Friday, January 29, 2010

targetting the weak and ignorant

This is from a video at TheOoze, a kind of driving conversation between Brian McLaren and Spencer Burke. Why in a car, I don't know. Probably not important, anyway. The video is called "ThinkFwd host Spencer Burke drive the streets of Santa Monica with author", and I assume McLaren's name is suppose to be at the end there somewhere, though I don't see it. Perhaps that's a browser issue, though.

Anyway, this quote is from McLaren.

There's a cost to changing, but there's also a cost to not changing. Here's what I would say--the current kind of Christianity that's working for a lot of people, I don't want to mess with that. If you're happy--you know, if you hate my books, if you hate The Ooze--you know, if you like things the way they are, God bless you, we don't want to bother you. we're really--you're not really our main audience, you know. But your children, your grandchildren, your friends, your neighbors, who are completely shut out and disinterested and in many ways excluded by your form of Christianity, uh, you know, those are the kinds of people we're trying to help.

First, let's be honest--emergents are far from the only youth-focused religious or Christian group out there. It seems like every church I can think is focused on getting the kids, the youth, the young adults. As far as it goes, that would be fine, but it seems to become a discriminatory thing, too. On the other hand, I can think of churches that are the other way, who want little contemporary in their services, and I'm not in favor of that, either.

But in terms of the discriminatory, though, McLaren's statement voices something beyond even what those other churches I can think of exercise. The youth-oriented ones will welcome older people, and often have them. The more traditional ones have youth, and welcome them. McLaren, hardly a spring chicken in his own right (and Burke looks like he's seen younger days, too), basically dismiss the older people, saying rather they are focused rather exclusively on the youth.

In other words, those so weak in their faith they can be swayed by anything, and those so ignorant they are swayed by anything that sounds nice.

Yet the underlying message is, it doesn't really matter. They have dismissed things like judgment and hell, so the fact that they think the older people are so wrong simply means those people can be dismissed--let them stay in their conclaves and die out whilst we recruit their kids and grandkids.

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