Tuesday, August 17, 2010

"We Don't Want Cool As Much As We Want Real." #Catholic

The Wall Street Journal recently published an excellent piece, "The Perils of 'Wannabe Cool' Christianity."

The writer, Brett McCracken, said this:
If we are interested in Christianity in any sort of serious way, it is not because it's easy or trendy or popular. It's because Jesus himself is appealing, and what he says rings true. It's because the world we inhabit is utterly phony, ephemeral, narcissistic, image-obsessed and sex-drenched—and we want an alternative. It's not because we want more of the same.

I could not have said it better, myself.

Two years ago on this blog, (And yes, I can't believe it's been that long...) I wrote this post about my own personal dislike of churches trying to be "cool" to attract people. From my own Bible study time, I noticed that Jesus Christ wasn't trying to please people or cater to their whims in order to attract them to His message. He gave His message clearly, without apology. He talked about sin. He talked about compassion. He also talked about dying to the flesh and a person's own preferences for "their way;" which led to death, so they could embrace God's way, which would give life.

Young people like McCracken are not looking for entertainment. They can find that anywhere. They are looking for something that breaks through the walls of superficiality, something that will connect with their deep need of being known. Something that will not just define the problem of fallen man, but provide the solution. They are searching for answers and what many contemporary churches are giving them is nothing more than diversion.

Who is helping these young people think? Who is challenging them to go deeper than their usual dalliances with faddish belief systems that aren't anything more than "Adventures in Me-Land?" How many seeds are falling to shallow ground, never growing roots?

I remember when I was younger and visiting different churches. The ones that made an impression on me were the ones that challenged me to go beyond my comfortable way of thinking. When it was difficult to grasp a Biblical concept, I knew I was in the midst of growing. Change does not happen easily, but drags us while we often dig in our heels. I think most young people realize this.

If there are any younger folks reading this blog (under age 30), I'd really like to hear what you think.


X said...

I was thinking about this very thing today! The lady I teach RCIA with thinks that drums at Mass is a way to bring kids in. I disagree! I just didn't know quite how to phrase it - but your post did it perfectly!!!!! I am SO printing this out! Thanks Mary Rose! (btw, the "drum lady" is 62...what does that tell you?)

Roxanne said...

Thanks so much for sharing that. My husband and I are too old to be "cool." I was Catholic "way back when" in the days of the Latin Mass (went to Catholic School with the nuns). I remember the "cool" priests who played guitars and the "folk masses." The Protestants also followed with "cool" and are still doing it. My husband pastors a plain old Baptist church, which has a traditional service. We don't get many young people.

kkollwitz said...

When each person is his own pope this is the logical consequence.