11 January 2008

No prayin' on the dance floor

Phil Johnson (Pyromaniacs) has a very compelling post about why the church should not be compromising with the world, and holding stupid events like "poker night" or "Elvis night" or any other such nonsense.

Qutb went back to Egypt seething with outrage and contempt against the West's unbridled materialistic selfism, and he began to produce a body of writings that became the manifestos and chief handbooks for today's Islamofascism. Qutb was chief mentor to Ayman al-Zawahiri, who in turn mentored Osama bin Laden. One of bin Laden's closest friends reported that bin Laden read Qutb's works intently and considered him the most important influence in the rise of radical Islamism in the current generation. (See Dinesh D'Souza on Sayyid Qutb.)

Anyway, before someone accuses me of being sympathetic with Qutb's values, let me just say I'm advocating no such thing. I'm not suggesting his perspective of Americans or Christians in general was fair and accurate. It clearly wasn't, and Qutb belongs in a hall of shame alongside Hitler, Stalin, Idi Amin, and Pol Pot as some of the twentieth century's most demented megalomaniacs.

Also, I'm not suggesting (as some of our more zealous fundamentalist brethren might want to) that the club atmosphere in that one Colorado church is directly to blame for the fall of the World Trade Center towers.

But the Greeley church dance episode certainly does illustrate that not all the world is charmed by worldly religion, and the apologetic value of "Disco Night in the Sanctuary" is by no means a given. In short, taking pains to demonstrate how hip and liberated we can be in our places of worship might not always be the finest "missional" strategy.

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