Article Title:Chameleon Christians?
Author or Credit:Craig Young
Published on:4th February 2007 - 12:00 pm
Story ID:1572
Text:As usual, January 2007 saw the latest evangelical/fundamentalist youth music festival at Hamilton's Mystery Creek, Parachute. So, what is one to make of this? Some of us may be startled to learn that younger evangelicals and fundamentalists can dress normally like their peers and even adopt similar musical styles. So, are these chameleon Christians or what? I asked my fourteen year old foster daughter whether she'd go to Parachute. She didn't like the idea. Sure, there were some primo bands and star acts there, like Brooke Fraser, Steriogram and Daniel Bedingfield this year, and both of us liked the alcohol and drug abstinence message. Except that Ms 14 is very definitely Wiccan and doesn't like some of the other messages that went down at previous Parachute festivals. For example, this year, the Maxim Institute was trying to recruit under the guise of "social justice"- fine, except its version seems to be that central government should retreat from welfare provision and let appropriate social conservative groups (ab) use the process for taxpayer-funded religious conversion and ad hoc 'assistance.' In 2005, it hawked its NZVotes programme, of which the less said the better. At previous Parachutes, there have been more aggressive attempts at youth recruitment and hardsell from'youth' wings of other fundamentalist groups opposed to abortion and trying to engage in party recruitment. To be sure, more mainstream evangelical groups like World Vision were there this year, providing important information about poverty relief in the Third World. So, is this just a 'chameleon Christian' conversion fest? Not entirely, as Brooke Fraser certainly expressed her dissent from the heavy duty US Christian Right version of fundamentalism, as a growing number of New Zealand evangelicals are. However, Parachute seems to be a long way from becoming a more inclusive and broadly based Christian cultural and musical festival like the UK Greenbelt festival, where Green and LGBT Christian groups are able to exist amidst the 'Contemporary Christian Music' acts from Britain, Australasia and the United States. However, my own family would much rather head off to "Family" family-friendly events like Big Gay Out. Not Recommended: Craig Young - 4th February 2007    
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