[Rough Draft]

A weblog about god, doubt, insomnia, culture, baseball

7.07.2004

update on "hood of death"

ooo ooo! i love it when this happens. i just posted about the whole hip hop mass thang, and then i read derek webb's page and find a link to an article he wrote in release magazine. you know how you just have this feeling sometimes, like something's a little off kilter or out of whack, but you can't put your finger on it? well, that's how i feel when i use the word "relevant" in a post, a la the aforementioned "yo" post. but webb says what i wish i'd said first (cause then i'd be the cool bald guy who writes really good songs instead of the hairy fella who pens real "gems" about meeting ex-girlfriends in the meat aisle of the supermarket on xmas eve). the daddy writes of "the identity crisis in the american church": when we make an idol of ‘relevance’ we become a christian ghetto enslaved to the rules of pop culture.

now that's what i've been so uneasy about. i still don't have the answers, but i'm grateful i'm not alone in thinking that hustling all our under-30 artists, musicians, ethicists, theologians, teachers, caregivers, philanthropists, et al. out of the church doors w/ a slap on the back and a what-do-you-know is most certainly not the answer. we ought to be grieving the loss of these infinitely precious members of our lord's body, not just watching them leave and muttering "well, i'll tell ya, looky there -- we didn't have anything to offer 'em nohow, i guess" in our crazy-old-man voice. and you, the hordes of jetsam (or flotsam -- i'm never quite sure which is appropriate, but i think it'd be jetsam here since we're practically slinging them off our sinking ship w/ our stubborn indifference), you should be grieving, too, b/c you're further carving up the body of xt.

sermonizing over. i'm on the front end of the gen-x curve, so i'm probably more attached to the church of modernity than i'd like to think, my tattoo notwithstanding. i'm just saying. i'm just saying i and others of us w/ the stained glass and rich hymnody ought not stand idly by saying "what? you don't get it??" and start explaining to them why the church is so rich. we ought to change what we can change, admit the way our daddies did it isn't always the way it ought to be, and seine out the parts of church that we can't sacrifice to up our attendance figures. i want a church that preaches the gospel -- over and over and over -- so brazenly and humbly that sinners hover around us, their nostrils flush w/ the scent of christ. i want to be a priest in that church, and i want post-evangelicals w/ me. can't we all just get along?

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