I got the chance to read this article from Salon (you'll have to watch a brief ad to view the whole article) about the Mars Hill Church in Seattle, written by someone who's probably not a Christian but is very interested in this new movement. He labels it the "Disciple Generation," and I can't tell if I'm heartened by seeing a community of believers that bring an honest version of themselves - music, culture, tattoos and all - to worship God, or if I'm concerned about a religion trying to make itself so insular that its members hold tighter to the group than to God.

For example, here's a quote from one of their founding ministers, Mark Driscoll:

"They know there's more to life than waking up, eating what's in the fridge, watching what's on TV, and then going back to bed, than the rest of their porn-addicted, video-game-playing, loser friends," he tells me. "That's what I give them through the Bible. I say, let me give you some rules, not to be a jerk, but to help you out. And when was the last time that anyone in their busted-up family did that?"

I love that concept. But then I read this quote and editorial after the writer describes the church blessing babies on Father's Day:

In a husky voice, the 35-year-old pastor prays for the continuous fertility of his congregation. "We are in a city with less children per capita than any city but San Francisco," he declares, "and we consider it our personal mission to turn that around."

The way Driscoll sees it, the more babies his conservative Christian congregation can produce in this child-poor city, the more they can redirect local politics, public education, and culture in one of the liberal capitals of the world. To complete his trifecta of indoctrinating, voting, and breeding, Driscoll has developed a community that dwarfs any living experiment of the '60s.

Maybe the writer's just being paranoid, or maybe there's something more domineering at work here - I don't know yet. But it's an interesting read, nonetheless.

NOTE: I found out after reading that this is not the same as the Mars Hill Bible Church, home of the incredible speaker Rob Bell. I've actually listened to some of his podcasts, and I really like what he has to say. As far as I know, their beliefs are different than those of the Mars Hill (no Bible) Church.

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1 comment:

bob said...

i like your blog. this is an interesting article. I think our church could give them a run for their money on the fertility thing.