Monday, August 16, 2010

Why Hip-Style Christianity Is Not Preferred

The Wall Street Journal published an insightful article on religion on Aug 13th, 2010. In the article entitled: "The Perils of Wannabe-Cool Christianity," Brett McCracken begins by comparing the BP oil-well leak in the gulf of Mexico with the leak of young people from evangelical churches. He claims that the young people leaves 'never to return.' The writer is the author of the book, "Hipster Christianity: Where Church and Cool Collide."

Essentially, McCracken argues that while Churches are right to be concerned about the exodus of young people from may churches, they are wrong in trying to use 'hip' and 'cool' stuff to draw them in. He questions the popular person approach, which is use of modern sitcom and popular television personalities. He criticizes the technological approach where churches seem to attract people on the basis of them adopting the greatest and the latest technologies in the ministries. He hits out at sensationalism style church ministry. He is annoyed at the use of 'sex' as a cover. Finally, he tells the reader what is the biblical approach:
"If we are interested in Christianity in any sort of serious way, it is not because it's easy or trendy or popular. It's because Jesus himself is appealing, and what he says rings true. It's because the world we inhabit is utterly phony, ephemeral, narcissistic, image-obsessed and sex-drenched—and we want an alternative. It's not because we want more of the same." (Brett McCracken)

I like the way Dr David Wells of Gordon-Conwell is quoted:

"The born-again, marketing church has calculated that unless it makes deep, serious cultural adaptations, it will go out of business, especially with the younger generations. What it has not considered carefully enough is that it may well be putting itself out of business with God.

"And the further irony," he adds, "is that the younger generations who are less impressed by whiz-bang technology, who often see through what is slick and glitzy, and who have been on the receiving end of enough marketing to nauseate them, are as likely to walk away from these oh-so-relevant churches as to walk into them."
I agree very much with Wells and McCracken. This book is indeed a needed jab for many of us concerned about serving God in biblical ways. We need to be Christlike. If Christ alone is not attractive, nothing else will be permanently attractive. If we become too much like the world, then the people outside the Church will ask: "Why should I come to Church? After all, I can get all the hip and cool things that the world offers. What's the difference?"

The difference must always be Christ. Anything else is a lousy alternative.


No comments:

Latest Posts