This article led me to wonder if this blog is doing essentially the same thing as well - 'making Christianity hip by making it shocking'. Time and again, I've written posts with blasphemous titles in order to strongly state my points. Brett McCracken expresses:
"But are these gimmicks really going to bring young people back to church? Is this what people really come to church for? Maybe sex sermons and indie- rock worship music do help in getting people in the door, and maybe even in winning new converts. But what sort of Christianity are they being converted to?"I, too, wonder if I'm giving that same effect. I hope not - In fact, I hope I'm doing the opposite.
I'm not against telling people about God's grace or great music at worship sessions, but when this becomes the focal point of the church, I feel uneasy with the effect that goes along with it.
Let me stick my neck out and share from my experience two churches that I've attended regularly in the past. I might lose a few friends for this, but these are my honest feelings.
One was my birth church - an 'old fashioned' church that still sings a number of hymns during main worship, has a relatively crappy band that's below public performance level, and has pastors that deliver grounded, in-depth messages that might sometimes make the congregation feel uneasy. It was hard going to that church - not because the music was bad, but because it was like looking in a mirror and seeing all the dark spots that you had in you. It was a joy for those who were constantly trying to clear those dark spots and could see visible improvement.
Compare that with another church that I attended. The music was great, the songs were contemporary, and even the equipment standard was pretty high up the ladder. But the depth of the sermons, although it wasn't completely lacking, wasn't as grounded. It wasn't clear whether people came for the good music and spiritual high, or to truly worship God. But it was easier to attend church - I could go, not have my conscience challenged, and continue with my daily life the minute after.
What kind of Christians are we breeding? What kind of attitudes do we encourage when we only spread gospels of God's love, but hide passages that speak about the Christian walk that we should adopt in the process? And is this far worse than having 'young people pouring out of churches, never to return'? I personally feel that a person who is a Christian-by-name-only is far harder to reach than a person who has never heard about Christ. And while Martin Luther did a great thing by allowing us the freedom to personally interpret the Bible and interact with God, I find it sad that we now pick and choose what kind of church best suits what we want.
And worse, of course, is the fact that I see this and still choose to continue walking along the 'straight and easy path'.
That's why I can only claim to know about God, not to know God.