Each generation has its version of “sexy Christianity.”
Kyle Donn has issued a thoughtful warning about the current style, the rage of his own generation, in this post on the subject.
Kyle’s “About” page reflects the ethos of today’s young believers:
my name is kyle.
i want to change the world.
Note the lower case, the clipped statements, the radical simplicity, the cool way of emphasizing jesus, the expressed passion to make a difference.
My generation of believers loves the idea of radical Christianity. It’s edgy, compromises everything, it’s dangerously transparent, and it’s simple. Phrases like “I just want Jesus” are its slogan – its very breath. Verses are tattooed on our backs, and Greek words are penned into our wrists and biceps. Our sweatshop-free clothes are ripped and dirty. Our coffee is fair-trade. Our books are doctrine-heavy and well worn. And maybe we’ll even have a drink or a cigar here and there over a deep theological conversation. Today, most of us have made our pilgrimage to an African orphanage or held the hand of the dying somewhere in the third-world. We are not like our parents – who worry themselves that our bold-faith is going to leave us homeless and maybe dead.
He describes hip bloggers in coffee shops, surrounded by stacks of heavy theological books, pecking away on their MacBook Pros, tweeting about injustices and raving about the latest bands. Bicycling beanie-clad girls quaffing chai. Folks in skinny jeans who speak with intense passion about loving homosexuals and rage against all forms of bigotry, abuse, and hypocrisy.
Kyle is concerned that this appears so culturally cool that it becomes easy to love the idea of loving Jesus more than actually loving Jesus himself. He warns that this “radical” Christianity, this missional activism, this humanitarian advocacy, this social justice promoting, beer drinking, Kingdom speaking, tattoo displaying may be about seeking approval, human praise, the approbation of our peers, and headlines in our small-town newspapers.
…when Radical Christianity is popular, as it is becoming for my generation of Believers, then we must ask ourselves: “is the sense of abandon I have for Jesus costing me anything, or actually just making me more popular in the eyes of the people who I would like to be perceived by as more popular?”
Good questions, Kyle.
In every generation, it seems that we try to find a way to look good, to find our place of acceptance, to gain respect, to be vindicated in the eyes of others. And it is always the poor, the mourners, the meek, and all those on the fringe whose voices aren’t heard, who are embarrassing and a pain in the ass to be around, who can’t afford to be cool that challenge us.
Not the ones with whom we pose for photo ops.
The hidden ones, the ones we ignore, the ones hanging on crosses on hills outside the city.