Monday, May 07, 2012
Cool Is Not What Matters
There are two iterations of the idea of cool. In bike culture, there are people who genuinely enjoy riding fixed gear bikes; then there is a second group who enjoy the idea of and association with fixed gear culture. The same is true for the Church. There are communities who pursue being simply and honestly themselves—and churches who try with all they are to be “cool.”Whoa! Back up the truck there! Don't you think the phrase "being authentically yourself" smacks just a little of fashionable coolness? I mean millennia of Christian church and though and this phrase shows up in the last couple of decades and we are going to use it to express the deep reality of Christianity?
While “cool” will always go out of style, being authentically yourself is what both God and the world are looking for.
Fascinating Captain. He continues:
Just like Fixed Gear culture, the Church has been unable to effect lasting change in the culture at large. There are movements that see a temporary increase in number— mostly by attracting Christians from the church down the street by offering the latest version of what’s cool—but it’s simply a lateral shift in organizational attendance.Now we're getting somewhere, but as he proceeds he is still wrapped up in pop psychological psuedo-speak. He is still trying to sound "hip" while extolling the virtues of eternity.
I will admit that some of my own personal decisions have been in reaction to cultural influences. But over the last several years, I have learned something important. If I and my community are going to grow in wisdom and maturity, it will not come from hopping from one church to another based on style and preference. It will come only from growing alongside the people I call my church family.
And let’s remember here that the Church is meant to stand forever.
First of all, the more we change, the more we are the same. Yes, language and culture change, but man is essentially the same. It is that sameness that Christ came to address, and it is that sameness that we should address ministering in His name.
Secondly, authenticity lies in large part in being other centered. So to my mind "authentically yourself" is a bit oxymoronic.
And finally, part of moving out of yourself is to join with something eternal and unchanging. That means maybe clutching to something that has survived the centuries of cultural upheaval. Molding our presentation of Christ to suit the prevailing culture of the day somehow robs it of its eternal qualities.