What Would Amos Say?

Cheap grace means grace sold on the market like cheapjacks’ wares. […] The essence of grace, we suppose, is that the account has been paid in advance; and, because it has been paid, everything can be had for nothing. Since the cost was infinite, the possibilities of using and spending it are infinite. What would grace be if it were not cheap? — Diedrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship

apostle to the dudes

From the Register article I cited yesterday about the “SWAT Team” kids preaching on the beach. Photo credit to Andy Templeton for this excellent piece of photojournalism. The other pics with the article are good also.

The perfectly scrubbed whiteness of these people — even when they’re not white — is alarming. They exist in a perfect bubble of privilege and cultural isolation. Their friends and family are all like them. Their ideal world is a kind of 1903 Tennesse where everyone is inexplicably 2006 “cool”: chastity, whiteness, conservative politics, extreme sports, rock ‘n’ roll music, TV, great new snacks, and women in their place, obediently following behind their husbands even while surfing some massive waves.

The place where dogmatic evangelical religion and cluelessly neotenized teenage privilege meet is the best-gilded turd you’ll ever see. But you’ll smell it, too. Smell is pretty strong around these parts.

31 thoughts on “What Would Amos Say?

      1. Re: “street-witnessing machines,”
        I believe it’s a clip from the movie ‘Lifeforce’ – dreadful tosh but has some nice visuals… based on the much better titled Colin Wilson novel ‘The Space Vampires’.


      2. Re: “street-witnessing machines,”
        It’s from a B horror movie from Britain called Life Force – that’s one of the zombie space vampires.


  1. Sure looks like a publicity shot from some Falcon gay homosexual video to me. (Not that I would know about such things, of course.)
    I’ll resist the urge to call for a caption contes– oh, drat, too late.


    1. Yes indeed. One of the funnier things about Aquarium Churchianity is that they have no cues at all outside their culture, so the guys in particular are gay fantasy fulfillments of a kind that would horrify them to no end if they knew.


      1. Love the icon.
        Also, yes. I was imagining a different kind of “witnessing” altogether. And, uh, prayer on bended knees.


  2. “bubble of privilege and cultural isolation”, beautiful, i try to avoid orange county precisely because of that. then, it’s easy to repel against places where thoughts like, “i’m too brown, and artistic to feel good here.” actually occur to me.


  3. some of them are probably assholes, but, i don’t know, i feel bad for them. naive tools. the rest of OC seems so corrupt and horrible, though. if i had to chose between hanging out with these kids and the haidl kids, i’d go with jesus.
    have you seen “saved?” starring film and pop star MANDY MOORE.


  4. One of these guys was instructing a couple of underlings at the Starbucks in Huntington a few months ago. He had this whole rap about how to give your peers the gospel without tripping their Jesus-freak alarms. Which passages to quote for countering which kinds of objections and dismissals. Very slick. The guy was probably 19-20 and his rookies couldn’t have been older than 14.


  5. This guy is apparently trying to save his twin brother from an eternity separated from God. Apparently at birth one yelled “shirts!” while the other claimed “skins!”, but somewhere along the line skins went astray and shirts is trying to reverse the backsliding.
    At least that’s what I took from the photo.


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