The revolution will not be led by white men with bad theology (even if they listen to Sufjan Stevens)

Intake Indy.com ran a cover article about the cool new way of doing church in Indianapolis. It’s Headlined “Keeping the Faith: From Rock bands to Relationships, Generation X and Y are revolutionizing the Christian Church.”

Don’t believe the hype ‘cause this aint no revolution.

It is more like a mutation. Like the way a strain of bacteria becomes drug resistant. Peel away the cool logos, funky setting, good music, and hip pastors and all you got is same fundamentalist theology that sucks.

Profiled are four churches (Mosaic, The Crux, The Dwelling Place, and Indy MetroChurch.) Like the unmentioned but wildly popular Common Ground, all of them have roots in large, conservative, evangelical churches. With the exception of the Dwelling Place, all four still seemingly share their parent churches’ extremely conservative theology.

It’s like moving out of your parents’ basement only to bring their James Dobson, Rush Limbaugh and Left Behind books with you.

These church’s for the most part were created to reach out to the God-challenged young adults. We (I was born in 1977) don’t like going to church. It’s boring, our parents are still in charge, and it is not socially relevant and/or politically conservative.

So give them some ironic art and some good indie rock, the thinking goes, and maybe they’ll show up. It worked to some extent. If Post Road Christian Church can’t get the younger folks to attend worship, let’s give them Mosaic.

Fundamentalist theology.

But, the hitch is that the theology is still fundamentalist. For instance, Post Road Christian church spun off and financially supported Mosiac. Here is both congregation’s take on the bible:

Mosiac:

We believe that the Bible (both the Old and New Testament) is the Word of God, and is therefore completely true as it was originally revealed by God to its human authors. 2 Timothy 3:15-16, 2 Peter 1:20-21

Post Road:

The Bible is the inspired word of God, without error and relevant for today. It serves as a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. (See also 2 Timothy 3:16.)

People are free to believe what they want. But when basic scholarship proves that the bible is not “without error” or “completely true as it was revealed to its human authors,” how is this revolutionary? It’s simply bad theology.

All of these other “revolutionary” churches also do not allow women to be pastors from what I can tell. All of these churches governing boards (or elders) also seem to be all male or dominated by men. So at the end of the day, you have churches who still use the bible in a fundamentalist way and you still have a church that won’t give women the same power as men.

While these churches are a phenomenon, please spare us the hyperbole that they are “revolutionary” or “changing the face of the church.”

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2 thoughts on “The revolution will not be led by white men with bad theology (even if they listen to Sufjan Stevens)

  1. Dude, you should totally post this on Indy itself … people would be a lot more likely to find it and it’s always a good idea to get other sides out there.

  2. You’re right, Mike. What will be interesting to see is whether these outposts of existing congregations will be able to challenge that framework, out of their own contexts, or end up being “aborted” by their “parent church” as was Axis at Willow Creek a couple of years back.

    What we’ll need to keep clear along the way, I think, of course, isn’t so much what an emerging missional Wesleyan theology isn’t, as what it is. That’s what we need to proclaim to the rooftops. But more, that’s what we need actually to be living and helping others live and inviting others to join us in living.

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