The ’90s are all the rage these days. Tank tops. Jean shorts. Vans. Nirvana shirts. Saved by the Bell references. Neon colors everywhere. The way we remember the ’90s makes it seem so, so cool …
… Unless you were a church kid. Then the ’90s for you was less Saved by the Bell and more Adventures in Odyssey. Or as my friend likes to call it, Adventures in Moralism.
You know you were a ’90s church kid if…
You Had More Than One WWJD Bracelet.
Forget the fact that most of the parts of Jesus’ life captured for us in the gospels are uniquely unrepeatable acts of the Son of God. How would Jesus have handled that PG-13 movie in front of his other youth group friends? If the answer wasn’t storming out out of the theater, then you didn’t own four WWJD bracelets to match your different Tooth & Nail Records T-shirts.
You Put Copious Amounts of Stickers on Your Bible.
The amount of stickers you put on your Bible puts your average liberal college professor’s Prius to shame. Camp stickers. Christian band stickers. Calvin kneeling before the cross stickers (I guess the party crowd got Hobbes). Putting a new sticker on your Bible was like sharpening your sword—which is actually what you called your Bible right before doing Scripture memory drills with your accountability group.
You Ended a Relationship After Reading ‘I Kissed Dating Goodbye.’
Your youth group leader encouraged you to read it. You did. It blew apart your relationship like a shame grenade. You said things like “I just feel like I need to focus more on my relationship with God.” Then you passively aggressively gave your copy to friends. By the way, I’m still waiting on the sequel: I Way More than Kissed Marriage Hello.
Your First Concert Was a Christian Band No One Has Ever Heard of.
The ’90s was to Christian music what the 2000s was to Creed and/or Nickelback: a golden age of music you would later hate yourself for (still) loving. Friday night rolled around, and instead of doing something lame, you and your friends loaded up into your church’s Ford Econoline, and stopped for some Chick-fil-A to pre-game for the Christian moshing you were about to do. If you don’t know what “Christian moshing” is, imagine a mosh pit made up of Peanuts characters.
You Had a Christian Parody T-Shirt
“Abreadcrumb & Fish.” “Lord’s Gym.” “HisWay.” The ’90s were an incredible time for Christians who wanted to put evangelical spins on popular trends. It only stopped because it’s hard to fit a whole Christian parody logo around a v-neck.
You Went to More Lock-Ins Than Actual Parties.
Who doesn’t want to spend an entire night locked inside a sweaty building, eating lukewarm Papa Johns, and watching movies with no plots, but more importantly, no cussing? Not to mention the romantic tension you could cut with a sword. And by sword I mean Bible. Just because the youth minister said “Girls are pink, and guys are blue, so don’t make purple,” that didn’t stop you from sneaking in a side-hug or two.
So if you were a church kid in the ’90s, raise a glass. Preferably of watered down lemonade or coffee. Then pour one out for that time your parents broke all your rap CDs.