No Longer Fashionable
November 3, 2014
There has been much handwringing lately over the fall of Mark Driscoll and demise of Mars Hill Inc. It is not my intention to pick on Driscoll or Mars Hill. But the Seattle mega-church and her charismatic pastor were the most public face of the Young, Restless, and Reformed (YRR) movement. How this happened is up for debate and certainly the factors contributing to this influence were many. But it did not happen because no one was sounding the alarm. There were quite a few raising concerns but they were dismissed, ignored, and even excoriated as haters. And while that may be so much water under the bridge I hope that lessons have been learned.
My larger point here is that the passing of Driscoll and Mars Hill from their place of prominence means that the days of YRR as a popular movement are over. Mark Driscoll, once so cool and fresh is now just the opposite. Misbehavior that only a few years ago seemed to be a rather enviable function of youth and zeal now looks downright creepy. I am always amazed at how quickly the fashionable becomes unfashionable. And herein was the Achilles Heel of YRR: It was fashionable which necessarily meant that it had an expiration date from the very beginning.
As Carl and I pointed out over a year ago in an early MOS podcast: Being Reformed is not cool. It never has been. It never will be. Reformed folks tend to be a bit persnickety about details. We make a point of not joining bandwagons or popular movements. We think Christian movies are stupid. We believe that God cares about how He is to be worshiped. We prefer Isaac Watts to Chris Tomlin. We like long and detailed confessions of faith. We believe that church governance ought to be inefficient and slow moving. If something works in business we automatically suspect that it is not good for the church. We believe sermons are more important than personal testimonies. We hate all the books on the Christian bestseller list. None of us (I mean NONE of us!) look good in skinny jeans.
So, my fellow Reformed folks, let’s get used to being unpopular again.
My next post will deal with some of the distinctives of being Reformed that were often neglected by the YRR.