aside GodTube isn’t an altogether bogus idea. Christianity has it’s own community and culture just like say, the gay community have their own community and culture, so why not have a GodTube?

My problem with things like GodTube is that far from being something that is unique and original and therefore set aside from mainstream culture, they’re just rip offs and no matter how great they might be, they’ll always be seen as a cheap imitation of the real thing.

In a rallying call to all Christians connected to the interwebs, GodTube writes “We are called by Jesus Christ to go and make disciples of the nations. Our goal is to help people be connected with Jesus Christ and experience the gift of eternal life.” Stirring stuff indeed, but then I have to ask, is creating Christian culture cocoons really the most effective way of communicating the message? Surely the tactic should be inclusive, not exclusive. Wouldn’t using the original YouTube to share a Christian videos be a far better idea if your goal is to “connect people with Jesus Christ”?

GodTube stands a good chance of being a big hit within the bounds of its intended community. One possible bump in the road might come when Google’s lawyers find that GodTube have mercilessly ripped off some of YouTube’s original graphics. That might lead to an internet battle worth watching on either service. God vs Google, a true clash of the titans. I’m off to sell tickets to that fight on eBay… and GodBay of course!

Me on GodTube inviting them to respond to this post
Sunday Times article about GodTube
Porno’s X-Tube (Original site design tho!)
What would Jesus do? By Walter Kim