Tuesday, June 30, 2009

So Hip, It Might Not Be Christian Anymore

A friend recently brought to my attention an ad from a church looking for ‘a connections guy.’  This appears to be a staff position at a church that styles itself ‘J10’ from a reference in the Gospel of John.  At the end of the ad we find “Reasons to consider applying to be the NEW J10 connections guy” followed by a list, as show below.  Kent will comment on each reason in bold print of this color.  So here go the ‘reasons’ followed by some comments on each one.

If you think church should be fun

If you define ‘fun’ properly, no problem.

If you want a place to invite your beer drinking buddies

Wonderful, unless you are going to continue drinking with them and allowing them (and you) to pretend this doesn’t really matter.

If your vision for church looks more like a student ministry than adult ministry

I’m not sure just what this means.  Make the whole church like a ‘youth group’?  But shouldn’t our ‘vision’ for the church look like the ‘vision’ of the church as revealed in scripture?  Shouldn’t we adjust ‘our’ visions to THAT, i.e., God’s, vision?

If you take God serious but not yourself

I’m not sure what that even means, but it sounds suspiciously like stupid ‘hipster’ talk.  But if you are going to ‘take God’ it would need to be ‘seriously’ because an adverb is needed there.  More on matters like this below.

If you love students but want to have more adult interaction

Sure, why not?  We have segregated ‘students’ from adults for far too long in far too many venues.

If you think potty humor is ok in church (on occasion)

There is just what we need more of in churches - ‘potty humor.’  But only, of course, ‘on occasion.’  It seems like there are plenty of occasions to encounter ‘potty humor’ in the world, so it’s rather hard to know why anyone would want to import it into the church.  I’m probably just not ‘hip’ enough to understand.

If you think church should be full of messed up people and you don’t mind dealing with their messes

Certainly, as long as the goal is not to wallow in such messes, but to begin, at least, to clean them up.

If you are a church planter at heart or desire to plant a church one day

No problem with this one.

If you live more on the edge of chaos than in certainty

In light of the repeated Biblical talk that we can know THE truth, and that we should and must speak the truth, this one seems on the verge of stupid.  Forget ‘the verge’ – it’s just stupid.

If you read because you have to, but would always rather be outside and with people.

Let’s not read overly much.  It’s such a chore – especially reading the Bible.  Do that only when you ‘have to.’  Instead, just run around ‘with people.’  You will be just as big an ignorant fool as anyone, and thus you will be able to help people in all sorts of wonderful ways.  You know, people like your drinking buddies.

If you want to be a part of a church that DOES NOT have the “same ole” arguments

Why worry about ‘arguments’ – same ole (whatever those are) or otherwise.  Since we aren’t going to read except when absolutely necessary, there will be no informed arguments anyway.  Probably just drinking buddies screaming at one another.

If you would rather the church music error on being too hard than soft

I would think anyone interested in the health of the church would want church music to err (‘error’ is a noun, not a verb, by the way – something that might slip by those who read only when necessary) on the sides of being theologically content-filled and music that is both beautiful and easily sung by a group of people.  But if you think of ‘church’ as a rock concert, then go for ‘hard’ by all means.

If you are just as messed up as anyone you know and will admit it

This is very hip-sounding.  But what about the matter of progressing in sanctification?  Shouldn’t a church leader be a little closer to the image of Christ than just ‘anyone you know’?

If you want to be a part of a church that actually reaches people who don’t attend church

An excellent idea, as long as that does not imply re-making the church in the image of the world in the warped hope of making the church attractive to the world.  A little Bible-reading might convince the people at ‘J10’ that this should be the case.  But I forgot – they only read the Bible, or anything else ‘when the have to.’

Finally, perhaps we should all think about this one:  is it possible to be so ‘hip’ that you start to slip out of what could in any meaningful sense be called the Christian faith?


Art Irvine said...

Thanks for commanting on the J10 church! I saw their ad for something a few days ago and went to their web site tonight. You were right to caution about making the church into something the world would be atracted to, unless you like Lynard Skinnard.
I think I'll stay as close to the traditional church as i can, thank you.
Art Irvine

WDC said...

From what I read here (because I wanted to read it, not because I had to read it), it appears that there is a major problem with the J10 church: They do not have a foundation.

A solid foundation is required for any organization to survive and thrive. That is why we were given the Word. God’s Word is the foundation upon which a Christian church must be built if it is to remain strong. Without it, you just end up with a mob of “messed up people” who are “living on the edge of chaos”.

When a Christian church forgets the importance of the foundation, it is doomed to failure. And sadly, that failure is likely to result in wandering sinners, and lost souls.

Interestingly, this same principle applies to any organization, including a country. When the United States fails, it will be because we have forgotten our foundation – the foundation given by God, and by our Constitution.

And that is why I cling to my Bible and my guns….


J10 said...

Congratulations gentlemen. You have been successful in reading your bible and not applying it to your lives. I can certainty understand where you are coming from and from your limited perspective you are correct in your thoughts. I say limited, because you have never had a conversation with me, or anyone at J10 church. I could understand if you had had a conversation with people at J10 and saw we weren't reaching lost people and maturing them. The fact is we aren't just sitting around like a bunch of Jr. High girls that don't have the social skills to communicate to people so instead they put their feeling on a blog and hope to get some response from other insecure Jr. high girls. My bible tells me we are to everything out of love. I can't see where there is any love for me in this. If you were to communicate to me and bring scripture, which is the only thing useful for correcting, training, and rebuking, not your thoughts and opinions, then we could have a loving conversation. I am very open to having a Godly conversation and even using the bible,yes I read it.

If you want to talk to me and learn how we are reaching lost people and even invest in me as a young leader and help rather than sit on the sideline and criticize, email me and I will give you my phone number.

chad said...

In essentials, unity; in opinions, liberty; in all things love.

Something to think about after reading your post...