Culture, Identity, Religion

What happens when frum is the new hip?

Apparently, what happens when frum is the new hip, is neo-Calvinism and Mark Driscoll, the latest hipster, punk, Calvinist evangelical to hit Seattle.Mark Driscoll
Molly Worthen reports in today’s New York Times Magazine about Driscoll’s Sunday service:

Driscoll preached for an hour and 10 minutes — nearly three times longer than most pastors. As hip as he looks, his message brooks no compromise with Seattle’s permissive culture. New members can keep their taste in music, their retro T-shirts and their intimidating facial hair, but they had better abandon their feminism, premarital sex and any “modern” interpretations of the Bible. Driscoll is adamantly not the “weepy worship dude” he associates with liberal and mainstream evangelical churches, “singing prom songs to a Jesus who is presented as a wuss who took a beating and spent a lot of time putting product in his long hair.”


The mainstream church, Driscoll has written, has transformed Jesus into “a Richard Simmons, hippie, queer Christ,” a “neutered and limp-wristed popular Sky Fairy of pop culture that . . . would never talk about sin or send anyone to hell.”

Since Jewish organizations and funders are constantly chasing the latest, hottest, happening hip—and Driscoll’s church has seven campuses and and some 7600 members—get ready for some serious frumkeit in the hipster continuity corners.
Full story here

3 thoughts on “What happens when frum is the new hip?

  1. I was about to say “Frumness has nothing in common with this douchebag”… but then I realized. The same cultural process is at work in parts of the frum world, too, where triumphalism, “might-makes-right” attitudes, obsession with sex/sexuality/feminists, and a disdain for the actual *ethical* teachings of their religious tradition look familiar right now.

  2. “Mars Hill is not 16th-century Geneva, but Driscoll has little patience for dissent. In 2007, two elders protested a plan to reorganize the church that, according to critics, consolidated power in the hands of Driscoll and his closest aides. Driscoll told the congregation that he asked advice on how to handle stubborn subordinates from a “mixed martial artist and Ultimate Fighter, good guy” who attends Mars Hill. “His answer was brilliant,” Driscoll reported. “He said, ‘I break their nose.’
    When one of the renegade elders refused to repent, the church leadership ordered members to shun him. One member complained on an online message board and instantly found his membership privileges suspended.
    “They are sinning through questioning,” Driscoll preached. John Calvin couldn’t have said it better himself.”

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