Friday, July 02, 2010



"Stuff Christians Like" discusses "Cool Christian Litmus Tests":
One assignment was to send back any slang words we were hearing in the city. I reported a few that I was familiar with around Boston, but my list felt incomplete. It needed one more word. So, being the unbelievable liar I was at the time, I looked at the bright green aloe plant on my desk at home and got creative. I wrote a word down and because they wanted to see it used in a sentence, I did that too. Here is what I wrote:

Aloe = Cool and sexy and fresh.

Example sentence = “That girl has mad aloe.”

Yeah that’s right, I actually told the number one trend forecasting company in the world that people in Boston were saying sentences like, “That girl has mad aloe.”

Did they catch on? Not exactly. A week later, they sent out an email to all 10,000 influencers that worked for them. They called out one slang word they had received of the thousands that poured in from around the world. They highlighted one word that they were particularly excited about. Can you guess what word they loved the most?


The reason they did, is that “cool” is completely fictional. We might think it’s measurable or logical, but it’s not. The things that are cool are completely made up. They are inconsequential gossamer. But we still think about them a lot. We still wonder if the people in our lives are cool by our definition of the word. And if you’re a Christian you often develop little litmus tests to determine if someone else is a “Cool Christian.”
Acuff does not probe the idea that "cool" is fictional to any depth, preferring instead to look at surface stuff like movies and drinking, but there is a deep, deep idea here that needs exploring.

"Cool" - "Trendy" - "Fashionable" - "Popular" - "the Latest" - whatever similar term you want to insert is transient. That is to say there is no depth, no permanence - as Acuff says - it is fiction. It may be fun, it may be interesting, but in the end it does not matter all that much.

So, if that is what we concentrate on it, aren't we "Majoring in the minors" just a bit? And yet, that seem to be where so many churches pour their energy. The latest program, the latest worship song, the latest staffing trend.

Church is the place in the world where I go to seek permanence - roots, to concentrate, ultimately on what matters. So often in life to accomplish tings we have to go along with the trendy - but why church? It is supposed to be about ETERNITY. So much of church will seem so trivial with an eternal perspective.

Can I get an "AMEN"?

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