July 27, 2015

Jesus Is Not Cool. He Is God.

The WashPost has an editorial on the recent trend in Church services designed to attract a new generation of cool, hipster Christians.
Do people want Christianity to be cool? What happens when churches become too driven by the desire to be trend-savvy and culturally relevant? Can a church balance hipster credibility within an orthodox tradition?

These were questions at the heart of my book “Hipster Christianity: When Church and Cool Collide,” which released five years ago. The book seemed to fascinate reporters, with outlets like The New Yorker, The Atlantic and NPR covering what they saw as a deliciously paradoxical story.

“If the evangelical Christian leadership thinks that ‘cool Christianity’ is a sustainable path forward, they are severely mistaken,” I wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed, The Perils of ‘Wannabe Cool’ Christianity. “As a twentysomething, I can say with confidence that when it comes to church, we don’t want cool as much as we want real.”

Five years later, has the cool-church movement done anything to reverse trends of declining church attendance, particularly among young people?

Most evidence suggests the answer is no. Recent Pew Research data showed across-the-board declines in Americans who identify as Christian and dramatic increases in those who are “unaffiliated” with religion, particularly among younger adults.
This sounds like the "seeker" type of Christianity where instead of feeding the flock to enable them to become ambassadors for salvation, pastors aim to make non-Christians feel comfortable with watered down doctrine and popular music. Being comfortable with sin is not a wise career choice. Accommodating evil has rendered many popular denominations useless to God.

The mission of the Church is to prepare believers for ministry. By ignoring biblical instruction the purpose, the goal of the Church is defeated. Hosea 4:6 states that:
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.
Much of Jesus' earthy ministry was devoted to instructing the Jews; His Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5-7) and the Olivet Discourse (Matt. 24) were instructions on how He expected them to live.  Scripture is replete with these instructions and yet the New Testament has not a single verse regarding corporate worship. You cannot sing your way into Heaven. It's not about the music, it's about changing your life to align it with God's Word. Unless you are fully committed to reading and comprehending Scripture, you cannot serve properly nor can you resist the pressures of life that discourage so many people.

There is a cost to discipleship. You can't sugarcoat it or hide it behind a trendy facade. You cannot please God and the world. As stated in Matt. 6:24:
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon [money, wealth or greed ~sig94].


Doom said...

The crazy thing? When you are on that narrow scarce path? It is cool. Not time to dwell on it, and in the real sense of the word, not the 'tolerant' meaning. Plus, if you want to get away from it all... there aren't many on that path. *grins* Oh, yahoos will cross your path, from time to time. But neither will they stay constant, nor will they tolerate your company... "Bigot", they might shout in parting. I just wave and smile, perhaps say a little prayer that they might choose to see, some day, before it is to late.

Yeah, it's cool. I'm not, for it, but it is, as a gift and way. As a mountain path along a stream, I do not make it so, and me being there does not make me so. It... just is.

Kid said...

I was gonna say something then read Doom's comment and now I'm lost. Totally lost of my thought :)

Doom said...

Sorry Kid. I... do that to people often enough, for good or ill. Still surprised my parents didn't just end me. Maybe they knew talent when they saw it, and thought maybe I'd turn that into an empire (instead of becoming a near monk). :p