Casual Christianity-should we really boast about this?
Tonight at the NGA conference, there was a room called “The Cave” where they had the Stations of the Cross. I remember this way back when I was 6 and 7 years old in Catholic school and they taught us about the stations of the cross (After the second grade, my parents left the catholic church and raised me in an independent charismatic church). I find it very refreshing that in an evangelical protestant conference for evangelists, there is an appreciation for the contributions of other branches of Christianity. I think this is part of a larger trend within evangelicalism of rediscovering the older historic traditions of the Christian faith. Growing up in the charismatic movement which prided itself in casualness, I’ve found that lately I’ve had a deep hunger to experience Christ in quiet reflection through art and beauty. I have to admit, I feel much closer to God in a Catholic cathedral staring up at the beautiful artwork portraying the life of Christ than I do in a crowded church clapping hands and shouting praises. Maybe that’s just me. I realize that both are necessary. I am glad there are different expressions of worship within the Body of Christ. In traveling around the world, I have come to realize that Christianity has a built in adaptability factor in adjusting to different times and places.
Sometimes I feel , however, that in the current ” Christian youth movement” that emphasizes punk rock, hip hop, and battle imagery, the art of reverence for God is often lost. I can even remember mosh pits during the praise and worship service in the youth group I was raised in. Often the mentality is that since kids like to rock and roll, why can’t we get them to rock and roll for Jesus? That’ll bring them in! Church has to be “cool”. Don’t get me wrong. I am not opposed to Christian rock music, punk music, metal music….or any other kind of music that is dubbed “hip” by today’s young people. I’m just wondering if we are losing something in our search to be “cool” or “non religious” (a charismatic buzzword). I’ve been wondering lately if the charismatic pride for casualness that I grew up with is really something worth boasting about.
Maybe I’m just an old man trapped in a 28 year-old’s body, but I would love to hear choral arrangements of classic hymns such as “Softly and Tenderly” “It is Well” and “There is a Fountain” sung in church or…God forbid… an evangelistic event. Can anyone else relate to this or am I just weird?