Sunday, November 22, 2009

Blue Jean Christianity

If failure to innovate within the boundaries of scripture causes problems, so does innovation that takes us beyond the restrains of God's word. One trend that I observe from time to time is the failure to give serious attention to the reading of the Bible in congregational settings. Another is the use of "rah-rah" songs that say nothing of any theological value no matter how enthusiastically they are sung by the worship leaders.

Both diminish the corporate gatherings of God's people, and both rob the service of something very important, namely, reverence. By reverence I do not mean funereal, but rather an attitude which is serious and respectful, and conscious that we are contemplating and worshiping the God who is superlatively holy.

I also think it might come as a surprise to many that in my experience younger adults complain about a lack of reverence more than their parents. They tell me that they are looking for what one recently called, "a feeling of authenticity," and they certainly do not want to feel manipulated as if they are being squeezed into the aggressive ministry plan of a pushy leadership team. Nor do they want "canned worship" that comes across as too staged and slick.

As I have said many times before the key word is balance. The difficulty is that balance cannot be faked, at least not very well. It must flow out of a relationship with God that is living and vibrant and "normal." It must not be pulled out like a suit or dress that someone puts on for special occasions. It must be the stuff of everyday life, a kind of blue jean Christianity, that is then shared with those who are being transformed by the power of the gospel.

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