1. Adding “al” to words to make them sound cool. For example, I hate the word “intentional.” It sounds like business-speak for the Christian set. Puh-lease. I cringe when I read blogs that say, “We must become more intentional about….” Ick. Intentional is fresh out of the hippy movement from the 1960’s and is just Jesus People revisited for the 21st century.
2. Using a big screen to broadcast music, sermons, or anything done in PowerPoint for that matter. Come on, are we at a seminar or are we worshiping in a church? I can’t tell. Where’s the mystery?
3. The altar call. Back in the day, this was a sure fire way to get the numbers one needed to hold a successful revival. How can you count souls into the kingdom if you don’t have an altar call? But, it reeks of coercion. If I hear one more time, “With every head bowed, pray this prayer with me…..” Bleck.
4. Fundamentalist fashion for women. You know what I mean! These women are making a cottage industry out of ultra fundamentalist dress for women. Funny, we never see anything about men and modesty. Hmmm. Peer pressure rules.
5. Anything with Purpose Driven in it.
6. Contemporary Christian music. It’s gone all sappy and lovey-dovey with Jesus. EEEWWWWW.
7. Finally, I’m fed up with the whole commercialization of cultures that inevitably happens when all meaning is sucked out of a phenomenon, such as Christianity. Buy this book, listen to this music, go to this Emerging Church, and you too can be a Christian. Just put on the right clothes and jewelry and come on down!
…but she writes a whole lot better than I do. I highly recommend a reading and re-reading of Jemila Monroe’s articles at TheOoze:
I was reading an interesting article of a lay Christian who thinks outside the box, as most emergent churchgoers are wont to do. Dan Kimball brings up a few good points about what people expect from church and asks a few good questions about why we expect it. Who invented the “church” anyway? Jesus didn’t. Paul didn’t. They only preached and outdoors at that. Paul preached in the synagogue, but only to so he could find Jews to listen to him. Who decided that the church was going to be a comfy building that believers go to every week to sit in rows and receive teaching or communion? Why and when did one’s spiritual life become some kind of effort that we exert, some kind of race that we must expend massive amounts of time worrying about? Since when is life itself earned? We do not choose to come into this life and although we may feel chosen by God to believe in his son, we cannot be responsible for all those things that work against us as soon as we’re born; dysfunctional families, handicaps, genetic abnormalities, accidents, murders, rapes, you name it. Surely, God is not such a trickster that he heaps hurdle after hurdle upon us as soon as we believe? Surely God has made the way easy and the burden light.
The effort people go to to convince you that you HAVE to go to “church” or you cannot be a true Christian is laughable when you remember that no one “went” to church in the bible. They met for fellowship, but Jesus never advocated the synagogue as a GOOD thing. Jesus never talked about it at all except to say we must worship in spirit and in truth (John 4). Why isn’t living a life focused on truth the only thing that is required of us? Living life with God-consciousness is enough to put anyone on the “right path” of spirituality. If one HAS to stay in the “church” movement, at least one can experiment with it and refine it for the 21st century. The past is not always the best way of doing things. Let’s not keep going backward, but forward.