Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Are You a Christian Hipster?

In the past month, a blog post by Brett McCracken who writes for Relevant magazine among other Christian publications and websites as taken the web by storm. It is part of a book he is writing on the subject of the Christian hipster movement. Sounds interesting! Am I in this group? Should I be?

If I read his article (mostly a list of the likes and dislikes of Christian hipsters) I would say that I am not really a part of this group. I can relate on many levels. For example, I don't particularly like megachurches, Mel Gibson's Passion or evangelical guys who talk about killing terrorists and world leaders. I also am extremely wary of churches with flags up on stage, and weird modern evangelical methods. But possibly the biggest thing of all would be my absolute dislike for contemporary Christian Music (CCM). Very rarely do I find something I can really get something out of.

But when he starts talking about things a Christian Hipster likes I really can't relate at all. I don't really read any of the books he mentions. I don't love thinking and acting catholic. I also don't work for a church (other than my growing list of volunteer positions), dress slightly goth or want a tattoo. The only things I can empathize with are the love of European cathedrals, smoking while talking about God (and other intellectual type things) and reading poetry.

Overall I wasn't sure whether to be impressed or disappointed that I didn't fall under the stereotype of Christian Hipster. I always have identified with the secular hipster in many ways while always staying apart because so many hipster ideals don't work with Christianity. I was slightly disappointed because I didn't quite know where he was going with all this. Did he agree that it was cool? Was he a hipster? Was he condemning it? Well this interview by CJ Casciotta of really put Brett's ideas in perspective. It is definitely worth a listen if you want to have a grasp on this sub-culture.

Interview with Brett McCracken from CJ Casciotta on Vimeo.

I can now almost totally agree with him. And listening to him describe a Christian hipster on that clip I would fit into his idea of the hipster. I really appreciate his willingness to examine these things and think critically about it. I agree that having this so called 'enlightened' view of the world and being annoyed with the masses living their processed lives is not necessarily healthy. It is definitely something I have to work on.

But I still think there is room for a moderate Christian hipster attitude. One who questions things and doesn't follow like a white sheep. Rather a mottled sheep with skinny jeans, Ray-Ban sunglasses and a cool scarf. I still feel that my core ideals are rooted in God and how He wants me to live my life. I really do feel that suburban living and net neutrality are moral issues that have to be discussed from a Christian point of view. That said, I definitely do have my faults. I can't blame the masses for living in suburbia or not knowing anything about net neutrality.

A Sidenote:
Major props go to Sufjan Stevens (pictured above) who is every Christian Hipster's biggest hero.
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