Some people aren’t satisfied with the Old Time Religion. They want something of the New Age in their Christianity. To make it more exciting.
Some will go the way of a Joel Osteen and add on a motivational component. Motivational speakers make a lot of money for a reason — people need to be motivated. Business, and especially sales and marketing, seems to run on that fuel. When the church is about consumerism, that is also our fuel and a John Maxwell is there to step in and help.
Some will go the way of hyperliteralism. They will act as if the Bible is something it never has been and will drill in deeper and deeper until there is no escape from their fundamentalism. Anyone who does not accompany them is seen as less spiritual and probably not saved.
Some will take the path of social media spirituality. Their religion consists of bits and byte and bumperstickers. Positive, encouraging. Where never is heard a discouraging word. Norman Vincent Peale updated for the internet. Forward this if you agree.
Some will get into angels and crystals and miracle healings and other syncretistic stuff.
I just read a chapter (the inspiration for this post) in Jimmy Dunn’s Neither Jew nor Greek wherein he describes the difference in approach between the Gospel according to John and the Gospel according to Thomas. Essentially, John takes the synoptic tradition and focuses on certain aspects and develops conversations and monologs around them, while Thomas starts with the synoptic tradition and adds on further types of spirituality to satisfy the Hellenistic and Jewish mind in search of something new and deeper.
So, the search for supposedly deeper and more meaningful modes of spirituality is nothing new. Give me the Old Time Religion.