Saturday, 10 June 2017

Is Jesus cool? (A lil' rant.)


Is Jesus cool?

My first instinct it to say duh YEAH. But then the official definition of cool is "fashionably attractive" and when I look at society I don't think that per their definition of fashionably attractive, Jesus is in that department.

I have the feeling that a lot of Christians (and Churches) nowadays, they try so hard to make Jesus look cool. 

And that gets my goat sometimes. No, I'm not saying that Christianity is this old-people-shh-be-quiet thing. Yes, we should burst into songs of joy; yes we should dance with love for God; yes we should tell people about Jesus and yes, we should rejoice in the Lord always (and again I say rejoice.) (Message clear: Rejoice.) Again, I'm not saying pastors with ripped jeans and leather jackets aren't good people, I'm not saying Hillsong worship sessions are un-Christian and I'm not saying that Churches with loads of drums and colourful lights and really cool kids programs aren't good Churches.

But sometimes you do wonder... how many people come because of the cool-factor; how many people come for Jesus? How many people would come if the electricity turned off and if the pastor was an old man with a suit and a tie? If there was no Church website and no good parking lot? How many people would come if there were no kids programs or after-Church pastries?

Because that's not what Christianity is about; and that's not who Jesus is. Jesus is our God. He is our Saviour, and He died on the cross to save us and to give us eternal life and that is why we go to Church. That is enough. That is why hundreds of Christians come together in underground churches in China; they are being persecuted but they come because it's Jesus.

Let's see... the definition of the word cool is "fashionably attractive or impressive." So yeah, you might say: "Oh, but God has to be impressive and He has to be in fashion and therefore He should be fashionably attractive and fashionably impressive!" 

4 Main Points: 

1. People have to come to Jesus because of Jesus. And not because He's presented in a #relatable #trendy way. That's just not the point.

2. We have to submit ourselves to Him and it's sooo easy to take 'cool-Christianity' casual and to then put Jesus almost as our equal. Jesus is not a human celebrity; He is God and He is way, way, way more than us.

3. Of course God is impressive, we shouldn't need to wear ripped jeans to prove that. 

4. God is not 'fashionable' in the world. And it's not the point of Christianity - we are on the narrow path. So... should we be desperately trying to be as 'cool' as possible to the world? Or when the world thinks we're cool and relatable, does that mean that maybe we're doing something wrong?

Thoughts?
Vat do you say?

(And by the way: I am not criticising anyone or any Church is particular. But I just want Jesus to be 100% honoured. He's not a casual-comfortable-all-da-feels-thing and I do think people take Him that way sometimes, which is sad.)

14 comments:

  1. wow...... you're so right. It's often about comfort too -- I think that sometimes I feel like I deserve comfort which is like haha no totally wrong .. yikes

    go you girl !!! <3

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  2. I totally agree! Although having a good youth program is good, and having potlucks is good, and making a bunch of great friends at your church is good, the main reason we should be coming to church is JESUS. He should be our highest priority in coming. :-)

    ~Lydia~ <3

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  3. Another amazing post Naomi! This is so amazing and thank you so much for taking the time to write about it!!! <3

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  4. People who try to be "really cool" just bug me in general, and when they try and force that into our relationship with Jesus, that really ticks me off.

    I definitely agree that some people make it too 'casual'. Jesus is so tremendously precious, there is no way it can be casual! But it can still be joyful and fun and exciting. :)

    Also, I have a pretty different view on 'church' to a lot of people. My Dad read me an article this morning on it, and it really summed up what I believe. There were 10 main points, so I'll summarize them:

    I believe church isn't an organization or something you can 'go to' - the church is people. We ARE the church. Believers gather together to be with one another and have fellowship. (I would argue one doesn't gather to worship God - we worship God in every day of our lives, not by singing in a certain building.) I don't even believe Sunday is the day we have to gather. We are the church on Monday just as much as we are on Sunday. We don't HAVE to gather regularly (there is nowhere in the Bible that says "You have to go to church every Sunday"). We have fellowship whenever we are gathered with people and encourage each other spiritually. We're not more "spiritual" if we "go to church", and I strongly believe there should be no shame or guilt in not going to a meeting at a certain time or place. Christianity shouldn't be defined by "going to church". "Christianity should be defined by Who and What Jesus has accomplished on our behalf and our sharing His life every moment of every day and even on SOME days doing that sharing of His life with other believers, GATHERED TOGETHER."
    (I was quoting the article throughout some of that.)

