On the one hand it is part-and-parcel of living in the digital age. Slick church marketing, professional stages, pastors in celebrity-esque garb — all of which help refine the pose.
To be fair, posers have been around for a long time. And there have been always those who have found the whole thing pretentious, pathetic and poncey.
So now we have entered the era of the professional posing pastor, along with his posing people displayed in all their glory and brought to us via the platform of the Web.
The message? An attempt at tackling cultural stereotypes. Church isn’t stuffy, its hip. Church isn’t about the Blue-Rince Brigade — it’s for young people. Church isn’t irrelevant — it’s totally down with the cutting edge. Church is professional. Church is attractive. Church is digital.
But what’s the reality behind all this digital-air-brushing? Why are we joining the world in the never-ending pursuit of portraying our digital persona to the world? If our online-presence is portraying a sense of poser-ville — who do we expect to attract? Other posers?
I tell you who we won’t attract — the broken, the bruised and the average (which by the way, is almost everyone). Whilst we spend all our energies polishing our digital idols, we will never be the church that Jesus wants us to be.
“Oh but we’re being incarnational. We are being like Jesus.”
Really? You mean this Jesus?
“He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him.”
Poser Christianity has more in common with pharisaical religion than it has Christianity. Just like the pharisees it is obsessed with image over and above honesty. We will never know the Power of His Presence whilst we settle for the power of the pose. Low-angle camera shots. might make your pastor look like a king reigning on a throne, but like the strutting emperor and the enchanted crowds — the truth is — there is no reality. It’s a digital illusion.