Thursday, 07 July 2011
I laugh because I know they aren't a true hipster--a true hipster would never call themselves a hipster. A hipster by definition, is the rejection of any collective "group", avoiding the ability to be defined by any one rigid structure. That is why they would avoid the mainstream, because they would become one of the crowd if they were classified under any clique. The search for authenticity in life, has in turn been bastardized to a rejection of the norm, which is somewhat simple. Because with that being said, I find that hipsters always seem to crowd under the same clothing brands, and the same bands. They aren't as unique as they consider themselves--to only listen to indie rock music, that is limiting the wonderfulness of all genres of music. To be different from what is defined, that in itself is a doctrine and clique that is forming.
Yet, to be a "hipster" seems to be one of the joy of some people's lives. But, to be called a hipster is one of the most insulting terms to me--it seems like a synonym for crazed individualism more often than not, overly concerned with what others would think of them. I mean, I listen to good music, I feel sorry for all of you who do not enjoy the pleasures of Bjork or Royksopp. Moreover, I am wearing a Burberry top and a limited edition FCUK t-shirt at the moment, I love the quality of material and cut. Yet, I know if anyone was a true hipster, there is this disconnection between being labeled something, and actually being something.
The ever-prominent NT Wright said: "We are not justified by faith by believing in justification by faith. We are justified by faith by believing in the Gospel itself--in other words that Jesus is Lord and that God raised him from the dead."
The latter part is somewhat controversial, but the first part is true. We are not justified by faith by merely believing in the right doctrine. We are not Christians because we wear the right t-shirts and sing the right words. There is an asceticism that pervades Christianity, that seems to address certain issues, but forget a bunch of others--providing a formula as to how to pursue God. When that could not be further from the truth, abstaining is only as important as what you are filling it with.
I suspect too often that a certain brand of Christianity becomes the hipster scene. Emptying ourselves of conventional beliefs in an attempt to give a new voice--yet the judge of what a correct voice is, is determined by how far away from conventional thought it is. As I stated of hipster-ism, this is individualism already. Because be sure of one thing: there is nothing new under the sun. Being partisan to a particular church, to a particular point of view, these are all shades of the hipster and these disagreements have been around since the dawn of time. In response to the recent Rob Bell book, Mark Galli, senior managing editor of Christianity Today, said that "That's the one thing that I've said is good about the book. It's forced us all to think more deeply, go back to Scripture, and read more carefully." (s) I guess, I am among many that have always assumed an eternal hell, that exists--but if Rob Bell has caused us to reconsider our beliefs, then I think he has accomplished what he was intending to evoke through his book.
Trying to be different from everyone else, and by that being a unique "Christian"--these are all damaging and divisive to both an individual's faith and the fellowship of the Church. It fails because it is individualism, and it breaks apart the unity of the community of the Church--it fails the individual because it sees Christianity as not a vertical but horizontal faith. It is essentially taking away the centrality of Christ in the center of faith, and placing our image in front of others in the center.
Simply "being" a Christian is never enough--being labeled as a "Christian" is never enough. A true Christian would never have to say anything, but the love of Christ and regenerative work of the Holy Spirit would shine through. I often wonder if we can talk of the fruits of the Spirit and whether we have those at a supernatural level.
Whether we love with an supernatural love,
whether we are filled with a unspeakable joy,
whether we are filled with a divine peace,
whether we are working with unshakable patience,
whether we are act with impossible kindness,
whether we are filled over the top with godly goodness,
whether we are given over to a inscrutable sense of faithfulness,
whether we are compelled to a grace-filled gentleness,
whether we are in all things tempered by a ruthless self-control.
"...because against such things there is no law." (Galatians 5:23b) Surely they are all fruits of being filled with a Holy Spirit, evidences of the change that Christ has begun in us. There is nothing that is shameful about these things, because it is rebellion against the flesh that we are all born with, running against the patterns of this world around us. I hope and pray daily, it's less about talking about something, and trying to fit within a mold. Daily, becoming more and more towards an ideal of Christ, not a denomination.Do you find yourself trying to conforming to other people, or are you conforming to God's will and desires for your life? Are you filled with the Holy Spirit, such that you can say that you are supernaturally regenerated? How have your beliefs been shaken and refined recently?