“As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” I Pet. 1:14-16
Recently, my family and I were with some Christian folks enjoying a day off at a lake and having a time of refreshment. regrettably, I do not get to see most of these particular dear folks as often as I would like, but I do love and care for these ones and, since I pray for these people every day, I was interested to see how they were doing spiritually as well. So, I made some observations. As we went through the day, I remember the communication, the tone of the conversations and the body language that went with it; what was being said, what was guarded and what slipped out. I listened to what was thought to be funny and laughed about, personal interests and opinions; and even how they communicated through the way they were dressed. (Yes, your clothes will say a lot for you!) On the whole, something became very clear to me: although I knew these people had made a profession to be saved, an interesting observation emerged, one that would be seen amongst most of the contemporary Christian young people (and some not so young) these days. On the outside, it appeared they were no different than the unsaved world in every single way. You would never have known that they were Christians unless you knew them personally and unless they actually told you. Nothing distinguished them from the unsaved world. An interesting thought arose from this: if they were put up against the backdrop of the world, you would see that they were definitely, “worldly cool”, there was no question about that. But, I wondered, could it be that they thought if they could successfully portray that they were happy, content, and comfortable in their “cool” skin, that they could also then say that they were, in fact, being holy in accordance with God’s Word? Take it farther down the road a little way and they could maybe try to convince you that being cool and being holy are synonymous; that, ultimately, they are the same. If we look around, we would see this is happening right here in our churches. Would this attitude not spill into the church parking lot and beyond? I think so. So, is “Being cool” becoming the new holiness today? Is God now being brought down out of heaven to be “cool”? Are the contemporary Christians of today really being holy as they think they are? Is this the same godly holiness that God speaks of?
“Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” I Pet. 1:16
After pondering this for a few weeks now, I believe the Lord wanted me to write down my observations. A few questions came to my mind: where did this mentality come from? How could these dear friends confuse holiness with being worldly cool? Are they right in accepting this way of thinking? What was the method or vehicle used by the world to motivate this change of mind? Where will it lead and where will it end?
To be old was to be “square”. Being square was not, “cool”. The coolest people wanted to stay young and not get old. Their mottos were, “live fast, die young, and have a good looking corpse.” – James Dean; “What a drag it is getting old” – song lyrics written by a rock music group, the Rolling Stones, and such. The etymology of the word, “cool”, interestingly, seems to come from African culture; the same place that the drums and the incessant rebellious rock beat comes from, which the world would say is, “cool”. This word was popularized in the U.S. around the 1920’s jazz scene in places such as New Orleans, St. Louis, Chicago, and such. To be “cool”, you have to like what the world likes and follow the “in” crowd, but not just that. You have to add something to it to make it your own and make you stand out and make yourself even more appealing, all the while looking unflappable doing it. So, being “cool” takes on a life of its own as it grows, catches on, and spreads. However, to be “cool”, you must also dislike certain things; things that are “not cool”. One thing that has become more and more hated by the world is the Bible and scripturally obedient Christians. Since the Bible teaches that if the world hates you, you will be hated and persecuted, then, being a Christian is opposite to being cool. In fact, I know that if you were to ask any young atheist, “Christians: cool, or not cool?” They would readily mark a Christian as, “not”. At the beginning of this counterculture revolution there was a growing rebellion to anything in authority, whether in the form of government, police, or parents and anything they stood for or against. There was a hatred of the status quo and, since the God of the Bible taught obedience through His commandments, God quickly became one of their public enemies. This mentality has and continues to grow rapidly and looking at the emerging culture today, being a Christian is less tolerable than ever. So, if we as Christians are to understand the world’s definition of “cool”, then we must make a decision: be cool with the world or be hated by the world. You cannot serve two masters. Look around you, the divide is growing. So then, where are these dear Christians getting this mentality; those who think they can assimilate being cool and being holy? Let us look at what we see portrayed on Hollywood’s silver screen and on television. They are growing more and more intolerant of God’s kind of holiness and replacing it with their own ungodly holiness.
