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Reformed. Christianity. Evangelism. Modern Culture.
A very interesting article that got me screaming , “Amen! Amen! Preach it brother!” As luke warm coffee spilled on my laptop and down my rickety knobbly knees. Excerpted from Apprising Ministries (written by Dustin Segers):
I fully believe that were it not for prayer and a consistent diet of the word, it would be easy to grow cynical of what goes by the name of “evangelicalism” in America. On the whole, American evangelicalism is very materialistic and individualistic rather than sacrificial and collective.
I am exposed to it constantly, and as I’ve already said; were it not for plenty of prayer, meditation on Scripture, and many a good night’s sleep, I’d probably have quit pastoral ministry a long time ago.
I, along with many atheists and skeptics roll my eyes (but for completely different reasons) when I see another goofy church marquee or read another article about Rob Bell’s latest heresy, or hear supposed evangelicals pounding the drum of what is known as “social justice”. I roll my eyes because all of these groups are missing the point.
It’s not that I question Biblical Christian theism in any way; quite the contrary, I have full epistemological confidence/warrant that it is historically true and I fully believe that the Biblical gospel is the power of God unto salvation and such salvation naturally entails societal changes from the ground up. However, much of American evangelicalism seems to be all about two things: (1) “Hipster christianity”, (2) and “Hippy christianity”. The lowercase “c” in “christianity” is there for reasons that you’ll see in the explanations below.
“Hipster christianity” presents Jesus in a shiny, slick materialistic veneer with a limp wrist wearing a Hawaiian shirt on. He avoids offending heretics, homosexuals, and theological liberals at all costs and he certainly doesn’t want to be politically incorrect. After all, being politically incorrect earns you zero social currency at the water cooler. A “Hipster christian” would be much better off at the water cooler being thoroughly conversant with the latest “House” episode or the latest reality show details, or having already memorized their favorite lyrics from the most recent Avril Lavigne release that they just downloaded this past weekend from iTunes. In a nutshell, “Hipster christianity” majors on skin-deep superficiality since religion is still considered somewhat “hip” in America. It loves to join hands with the world to throw money at social problems all the while ignoring the problems in its own congregations and communities that are ultimately rooted in sin. It holds conferences that provide a platform for the world’s unbelieving gurus who are diametrically opposed in both philosophy and deed to the Biblical gospel while spilling their rank heresy onto their unsuspecting, but “thirsty-for-the-world” congregations. For the average “Hipster christian”, really knowing what the Bible says about the Jesus of history and faith is a foreign concept since the Bible paints a portrait of Him that doesn’t fit well with the materialistic, cool, hip, world-consuming “evangelical” masses. The Jesus of the Bible angers the Hipster christians because He demands of them the very thing that they aren’t willing to give to Him: everything (Luke 14:27-33).
“Hippy christianity” has Jesus with holes in his bleached jeans, dreads in his hair, wearning thick-rimmed $500 designer eyeglasses. He is all concerned about the poor, homeless, and sick, and he even ministers on the street to them while living in a 100 year old tenant apartment house along with 20-25 other people right in the middle of downtrodden downtown. This “Hippy Jesus” doesn’t preach the gospel of sin, righteousness, and judgment because that would reveal what the real underlying problem is: sinful men…
IN CONCLUSION, I’ve been listening to the social justice, missional people for years and like most other things I’ve watched come and go within evangelicalism, they too will eventually run out of steam and morph into something else that is just as non-gospel preaching as their current schtick. They are a fad that has come and will eventually go as their “wave” runs out of fleshly energy and their adherents grow up a little bit and get tired of “the cause”, especially since it has no eternal, heavenly-minded gospel perspective and shows little results for such hard, dedicated work. Some missionals need to repent of their worldly, godless thinking and embrace the gospel and then go and preach it while giving people sandwiches, clothes, and adoption options. If you give an able-bodied man a fully belly, a warm cot, and a roof over his head and fail to give him the gospel whereby his soul can be saved, then you have done nothing more than heaped up more condemnation on him on the day of Judgment since his ongoing, continued dependence and trust upon you and “the system” instead of the Sovereign God to provide for his needs further calcifies and solidifies his ungrateful, lazy, and unrepentant heart. The real Jesus said it best:
Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal. (John 6:27)
The original appears complete with a comments section here.
Now surely after a message like that your hearers will never like hearing those three dreaded words that Samson used to say to the Philistines:
I’ll be Back!