Why is there such a belittling attitude in the reformed theological community towards hipster Christianity? Actually, I can't really tell if it's belittling, just poking fun, or what, but what I do notice is that it's become, in a way, hip to talk about "hipster Christianity" these days, and that this group is usually looked unfavorably upon.
Here are some examples people talking about Hipster Christians: There's Llamalima's post
about hipsters and another one on Revelife
. There are two articles
about hipsters in Christianity Today. In another post, an orthodox priest
complains about hipsters getting orthodox theology wrong. MagisterTom re-posted a quote about hipsters on facebook:
There's even a book called Hipster Christianity
I'll stop there with my sampling, but what I'm getting at is the large amount of talk about hipster Christianity in the sphere of influence I find myself in -- mostly reformed theology -- most of which is very critical, even derogatory when taken in certain light.
It seems like most of this boils down to a conflict of doctrines. In my brief research, the biggest reason why hipster Christians are looked down upon is the tendency to veer into an emergent church direction; a direction where liberal theology is applied... liberally.
I'm not going to deny that emergent theology is dangerous and has all kinds of non-biblical stances. For example, I hear from many sources that Rob Bell doesn't believe in Hell, even though Jesus himself talks about it more than anyone else in the Bible -- according to Mark Driscoll. I personally know and have done Bible studies with and had debates with a few hipster/emergent Christians who believe some very unstable things about the accuracy and validity of scripture as the Word of God -- e.g. replacing Sola Scriptura with a "just ask God himself if 'it' is OK; the bible is not God" attitude.
But for some reason, all this attention to these people makes me uncomfortable and I wonder if it's not dissimilar to the publicity that Rebecca Black
has received. Yes, we all know that her music, like hipster theology, is lacking in all kinds of categories, but why then do we find ourselves fixated and dwelling on it? Internet culture and "Mainstream" (ahem) Christianity are in a traffic jam of rubberneckers.
So should we just leave hipsters alone and drive by the accident, minding our own business? I'm not sure. I feel like it would be in contest with the Great Commission if we were to not attempt to straighten out hipster theology, but to target and dwell on Hipster Christians seems too similar to the plank-in-the-eye lesson Jesus taught. A mental image of Mark Driscoll holding a plank in one hand and a toothpick in the other pops into my head.
Llamalima said on facebook that:"Reformed people are the cranky old grandparents that sit on their front porch yelling at people to get off their lawn while waving a shotgun. And the hipster churches are the teenagers that are smoking behind the gym during lunchtimes."
He's definitely right, but I still think that we could stop and think about how much we complain about hipsters invading Christianity, and instead of being the cranky old grandparents, maybe it would be at least slightly more Biblical to invite them in for donuts and coffee and free books on Doctrine
(ahem). We could be like the old man in the Sandlot who, instead of being super sketch, ends up being pretty cool.
These are just my thoughts. My only real point is that I'm tired of people complaining about hipsters, and I think it's about time we just accept that they exist and move on to the next stage, what ever it may be, of this conflict. I also feel like it causes more disunity in the body of Christ than it builds the church up. And I'm pretty sure that scripture has a few things to say about building up the church and seeking unity over division. Like it or not, emergents are our brethren in Christ.Do you think the uproar over "hipsters" in Christianity is valid? What exactly is a hipster, and what is so wrong about them that many feel their existence in the Christian faith is an invasion? Is there any middle ground?