“Hooray for Hollywood!” we hear the world cry as they worship their cool little golden statues. What are Christians doing watching the culture of hate toward our Heavenly Father God and His saints. The world finds it cool to mock and scorn the godly and cultivate the minds of the people to become one-world worshippers. There is a flagrant rebellion to God’s commandments in Hollywood today, particularly, against our God that says, “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain”. Why do we not immediately turn our devices off when we hear blasphemy such as, OMG!? The Bible says:
“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” Eph.5:11
They openly portray the sick and vile lifestyles of the Sodomites in primetime knowing there are children watching who will be warped by their abominations. Christians have nothing in common with these and yet they feed from the same troughs. Everyone from Disney to Netflix to Ted Turner’s, CNN and Rupert Murdoch’s, Fox News; the Marxist-socialist leaning media hates Christians and rail against them, but the Christian’s still refuse to abandon being unequally yoked to them. Do we think our families will not be affected by watching these things?
“And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.” II Cor. 6:16-17
Instead, our dear brethren continue to watch and become almost chameleon-like to blend in with the unholy. Once again, the Christian’s look no different while watching and talking about their own favorite shows all the while continuing to make the ungodly filthy rich from their hard earned resources.
Furthermore, the video games being put out today on X-Box and such game systems promote a serious hatred of the Bible, the Christians, and the church where salvation is taught. Many of these games encourage the player to shun the Christian and make a mockery of those who would literally believe the Bible and encourage the game player not to be like them. Instead they would teach you to be vicious and unmerciful; contrary to the gifts of the Holy Spirit in the Bible. They would teach you to hate the church and pastoral leadership, even in so-called, “safe” sports games. Take, for example, the sports game called, “Blitz: The League II”. In the intro, as narrated by an animated football legend, Lawrence Taylor, he says, “Every Sunday, when America goes to Church, We go to War! While they pray for salvation, we play for survival! This is our cathedral, the game is our religion! And every religion has a judgment day!”
Parent, what do you choose to allow in your house? Do you even know what is going on inside your own house; inside your children’s rooms and inside their hearts? Would you hesitate to stand up and turn off what they were watching or throw out a favorite video game, because, you know, that would not at all be, “cool”? See, our Christian families are taught that to shun the world is not, “cool”. I have heard people ask, how will we reach the lost if we do not meet them at their level? Did the Apostle Paul not teach to be like them? And, did Jesus not go to the sinners to reach them? Of course! But, they did not become sinners to reach them, they preached separation from the world and sin. They brought the gospel to the sinners, but did not become partakers of their fruits.
“Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:” Eph. 5:7-8
Here is where the so-called Christian youth and even adults of today have a problem. They seem to think they have to be worldly cool to reach the lost and have deceived themselves into believing that, in fact, you can be cool by using the world standards while being holy. Nothing could be further from the truth. The spirit wars against the flesh!
“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” Gal. 5:16-17
We cannot feed the world to the lost to attract them to the true and Living God. Can we solve the problem by giving these children more of the world to attract them? How will they ever see the difference? Can light and darkness walk together? What you win them with, you win them to. But, the nominal Christian of today will say they cannot look too much like a holy and modest living Christian or they will give themselves away as a sold out Christian, which would bring on persecution and that would not be cool. Just look at the mode of music and dress in the church today that screams out its worldliness. If you want to be cool, you have to be like them and dress like them.
“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.” Luke 6:45
Modesty and Music
Certainly, I knew these people I was with at the lake, and others, have much in common with the world: their movies are the same, their music is the same, their dress and lack of modesty is the same. They look like the world, act like the world, have the same temporal goals as the world. Their eyes and faces and stances showed a self-reliant pridefulness, rebelliousness, and unrepentant attitude just like the world. Is that really, “cool”? Is “cool” truly “holiness”?
“Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” I Pet. 1:16
I noticed, when I started talking openly with them about spiritual things and matters of true biblical holiness, they became rather uncomfortable and shy. When they are forced they will talk about God, but, many times, it would appear they cannot wait to change the subject. However, if you ever dared to speak out in warning against any of these worldly things, particularly their worldly rock and CCM music, expect a very cool reception at very least! The shyness is gone and the gloves are off! The one thing I noticed that follows the love of the world and its’ music is the shadow of immodesty. Firstly, the greater the love of the ungodly music the more rebellious the person seems to be. Often, the louder and heavier the music gets, the more risky the dress and heart becomes. The men’s hair gets long, the ladies’ necklines drop and the hemlines rise, and if you were to stand those individuals next to the world, they would be getting pretty “cool”. In the end, I have experienced the rejection of holiness and godliness in exchange for many wasted years in the world. Look at the CCM artists of today, how many love the world, admit to drug and substance abuse, come out as Sodomites, renounce holiness and the preaching of God’s Word and many finally simply renounce Christianity altogether. The evidence is clear. You must choose one or the other.
Holy, or Cool?
The shallow depth of spiritual understanding of worldly cool “Christians” is obvious, but that is as a result of gorging themselves on an unhealthy diet of the world and not feeding on a steady diet of strong spiritual food from God’s Word. The interesting thing I have noticed is that they seem happy and content with their worldly diet. It is sort of like eating junk food all the time; you have it once in a while and find yourself wanting more of it, but you cannot live off of it and stay healthy! Many Christian people appear to be very happy and content with their lives even though there is no real spiritual growth and no real fruit. I know they do not read their Bibles very much, if at all. Their prayer life is nonexistent except when they are in trouble. They go to church when they feel like it, but hate the hymns and preaching. Is this the fruit of holiness? They want you to believe they are spiritual. But, are they? They listen to the same music as the world, including secular rock and roll and yet they appear to be happy. But, are they joyful? Do they possess the peace that passes all understanding? If you were to take away their gaming systems, music, and pop-culture, would they still be happy? Ask them. They would tell you “no”, if they were being honest. If you challenged them to really get into God’s Word and offered an exciting passage to study, would they be excited? The girls dress like the world, complete with pride as an ornament and rebellion as an accessory. They would demand to be accepted as spiritual and holy. I see the same thing in our churches. We are trying to fit in the church doors with the world strapped to our backs. We have allowed the worldly philosophies in, such as humanism or self-entertainment; our socialist sensibilities, such as pigeon-holing everyone by age and such, disallowing children and families to stay together because the program does not allow for it; turning the church into a union run government business, instead of a loving place of charity where we esteem the other above ourselves. I submit to you that this is the new Christian, “cool”. The church and the so-called Saints have deceived themselves into believing that they can be holy while entertaining themselves with the world. But what does the Bible say?
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” I John 2:15-16
What it comes down to is this…
Whatever nature you feed more will grow more. If you feed the flesh more, it will grow more. If you feed the Spirit more, then it will grow more. We cannot meld being “cool” and being “holy” in any way; they oppose each other. We cannot believe that we are being holy while loving the world and don’t ever think the Lord does not know the difference, He knows.
“The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.” Prov. 15:3
We live in the world and are inundated with information from its sources. We can become consumed with the deception of humanism or the entertainment of self being of the greatest importance. We have the internet, television, worldly music, the news and advertising always calling us and stealing our time; pulling us in every direction. When we embrace that and the culture within it without recognizing the dangers of it, we can get sucked in. Embracing this world is very time consuming. Your enemy knows this and knows that if he can get you wrapped up and squandering your time with the affairs of this world you will be tired out and have no time to feed the Spirit and will wake up the next day and do it all over again. The next thing you know it has been weeks since you have spent any real quality time in God’s Word and prayer, leaving you feeling empty inside. On the other hand, you could train yourself to be less and less selfish. Turn off the television and use your time spent on the internet for family, Bible study, prayer, and thinking about godly things. You will begin to feel revitalized again. You will want to give of your time to resources to God. You will again feel the prompting of the Holy Spirit to good works and have great peace in your heart. You will begin to feel less anxious and since you have cast out sin and become repentant, you will grow and increase in the fruit of the Spirit.
Let’s be honest with ourselves and with each other: being cool is Satan’s means to an end for people. We will never reconcile being worldly cool with God’s holiness. Loving the world will only ever end in destruction. We must make a choice here and now before it is too late. ~R.
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” Gal. 5:22-23