Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Consumer Spirituality (part 1 "Spoiled Rotten")
Information and services have never been so accessible to humanity in all of history. Perhaps seen in previous generations under the guise of something else, we now have a new breed of mutant evangelicals who feed their conference junkie, virtual responsibility, shallow spirituality, realistically immature souls. Men no longer want to be men, women no longer want to be women with men who don't know how to be men, people don't want to be people, fathers don't want to be fathers, husbands don't want to be husbands, pastors don't want to be pastor . . . we can pay to "just pretend." Go to this conference, attend this boot camp, go to that workshop, go to this seminary. People who aren't called to be fathers, husbands, or pastors and pretend to be fathers, husbands and pastors. Justification for fornication, justification for identification, justification for ordination? What seems to be missing here? God? Jesus Christ? At the most basic level, submitting one's life to Christ/the gospel, God's word and His grace - completely and utterly absent. If we can pay for it, we deserve it and damn it we will have it. The overkill of information and services has created so many micro-levels of confusion and blur that even the village idiot can now get up to the pulpit and preach. We have migrated far from being "sinner's saved by grace through faith" (historical orthodoxy) to "good people - since I paid for the premium product labeled 'goodness' - who need to mine out our potential and self-deserved privileges and status" (neo-humanistic, post-evangelical, neo-liberal heresy).
Matt Chandler, a Jesus loving prophet and leader from within the movement, has this to say to a generation of IPOD carrying, MAC identifying, Facebook twitting, wifi hunting, expensive food & coffee slurping, branding infatuated, fabricated identity creating, 21st century evangelicals . . . essential a pack of spiritual posers who identify with each other and reinforce the pack mentality.
"I think that what we are doing here is a little dangerous . . . not in the 'save the world for Jesus' dangerous . . . dangerous in terms of a constant gathering of information with no real effort or ability to apply that information. So then you create this weird Christian subculture where you got your heroes, you got your preachers, you got your . . . and everyone keeps coming to the same conferences over and over and over again . . . and it kinda reminds me of the Old Testament somewhere where God says 'I hate your gatherings.'" (Matt Chandler, Advance '09 from his intro "Preaching the Gospel to the De-churched")
"Stop bringing offerings that do not mean anything to me! I hate your incense. I can't stand your evil gatherings. I can't stand the way you celebrate your New Moon Feasts, Sabbath days and special services. I hate your New Moon Feasts and your other appointed feasts. They have become a heavy load to me. I am tired of carrying it. You might spread out your hands toward me when you pray. But I will not look at you. You might even offer many prayers. But I will not listen to them. Your hands are covered with the blood of the people you have murdered. So wash your hands. Make yourselves clean. Get your evil actions out of my sight! Stop doing what is wrong! Learn to do what is right! Treat people fairly. Give hope to those who are beaten down. Cheer them up. Stand up in court for children whose fathers have died. And do the same thing for widows. 'Come. Let us talk some more about this matter,' says the Lord. 'Even though your sins are bright red, they will be as white as snow. Even though they are deep red, they will be white like wool. But you have to be willing to change and obey me. If you are, you will eat the best food that grows on the land. You must follow me. You must obey me. If you do not, you will be killed with swords.'" (Isaiah 1.13 - 20 NIV).
"But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal" (Matthew 6.20 NIV).
God, have mercy on me.