The cover of Newsweek for April 9 features a longhaired “hipster Jesus” in New York City’s Times Square. The feature story is entitled “Forget the Church: Follow Jesus,” and this is exactly what most Americans are doing in the sense that they love “Jesus,” but it is the cool, non-judgmental, party Jesus of The Shack. It is the Jesus of the emerging church: the Velvet Elvis Jesus, the Blue Like Jazz Jesus, the “Renegade” Jesus, the Barbarian Way Jesus, the beer-loving, rapper-dude party Jesus. It’s the Jesus you can sing about on American Idol and be praised by the God-hating judges. Even if some haven’t forgotten church altogether, the church they attend is not a place of holiness and the soberminded fear of God that is a reproof to this generation. It is a hipster place that rocks out and you can’t tell where the pop culture ends and the “church” begins and everyone is cool with that. “But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth ANOTHER JESUS, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him” (2 Corinthians 11:3-4).
(Friday Church News Notes, April 6, 2012, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)
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