If I were to deconstruct those Cracker Barrel Christians, I would do so by comparing them to tight pants.

This does seem to be a cultural result, and there are other aspects as well. The transition from clerical robes to tight jeans with holes, how massive and elaborate pulpits have become mobile podiums, how choirs have been replaced by a few with microphones, how hymns have been replaced by repeating Chris Tomlin and Hillsong. The desire is to be informal, inviting, and relatable. As some quote Paul, an effort to be all things to all people to save some.

Others have claimed extension to Wycliffe or Luther in wanting to bring elevated theology to the common man. The process is now done with fashion rather than translation.

Yet, the other side is obvious in demanding respect. That is after all why pulpits were stunning, and why robes were formal. Preachers are speaking and proclaiming the words of God. (Specifically when quoting the Bible, and implications are there when exegeting. I am not particularly thinking of those claiming direct revelation.)

If someone is seeking cultural appeal with aesthetics, the doctrine will likely be similar. It is reasonable to be concerned about this. What fellowship does light have with darkness?

Still, I am reminded of the church I grew up in. The service would end with an alter call singing, Just as I Am. Some of us would jokingly add, only if you’re wearing a three-piece suit.

So I left those wooden pews in pursuit of lasers and a fog machine. I found myself surrounded by men wearing tight pants with holes. My pants had holes. I saw stained glass windows boarded up and painted over.

Some years later I discovered, I like Cracker Barrel.

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