The Dangers of Making Christianity ‘Cool Again’
Christianity was never supposed to be "cool." But the assumption that it should be runs rampant.
Earlier this month, Vice posted an article with this wince-worthy headline: “Meet the Woke Young People Trying to Make Christianity Cool Again.”
In the article, we meet Christians in their 20s advocating for causes they care about. Some advocate causes Christians regularly disagree on, like climate change, eliminating the death penalty and loosening immigration policy. But others go further. Brandan Robertson, 25, boasts that he runs “a typical evangelical church” with “unashamedly progressive” positions on sexuality.
Then there’s Faithfully LGBT, featured in Teen Vogue. The organization encourages readers to “tithe trans” to “atone for discrimination against transgender people.” How? By asking Christians to pay for gender reassignment surgeries.
Of course, Vice and Teen Vogue praise Christians who endorse socially acceptable behavior, like same-sex relationships. The problem comes when Christians themselves buy the lie that their faith must be cool.
Case in point: not long ago a group of clergy made news for praying a blessing on a Texas abortion facility and it’s work. “We’re trying say [the conservative] narrative isn’t the only narrative related to faith,” said Kentina Washington-Leapheart, who organized the event. In other words, Don’t lump us in with those other, lame Christians! Our faith is cool, because it affirms everything you already want to hear!
Society Changes. God Doesn’t
God’s Word is supposed to inform our understanding of the world. Not the other way around. If what’s popular in modern society influences our understanding of biblical morality, then God’s Word means nothing. And our faith in him means nothing.
People, cultures, and what is generally accepted as moral change. It wasn’t that long ago that “cool” Christianity in the West included acceptance of chattel slavery.
But God doesn’t change, and neither do his laws. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday today and forever,” Hebrews 13:8 states. The next verse continues, “Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings.” A few verses later, we read this: “For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come.”
The Gospel Works
Vice notes in their November 3 article that many people are leaving the church. “It doesn’t help that Christian communities can be out of step with the rest of the country when it comes to certain issues,” the article states.
What Vice doesn’t note is that mainline Protestant churches are the ones hemorrhaging members. Those are the churches most likely to adopt liberal theology, meaning a theology that counters actual biblical teaching. As for churches sticking to a more conservative, literal view of the Bible? They’re “thriving,” according to a Washington Post report on a study earlier this year.
Some might wonder why this is. The answer’s easy. It’s because the gospel, pure, unabridged and uncensored, is what holds the power to change lives. That gospel centers on Jesus, the real person, who really died and rose from the dead. He’s the only one who can save us from a life of sin and from eternal damnation. And following the real Jesus means accepting and obeying his commands, not discarding them as outdated and uncool.
The real Jesus has been attracting passionate followers for millennia, including in cultures much more hostile to Christianity than ours is today. He doesn’t need us to make his Gospel more appealing.
The Scary Part
So why are so many modern Christians bending over backwards to make the Gospel socially acceptable? Partly because of what the church has become for so many. Without Jesus and his Gospel, church is nothing more than a weekly get together. Christianity is nothing more than a regurgitation of nice thoughts and secular opinion. If that’s all it is, then does going to church — or being a Christian — matter at all?
No. Which is why more and more millennials are dumping Christianity for other “spiritual” experiences and community activities. Why bother with church if you can get the same warm, fuzzy feeling by doing CrossFit with friends?
The fact that modern society views Christian morals as uncool doesn’t scare me. What scares me is number of supposed Christians, especially in my generation, consumed with being cool. They’re willing to abandon uncomfortable Scriptural teachings in order to remain popular. When this world perishes, as it will, they’ll have nothing left.
If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. John 15:19