Saturday, May 31, 2014

Cool Christians

One of the great past-times of Postevangelical Christianity is to make fun of evangelical and fundamentalist Christianity.  We're not talking about people laughing at their own foibles, oh no, we're talking about people - Christians mind you, little Christs - laughing at other Christians who are deemed "not cool."  It is easy, really.  So you get "Stuff Fundy's Like," "Stuff Christians Like/Say" (Isn't it cool how they replace the "bad" word with Stuff, but I totally thought the "bad" word anyway!) "Rachel Held Evans" (who has painted herself into a corner by declaring how much she wants to leave the crazy Christians in Evangelicalism, only that would leave her with no material for her writing and probably a much smaller audience), etc.  A friend recently linked to "The 5 Top-Worst Christian Videos in the Universe."  Can I just say - I have a hard time believing these are the worst Christian videos.  Are they inherently wicked or harmful?  NO!  The worst videos are probably the ones that everyone is sharing and liking, the sharing and liking of which is a test of your faith.  Or how about a bunch of popular videos espousing lousy or dangerous theology.

Even the website that lists these videos acknowledges the truth within the songs.  In fact, they seem to like most of the songs in and of themselves.  The ideas expressed are not singled out for ridicule, the people expressing them are targets for ridicule from their fellow believers.  How dare they be corney!  Don't they know that the 11th Commandment was, "Be cool in thy ministry, that it might be liked in social media."  Yes, there's nothing quite as bad on the internet as videos of well-meaning people singing about God in cooky ways.  And we eat it up, don't we Christians?!

This is a problem within the American church.  The highest goal for many today isn't living for God and serving Him by following Jesus.  It is about being cool and accepted.  As Jesus Himself said, "Blessed are the cool, for they will not be bothered by the hot shame of social judgment."  When we have claims of people not being good enough, not doing cool things - as if Jesus needs cool people and cool videos - we are getting away from the gospel of grace.  I'll take breakdancing harmonizers in suits and shoulder padded dresses over "cool" productions any day.  Have you considered that there were people watching two of these songs, at least, and that the top three videos were not just the people on the screen, but the ones filming as well.  Laugh at them if you will, but more than one person felt that what they were doing was worthwhile.

Sadly, the creators of the felt it worthwhile to make fun of them.  I found the About section on, and it sounds like a site with a wonderful purpose.  Unfortunately, their humor section does not seem to keep their desire for inspirational subject matter.  Not that I'm judging, I know we all get it wrong.  It just saddens me to see the church of popular opinion gathered for worship at, where the lepers have been put in their place.