Sunday, July 08, 2007

Trendy Pastors

Young, relevant, cool, edgy, hip, and trendy. We must appeal to the masses... I guess.

I saw this post by Keith of I like what he says about these "trendy pastors"

Here is the post:

"The men pictured above are all pastors of "churches" (in some cases, I use the term loosely) that appeal to "seekers" or what I call "emergent" types. They have lots of similarities, i.e. casual dress, haphazardly-styled or no hair, some don't appear to be happy, most are tanned (maybe their church is close to a beach), none of them are over forty, and none of them own a tie. (That one preacher/pastor guy is pretty muscley, too.) EDIT: 07.01.07 - I have been informed by a concerned reader that one of the pastors IS over forty. He should know better, then.

Some other things I've noticed about these "trendy pastors":

• They really like to use the word "relevant."

• It's more trendy/relevant to refer to themselves as "Christ followers" rather than "Christian" or "Believer."

• They seem to have an aversion for anything "old" or "traditional."

• They "give talks" rather than "preach sermons."

• Music Ministers don't like to be called Music Ministers...they are "Minister/Pastor of Creative/Christian Arts."

• On one church's website, the pastor wrote: "God began to burden my heart with the need for a dynamic, innovative, multicultural church, where people could learn God’s truths in relevant and creative ways...". Honestly, I've always thought that a church that faithfully preached the Word of God, WAS "dynamic" and "relevant."

• One pastor wrote on his blog: "Every movie has a great sermon." Silly me, I thought the Bible had some pretty good sermons in it.

• One pastor commented: "I think it's funny that we meet in a movie theatre that's showing Knocked Up." I think it's sad he thinks that's funny.

• One church's website proclaimed they were "the cool church." Groovy, man...if I'm looking for a place to trip!

• One pastor noted: "Knocked Up is a great movie." I hope he's kidding.

• One church's website, announcing their upcoming sermon series on "sex" proclaims: "God wants you to have great sex."

• One of the sermon titles for the multi-week series is entitled: "Leather, Whips, and Whipped Cream." Oh, brother.

• Churches are now referred to as "campuses." I guess using the word "church" isn't "relevant."

I guess I'm just old fashioned. I still think that faithful preaching will accomplish exactly what the Word says it will: "For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart." - Hebrews 4:12


Blogger jdixieguy1 said...

First of all I would agree that the great majority of these emerging/emergent practices are troubling. However DO NOT write anyone off simply because of their appearance. Christ didn’t write people off (I think probably because he knew the chosen) He told the truth knowing that the truth was what people would respond to. Furthermore when it comes to age Jesus himself was under 40 and God used Him (I know some in their Christology will hold that he was God so it didn’t matter that he was under 40 but, lets not forget that His human incarnate body was that of someone around His early thirties). I myself am only 23 and as a young person am unfortunately confronted everyday with the so called “emerging church” concept of Christianity. Do you think I like that my peers are being influenced by apostasy? In case you couldn’t figure out from the context I don’t. Why should we not be in culture reaching out to the lost seeking out the seekers? The problem is not tying to reach the lost in out culture the problem as a Christian believer is becoming lost in our culture when we seek to be culturally relevant. I think one of the biggest problems with the emerging “church” movement is that they seek to be the “have alls” in a sense "super apostles" they claim not to have all the answers but then try to supply the supposed answers that they don’t have. Its almost as if they seek to wipe out any preconceived notion and of the mind and then reprogram those who will listen. It seems to me after reading Rob Bells’ Velvet Elvis that there is the concept that the Holy Spirit can’t do its job. That we need to “in community” open discussion to work out God through laymen centered theology. What I don’t understand is why these emerging types seek to change the gospel to make it palatable to a lost society. Why not seek the Gospel, preach the Gospel and let the irresistible grace of the Holy Spirit do its job. If we did that than this conversation would never be needed. If we simply stood up in our culture, whether we were, how ever old 30 or 300, and proclaimed the true Gospel than this would be a mute issue.

5:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's the youngin's responding to this one... 23 yo/female here.

Quite honestly I recognized some but not all of the faces on the pictures- once in a while I've caught these men on TV. I've left them on and watched b/c I wonder how "relevant" (ha ha) a wanna-be cool guy really is for exclaiming the salvation of our Messiah. My conclusion from what I've seen of these men is that today's definition of "relevant" is a little too close to "relativism"

11:32 AM  
Blogger jdixieguy1 said...

I agree that relativism is the danger with trying to be culturally relative. However we must be relative in some ways. I have come to the realization that the only way to be relative to someone in sin is to speak the Gospel. The other day it occurred to me that culture is shaped by men and if men are fallen then culture by extension is fallen. Therefore, why should I strive to be relative to those whome are fallen because in doing so I myself risk being influenced by sin. If that is the case then we should not strive to look like culture in order to reach out. Rather we should strive to look like Jesus (knowing we can never be Jesus). If that is the case than we must truly search to see who Jesus was and how we effectively do ministry as he did ministry. Jesus was not relative to culture as much as he was relative to sin. His earthly flesh was a product of culture. He dressed as a Jew, talked a specific language etc. but, those attributes of Jesus were all in place to reach the sinners in the culture not the culture itself. It wouldn’t have made much sense for Jesus to speak Elizabethan English to the Israelites who spoke Aramaic (of course some will say that Jesus could have spoke any language and it still be interpreted by those who hear. That is true but if we want to rely on scripture than we must submit that he didn’t. The infallible word of God tells us that he was Jewish, that He spoke the language of the Jews at that time and that He was a product, in His earthly ministry, of a specific culture.) I think that there is no way of getting around culture. I am a product of culture just as you are. As such a product I will dress a certain way, eat certain foods, talk a specific language and God will use those attributes of my life in order to reach those around me in my culture. It would be ridiculous for me to wear a toga, speak Greek and, refuse to wear shoes ( I don’t know why I chose no shoes as a cultural characteristic but it just seemed comical enough to make my point.) while expecting for people to look at me and think of me in some regard other than crazy. However I also firmly believe that regardless of my toga, language or stinky feet if I spoke the true Gospel people would listen because at that point they don’t see me but they hear a message through me relative to their sin and sin transcends all cultural boundaries. Relativism is not a problem so much in practices (unless those practices are counter to how God has told us to live through His word and His Son) but it is a huge problem when it comes to influencing orthodoxy. Relativism and orthodoxy are two things that cannot live under the same roof nor should we try and sneak relativism in the back door. I think that in what ever ministry Christ places me I will be relative as I am a product of culture but the Gospel will be relative because it’s a product of Gods love for those who are tied to their sin (not because God needs them but, because in His graciousness he allows the chosen to be a fragrance to Him through the sacrifice of His Son.) The Gospel is always relative and we should never change or diminish it in order to reconcile ourselves with the world.

2nd Corinthians 10:3-6
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.

3:03 PM  
Blogger Keith said...

Kenny: Thanks for the link.

5:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Listen man. I've been reading your blog. You seem like a nice guy, but you attack a lot of people (I am a Driscollite) only because they are much more cool than you. Guess what, I watch R-rated movies, find crude humor funny (I love South Park), and do church differently, all with a clean concience. I'm all for you upholding good theology, but on the other things you're just being a legalist, and I think it all stems from deep-down just feeling like a geek. Have some self-esteem man.

8:57 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

Why do you like what he said about these pastors? It was as superficially based as posting pictures of what they looked like supposedly revealed about them.

The Trendy Pastor post was neither helpful nor deep.

I'm surprised you found it so beneficial, actually. It seemed rather petty, as if it wanted to hit serious points but instead hit the usual talking points.

An echo chamber.

12:54 AM  

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