Friday, August 13, 2010

The Alternative

The Friday online edition of the Wall Street Journal printed a rather unusual but thought provoking article by the title “The Perils of Wanna Be Cool Christianity”. The basic proposition of author Brett McCracken is that some churches have gone too far in an effort to attract young people. He writes.

There are various ways that churches attempt to be cool. For some, it means trying to seem more culturally savvy. The pastor quotes Stephen Colbert or references Lady Gaga during his sermon, or a church sponsors a screening of the R-rated "No Country For Old Men." For others, the emphasis is on looking cool, perhaps by giving the pastor a metrosexual makeover, with skinny jeans and an $80 haircut, or by insisting on trendy eco-friendly paper and helvetica-only fonts on all printed materials. Then there is the option of holding a worship service in a bar or nightclub (as is the case for L.A.'s Mosaic church, whose downtown location meets at a nightspot called Club Mayan).

However, according to McCraken, the results of such attempts to be relevant may do more harm than good.

"In his book, 'The Courage to Be Protestant,' David Wells writes: '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...'
If the evangelical Christian leadership thinks that 'cool Christianity' is a sustainable path forward, they are severely mistaken. 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.
If we (young people) 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.”

In his letter to a group of persecuted Christians the apostle Peter describes the "alternative" life people of all ages are looking for today. It surely is not an easy, trendy or popular life. It is, however, rooted in the unchanging eternity of God. It is a life that offers stability, truth and trust. Above all, it offers eternal life, free of charge to all who will receive it. Jesus Christ is God; he doesn't need gimmicks. Join us at 10:00 am this Sunday morning (August 15) for the best "alternative".

Hawaii Lutheran Church (WELS)

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Honolulu, HI
Community Lutheran Church holds protestant chapel services in Honolulu, Hawaii near Pearl Harbor, HI. We are next to the USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor Naval Base, Hickam Air Force Base, and Fort Shafter Hawaii. Look for us directly behind the Salt Lake, Hawaii, Target.