    But anyhow, rant over. :P I just wanted to add my two bits. :)

    ~Miss Meg

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    1. Quite a loud whisper: I agree wholeheartedly with you, Miss Meg!

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    2. Aww, really? Thank you for telling me. It's so nice to know I'm not the only one. :)

      ~Miss Meg

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  5. I agree. This is something I've thought a lot about lately, too.

    I think we have a very real danger of just making church into another "social club," something we do because it's FUN and it makes us LOOK GOOD, not because we're trying to actually, y'know, follow God and help other people. (Which is the real point of Christianity.) And excessive focus on external stuff like style and cool-ness can be tied into that . . . although, of course, like you said, it's *not* like we're supposed to be grim and sad and not have fun. Yes. Have fun--just don't make it your #1 priority.

    Wait--you mean there ARE pastors who wear ripped jeans????? I AM SHOCKED AND ASTONISHED. Okay, no, I'm not really--but that's just so foreign from my own concept of "church," it's like, wow. (Of course a lot of this is cultural, too :-) ) Because Catholic priests always--ALWAYS--wear the traditional black-suit-and-white-collar outfit. There's no other option. Those are the rules, and you follow them or else *grins*

    That's kind of something I like about my church, actually. I like the formality and reverence--it helps me focus on God better, you know? I like my lace veil, too; it's another something that helps me focus when I'm at Mass.

    I don't want people to carry over that formality into their THINKING, though, necessarily--because that can breed rigidity, and narrowness, which is a very short step from being judgmental in the Pharisee-like sense. I do worry about
    some people in my church, sometimes, that they're not open enough to people whom they see as falling "outside" the traditional rules and not being "good enough" to really belong. Like, bro, who are you to judge????

    So yeah. In terms of worship style and stuff, I like it best if we stick to the formal, traditional side and don't try to be "cool." I want people to save their radical-ness and open-ness for the spiritual side of things . . . but, again, not for the sake of being "cool," just for the sake of better following Jesus.

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  6. wow, this is something to think about, especially since we're called to live in the world and not of the world! thanks for this post!

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  7. This is so true Naomi. There are many times when I feel like church is more about putting on a show than actually worshiping God, which it shouldn't be.

    You were very spot on with this post. I completely agree with you.

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  8. Yes indeed!
    How can people be saved - like REALLY saved - if they come to church just because it's 'fun' and don't really care about the 'God'-part?
    Different churches say they have pop-music to "attract the youth", but what if it only ATTRACTS the youth and doesn't help them to get saved?
    It can be dangerous.

    ~Felicity

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  9. Great post, Naomi -- really thought-provoking.

    "But sometimes you do wonder... how many people come because of the cool-factor; how many people come for Jesus? How many people would come if the electricity turned off and if the pastor was an old man with a suit and a tie? If there was no Church website and no good parking lot? How many people would come if there were no kids programs or after-Church pastries?" << OUCH. Ouch. But so true. And I have to ask myself that, too -- my church isn't "super cool," but it is more modernized and less "traditional." And would I go if it were "stuffy"? I mean, like you say, I think it can be beneficial to have a more modernized setting, sometimes. But the question still stands and it's still legitimate.

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  10. Lovely post, Naomi, and I couldn't agree with you more!! If a church/youth group is TRYING to be cool, there is something wrong with that picture!!! Obviously there is nothing wrong with a young pastor who wears modern clothes, ripped jeans, leather jackets, whatever, but if he's doing that because he thinks it will help him appeal to people who want "cool," there's an issue with that too!!!

    Have you ever read Radical by David Platt??? You kind of touched on what he wrote about... he wondered how many people would come to church if you took away the air conditioning and nice seats and fancy projector screens... I thought it was fascinating!!!

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