Only the hip shall be redeemed
The poor and the pathetic will all get creamed
When God comes back to judge us
He'll be wearing Levi jeans
'Cause only the hip shall be redeemed
This song has stayed with me since - the idea that the right sort of clothing (or the right music, haircut or anything else) has any value in the community of those following Jesus is so utterly repugnant that it beggars belief that people actually think that way. The song follows up with this great satire:
And if you do not look the part
The sorry man how sad thou art
If you don't fit our body can't be one
It has really bothered me as I have traveled on both sides of the atlantic that in the progressive churches and movements there is an increasing focus on looking hip. The number of trendy preachers, mission directors and others who wouldn't be seen dead in anything other than Nike trainers, the right label on their shirt or the right music on their iPod (and it has to be an iPod) has been noticable. I'm not sure if this is an attempt to be 'cool' or just an unconscious enculturalization but it means that the more important questions about the ethics of production and materialism get subjugated to having the right stuff.
Is this what the church should be?