Trendy Christianity

The Bible has no disclaimer saying “this might offend you, read with caution.” Similarly, this post will have no disclaimer at the end telling you that what you read is “to each his own.”

Let me tell you something, Christian to Christian, believer to believer. Maybe you are not a believer, but you have noticed this trend with your Christian friends. Here it is: WE (Christians) ARE MIRRORING THE WORLD.

What? Let me explain.

In trying to be inclusive and loving to everyone, which in itself is a good thing, we are becoming no different than the world around us, except for the big fat Christian label we place on ourselves. This is dangerous.

With that being said…listen. The church is not for us. It is not a sanctuary for ourselves. The church’s purpose is to glorify the Most High, the Father of the Universe, the Creator of life. Its purpose is to learn about Him, to honor Him through our fellowship, to love in the name of Christ.

Hip music. Concerts. All black. MacBooks. Densely highlighted bibles. Big churches. Blogs. Coffee shops. Enos. Perfect Instagram’s. Bible apps. Cool shoes. Hebrew tattoos. Journals with pages and pages of calligraphy.

If you took all of it away, would you still be in love with Christ?

This has become a new and hazardous comfort zone for so many Christians (and non-Christians). Christianity now has a concrete “look.” We know what to do. We know what songs to sing. We know the cool bloggers and the trendy speakers. We know what to wear.

A couple of days ago, I attended the Passion Conference in Atlanta. A woman who I respect immensely, Beth Moore, came and spoke some powerful words. I was deeply convicted about something God had placed on my heart for months now. She alluded to this…

We, millennial Christians, are sacrificing the truth of the Christian faith for “love’s sake.”

The TRUTH that we are abandoning is this: we are no longer foreigners in this land. We blend in. We make following Christ easy, lukewarm, concrete, hip, and fun.

Let me tell you this. We are called to be foreigners, outsiders, temporary residents.

1 Peter 1:1 calls us EXILES.

1 Peter 1:17 calls us FOREIGNERS.

1 Peter 2:11 calls us SOJOURNERS.

I do not know about you, but I am tired of living “trendy.” I can never keep up. It is exhausting. It is like high school all over again. I want to live by the Holy Spirit, the Holy Book, my convictions, through worship and praise. What an adventure!

What I am NOT saying is this: coffee shop fellowship and intense Christian jam sessions are bad.

What I AM saying is this: when our lives no longer reflect the cross, when our lives are comfortable, when we no longer hurt, when worship becomes something to put on Instagram, when we value ourselves and our image more than Christ, when shortcuts in our Christianity become the norm, when we no longer reflect on our own sin, when we gain a taste for inclusiveness but lose a taste for God, when are motifs are self-righteous… that is when it all becomes blasphemy.

Yes, world, use social media and artwork for the glory of God. Use instruments and fill arenas with people to glorify God. PRAISE GOD FOR THAT. But also let us die to self. Empty ourselves of our own ambitions. Suffer for Jesus. Bear disorder. Become comfortable being uncomfortable. Lose our pride.

Let us Christians become like Christ in His death.

 

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Rest

“He lets me rest in green meadows.” Psalm 23:2

My weekend started today, on a Thursday. My classes were cancelled for today and fortunately, I have no Friday classes. Yay! I spent the entire week thinking how much stuff I could get done today; clean our apartment, pack for the weekend, study for my finals, finish all extra credit homework… the list goes on. On my “day off” that I was so excited for, I felt more stressed than ever. College life was consuming me and I was drowning in the countless responsibilities I had.

I need rest.

No, not the kind of rest where I try to squeeze in a nap in the middle of the day to re-energize. Not the kind of rest where I try to get more than five hours of sleep at night.

I needed the kind of rest where I spend time in absolute solitude with my one and only Father.

A noticeable trend has been taking place in my first semester of college. The closer I am to God, the better I feel. My grades are better, my mind is healthier, and I have little worries. I know God’s got me! It’s the days where I do not make time for God, my prayer life is lacking, or I just do not see the bigger picture he has for me- that is when I start to feel stressed, worried, and doubtful. In turn, feeling {stressed, worried, doubtful} makes me feel like I do not have the time to spend with Him, that I should be attending to other things.

However, I still manage to make time for my friends, boyfriend, socials, Netflix, etc.- these are not evil things taking over my time by any means. The fact of the matter is this: God comes first and everything follows. Christ should be at the center of everything I do in my life. When I am weary, I should come to God first. Peace will follow. God’s got me.

 “He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me.” Psalm 23:2-4

God never fails to remind me that HE is the one who renews my strength. That HE is the one who lets me rest in green meadows.

On that note, I think I have the perfect excuse to curl up in my bed, drink some coffee, and spend some time with the One and Only.

 

(oh, and by the way… Daylight Donuts, as pictured, was my inspiration for this post. so great, so good, so blessed)