No one ever wants to be identified as a hipster. Especially hipsters.
I came to peace with my own unavoidable hipster-ness in June of 2011. It was already over 100 degrees in the nations seventh most hipster neighborhood of East Austin. I was listening to NPR when I decided to ride my bike to a coffee shop. But, before I could leave, I would have to cut my old pair of jeans into shorts.
Slicing through denim, I mumbled under my breath “Chris, you are such a #*%! hipster.”
Another time, I was sitting in a coffee shop drinking a Milk Stout (on nitro) at five in the afternoon, rapidly underlining every word of a Stanley Hauerwas tome, it occurred to me “Chris, you’re such a #*%! Christian hipster.”
Hipsters are quick to point out that we loose something fundamentally human when we lose the ability to make our own goods or form our own opinions. The twin tragedy of bland suburbia and relentless consumerism is that we have everything we need, except for an identity.
There are a lot of good criticisms that have been aimed at the modern American church. Too political, too judgemental, too “corporate.” I tend to agree, and I’ve lobbed a few of these criticisms myself.
There is a dirty secret behind my criticisms: they often have more to do with my personal, yes, hipster taste. This leads me to believe that a lot of our arguments as a larger church have very little to do with theology and the mission of God, and more to do with personal preference and the desire to “be on a team.”
Perhaps in confessing my own hipster faults, I can critique myself, and make some important observations about the larger church, as well. Continue Reading…