A new kind of Christianity has recently begun appearing in America. It is a very “cool” and “fashionable” religion where you get what they call a “personal relationship” with Jesus. It features stylish “Jesus” t-shirts, jackets and bags. You can even get “Jesus” shoes (yes, I have seen them) and bracelets, or even mints that feature proverbs or psalms on the wrapper. You can get the fish bumper sticker or any countless funny Christian quotes stickers. They’ve got magazines and books, movies and TV shows. These groups of Christians market Christ very, very well. It has become very “trendy” and “hip” to be a Christian. Church youth groups feature rock concert like worship sessions, complete with dark lights and trendy worship leaders. Most of the youth leaders have tattoos and very fashionable, and usually only marginally older than the kids that they lead.
And this is what a majority of people believe to be the Christian walk. It looks like the world, acts like the world, and dresses itself up just like the world. It’s comfortable and secure. You come to church, get your cup coffee, sing a couple songs and hear an encouraging 30 minute sermon. Then you go home and go back to your normal life.
This is a very misleading view of Christianity. If we are Christians we are not supposed to be “hip” and “cool”. We are not supposed to be fitting in with the world. We are not called to live a luxurious, sheltered and trouble-free life (I’m sorry Joel Osteen fans).
“Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world is enmity makes himself an enemy of God.” (James 4:4 NKJV)
“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” (John 15:18-19 NKJV)
We are going to be hated by the world if we choose to side with Christ. If we truly are Christians the world will detest us and hunt us. We will not look, sound or act like the world.
Like the Israelites we have a choice. Either we can choose to side with Saul (the renegade king), who will bring us luxury and peace, comfort and ease. We will have rich fare and bountiful bank accounts. Or we can choose to side with David (the rightful king), who lives in a cave. His army is made of ruffians and criminals, the lowest of low among the Israelite nation. He is hunted and despised by the world. He will not bring you comfort, or ease. There is no earthly benefit in being counted among His army. Yet, Christ is the rightful king. He is God’s anointed. And only in Him will we find true joy, peace and comfort.
“You will show me the path of life; In your presence is fullness of joy; At your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” (Psalm 16:11 NKJV)