Millennials and The Hipster Church
Many millennial Christians are weak.
What I mean is, we aren't walking in the power of Christ. We aren't holy. We're worldly. We aren't influencing the world, it’s influencing us.
From fashion to tats, to clubbing, to secular music and premarital sex, the majority of us millennial Christians are doing the exact opposite of Romans 12:1-2:
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:1-2 ESV)
There's a popular movement, which I really think is a cult, called, "the Hipster Church." Their pastors tend to hang with celebrity "Christians"—Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian, Kanye West, Beyonce—who really are just unbelievers giving lip-service to Jesus. They sometimes thank Him with their mouths, but their hearts are far from Him—and their sinful lifestyles prove that fact.
But the Hipster Church defends these liars, these wolves in sheep's clothing, calling their true brothers and sisters judgmental and intolerant.
Since when did Jesus ever tolerate sin among those who followed Him?
From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:17 ESV)
“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet." (Matthew 5:13 ESV)
"If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be thrown into hell." (Matthew 5:29 ESV)
“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’" (Matthew 7:21-23 ESV)
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few." (Matthew 7:13-14 ESV)
Jesus even warned His people about wolves and false prophets:
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits." (Matthew 7:15-20 ESV)
“The Hipster Church” is all about being nice at the expense of being holy.
Yet, the Word also says:
As obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires of your former ignorance. But as the One who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct; for it is written, Be holy, because I am holy. And if you address as Father the One who judges impartially based on each one’s work, you are to conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your temporary residence. For you know that you were redeemed from your empty way of life inherited from the fathers, not with perishable things like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without defect or blemish. (1 Peter 1:14-19 HCSB)
Because the Hipster Church is much like the compromised and lukewarm churches Jesus rebukes in Revelation, they do not walk in power. They may be bringing people to the buildings where their services are held, but they're not setting captives free from sin and Satan's hold on their lives. And how can they when they themselves are still slaves of sin?
"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see [experience] God." (Matthew 5:8 NKJV)
My prayer is that my generation will awake to righteousness, to true love.
God is love and He is holy. Because of His great love, He made a way to free us from what has always destroyed us: sin.
His plans for us are good, and holiness is, oh, so good for us and others.
Think about it: if Justin Bieber, who flaunts his sexual immorality, is showing up to church services for a while, and the pastor ignores his sin, what will happen to the sisters in his flock?
They can get tempted to sin sexually because hey, Bieber does and he's a professing Christian who our pastor approves of, so it must be okay.
Paul wrote to the Corinthian Church, commanding them to have a "brother" among them removed from their fellowship because of his sexual immorality. Paul told them not to judge those outside the Church, but to judge those inside. He commanded that the Corinthians shouldn't even eat with someone who professes to follow Christ yet is sinning sexually. And something beautiful happened from that tough love: the man repented and was embraced once again.
When we aren't afraid of God's love, and ask Him to make us aware of the sin in our life, and to help us understand how much He hates it, we will experience Him like never before.
When the reality of God's wrath toward our sin—His hatred of that which defiles us and harms others—really hits our hearts, we'll become sorrowful, and work diligently at crucifying our sin to where it crucified and killed our precious Savior 2,000 years ago.
When we allow our hearts to feel God's pain over sin, our emotional connection with His heart will really help us overcome.
If you're a man, know that emotions don't emasculate. God gave both men and women emotions. Without them, we'd be robots. Christ is a passionate Man who Himself wept often. He was, "a man acquainted with many sorrows," the Bible says in Isaiah 53. He mourned over the sin in people's lives. It broke His heart.
In order for us to really triumph over the sin in our lives, it has to break our hearts as well.
Millennial Christian, may you be broken over your sin so a real revival will happen in your heart. And may that revival spread to the whole Church so Christ's power will flow from us and onto this world, breaking people's chains and freeing them in Jesus' Mighty Name.