The Christian Pundit published an interesting article, Young Evangelicals Are Getting High.
It claims that the trend among young people now is towards “high church”, including Catholicism and Anglicanism, where they can find “a holy Father who demands reverence, a Saviour who requires careful worship, and a Spirit who must be obeyed. They are looking for true, deep, intellectually robust spirituality…”
This a clear reaction against the recent fad of Christian existentialism – in all its many forms.
Christian existentialism will always be with us, rooted in the heresy that our individual perception and subjective “experience” of Christ is the highest form of revelation and authority – and that everything else, including scripture itself, is subservient.
The pendulum, however, is finally swinging away from the anemic, me-centered and largely irrelevant gospel it fosters.
We are seeing some of these issues also play out in the waning organic church movement.
Our fellowships in Virginia are what some call “organic” because we emphasize community and have smaller participatory gatherings where we are free to minister one to another – rather than organizing around larger, podium-directed “services”.
By the grace of God, however, we have avoided the hollow existentialism of much of the “organic church movement” – with their various misleading slogans like “Christ is all”, while conversely rejecting all that He’s given for our growth and maturity (e.g., like the plenary authority of Scripture as His written Word).
In fact, “all” has been little more than the postmodern sensibilities and relativism of a few folks – with their books, blogs and conferences – but little real local church accountability or experience.
Their existentialism felt good, sold books and got them speaking invites – but lacked substance.
Unfortunately, though, it derailed what should have been a mighty move of God.
Fortunately, creating Jesus in our own image is finally wearing thin, and that branch of the organic church community is, I believe, finally dying out…
… the defensive protests of its “old guard” and their ingrown mutual promotion networks notwithstanding.
In contrast, while the existential branch of the organic church community seems to be sinking into ever more obscurity, here in Virginia we are growing and having an impact on our county.
People are now looking for substance, and want all of Christ – including not just His presence but also His moral character, His precepts, His commands and His written Word.
They want a faith that is not just about them, but relevant to all of life and a waiting world.
But neither the extreme of existentialism nor spoon-fed liturgy are the answer.
For some, the challenge now will be keeping the pendulum from swinging too far in either direction…
For us, however, we are not into pendulums, but plumblines.
~ Jim Wright
- Christ is All (crossroadjunction.com)