Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Clones/Chameleons **Updated**

I ran into a guy I used to go to church with the other day. We hadn't seen each other in over four years, yet he immediatelyl knew me and I immediately knew him. Even more interesting, I immediately knew WHAT he was. But just to comfirm my suspicions, I asked him: "Where are you going to church now?" I wasn't surprised by his response. "LifeChurch!"

LifeChurch is one of those "emergent" type churches that appeals to people that have become disinchanted with "traditional church." They tend to draw younger, 20 to 30 somethings that prefer a more casual worship in styles and content. Music more closely resembles a secular, contemporary style rather than the traditional hymns; preaching is replaced with "talks" or "dialog" and the idea of absolute truth is looked down upon. For a detail critique of the "emerging church," check out The Truth War by John MacArthur, available here.

So what tipped me off? Well, this guy is my age (45-50). When I last saw him he had salt-and-pepper hair, wire-rim glasses and a paunch around the middle. When I saw him today, he had lost some weight, colored his hair with blonde highlights, and was sporting some of those small, rectangular shaped plastic frames. He was also wearing a bland colored shirt opened to show off a small leather necklace with a silver cross. He looked like this guy!

The man in the picture (link in previous paragraph) is Rob Bell. He is the senior pastor of Mars Hill, a church he and his wife founded that is one of, if not THE, models held up as the emergent church success story. So what does he have to do with me meeting my "friend?"

Well, inevitably, when discussing the emergent church with its supporters, at some time the conversation will turn to attire--emergents don't like anything that looks traditional, especially suits and ties. They will usually say something like: "All you talk about is the way we dress! What makes wearing a suit and tie better than a t-shirt and jeans?! Our church isn't about the way we dress!" But--and this brings me back around to my "friend"--if that is the case, why is it that THEY ALL look and dress alike?!

Emergents pride themselves in what they believe are unique, innovative, relevant and new methods of sharing the Gospel/teaching the Bible/reaching the lost. If they have such "new" ideas, how come everyone in their church fellowship¹ is a "clothing clone" of the each other?!

** UPDATE ** : You may be "emergent" if...

¹ Emergents don't like the word "church," either. They prefer "fellowship" or "community." Again, I think THEY think it makes them less conspicious, less offense-sounding within the culture. That's their big thing: melding into the culture to reach the culture. But what usually happens is they just look more like the culture instead of changing it.

1 comment:

St. Brianstine said...

This is hilarious. I have a guy who used to (does?) read my blog who always ripped on Piper for wearing a suit....good post.