Before you read this post, stop what you're doing, and read this blog post. If you fail to do so, the following won't make much sense at all... which would make it just another post on a blog founded upon a strong value in all that is nonsense. Regardless, my response to said blog (click link above) is below.
I read McCracken's article several weeks ago, and haven't stopped thinking about it since. It really bothered me, to be honest. The truth is that I agree with him at the root of his argument - if we're only trying to be cool, then we're wasting a lot of time, energy, and money - all of which precious kingdom resources that shouldn't be squandered. But what bothered me was how presumptuous and judgmental his article was.
In my opinion, the reason why young people leave the church today is because - if they've spent any amount of time in the church - they've likely been exposed to the two-faced, infighting, backstabbing, judgmental legalism that sadly prevails in many of American churches, where we can be more concerned about the color of the carpet or the style of music than about the gospel of Jesus Christ. I'm afraid that McCracken's post only proves that point.
I would have been fine if he spoke more to the principal. But when he started naming pastors and churches and reducing their ministries to mere "shock tactics" and attempts at being cool, he lost me.
The truth of the matter is that I don't lead a church in Seattle, or L.A., or Vegas... but God has entrusted that role to guys like Driscol and Wilhite and McManus - all of whom I would first assume are leading their congregations according to the Holy Spirit's prompting... and are doing the best they can to be masters within their context. I love the fact that Mosaic meets in a night club. Can you imagine how many people attend that church who would never step foot in a church otherwise? I honestly believe that's the kind of church Jesus himself would go to... didn't he intentionally spend time among the prostitutes, the tax collectors and the lepers? I love it when I hear of churches incorporating Twitter and text messaging into their worship services... it's the language of the day! To refuse it and look down on it is like trying to spread the gospel in China, but refusing to speak Chinese!
The reality is that any time we place ourselves in a position of presuming the motives, the heart, and the intent with which another godly man is leading, then we're no better off than the Pharisees... and I believe that's why young people are leaving the church... too many Pharisees.
In my opinion, McCracken said that we need churches that are real... but he criticized the churches that are doing it.