WSJ Friday Aug.20, 2010
With regard to Brett McCracken's "The Perils of '_Wannabe Cool'
" (Taste, Aug. 13): Evangelical churches that are trying to
attract a younger generation of Christian believers by being "hip,
countercultural, relevant" are following in the footsteps of mainline Protestant churches
(Episcopalian, Methodist, Presbyterian, United Church of Christ, etc.)
which adopted a more socially relevant message decades ago and have been
losing parishioners ever since. As Mr. McCracken notes, lost souls, whether
young or old, are overwhelmed with choices for hip, glitzy, racy, edgy,
socially-relevant venues. Christian churches can never out-Hollywood Hollywood, or
compete with today's pop culture standards.
Evangelical churches, along with Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches,
generally have been growing, even as mainline Protestant denominations have
been shrinking. Churches that stick to the simple biblical message of
redemption and salvation through Christ, even though we are all sinners, offer an
oasis of comfort in a cultural desert of decadence and despair.
Preachers who turn the message of Jesus into one of social justice,
environmentalism, multiculturalism or paradise on Earth are a dime a dozen. Being
a Christian isn't easy or cool. In the eyes of cultural elites who define
social relevance for the rest of us, Christianity deserves only ridicule
and contempt. That's the unvarnished truth and shouldn't be sugarcoated for
floundering youth who need a life jacket in today's cultural storms, not
another cool and skimpy swimsuit.
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