The newest big thing doesn’t have to be shallow, scripturally suspect, and historically inauthentic to create a buzz in popular Christianity, but many times the trending ideas and movements morph that way.
The buzz in the 1970s was prophecy. When was Jesus coming and who was he coming for? The 1980s were all about spiritual gifts. We argued over which ones count today, handed out spiritual gift surveys, and told new members of churches that we needed to know their spiritual gift before we could plug them into ministry slots. In the 1990s the culture wars preoccupied us. Someone told us we were the moral majority and we needed to get involved to protect family values, and so we tried. I could go on, but you get the picture.
The Late Great Planet Earth, This Present Darkness, The Prayer of Jabez and The Purpose-Driven Life are books that captured the attention of a generation of Christians. Still, the buzzed up messages of a generation come and go, because they express a momentary and focused slice of a truth about our historic faith.
Just because a truth is on a roll doesn’t make it the end-all of Christianity.
Our gotta-find-the-next-big-thing culture of buzz shouldn’t cause us to under-define our mission or distract us from the sustaining constants of our faith: Jesus, grace, truth, love, unity, discipleship, justice, community, mercy, compassion and relationship.
Question: What do you feel are the “buzz words” or “newest big thing” today that might cause us to under-define the mission of the church?