This new direction is, needless to say, carried on side by side with an attack on the traditional church. This attack has become incessant from the church marketers, as indeed it has also from emergents, and it is, on its face, quite curious.
It is true that some traditional churches are desultory, dispirited, boring, dull, lifeless, inept, small, disheartened, or otherwise dying. One does wonder, though, why such a dead dog keeps getting kicked, sometimes quite viciously, by the church marketers. “If you have found church to be as painful as a trip to the dentist and twice as boring …” begins a typical attack that is also a solicitation of interest in this new breed of church-doing. Another advertisement for a megachurch, with the traditional church in mind, says church “is about avoiding hell … not sitting through it every week.”
But if the traditional church is so inept, so out-of-it, so not-withit, so passé, so completely washed up, so painful, and so boring, why not let it die peacefully? Why keep on kicking it?
Because the real target is not the traditional church but the traditional theology it lives by. This belief system is at the heart of the traditional church’s life that seeker-sensitives are after. It is not that they want to deny it or reject it, but it is something of an embarrassment to them. At least in their own churches, they want to conceal it. They want it hidden, kept in the background, made to disappear from what they are doing. It is rather like a family secret. Family secrets are true, but they should be kept private. They should not be divulged.
(Wells, David. The Courage to Be Protestant: Truth-Lovers, Marketers, and Emergents in the Postmodern World.)