The Call to be Different
Gospel singer Kierra Sheard recently experienced backlash over attending a Jay-Z concert and posting pictures online. Some Christians question her motives for attending as Jay-Z raps blasphemous lyrics and even calls himself by a Holy Name reserved only for God which is also blasphemous. Sheard defended herself and blasted the church for judging millennials and driving them away from the church.
What it brings to my mind is that somehow the church forgets that it is supposed to be different. We are to be in the world but not of the world. God picked out Israel and said they were a people unto Him and the way that everyone would know that they were different is how they worshipped. At that time, almost every religion was polytheistic so people had multiple gods and they had to make all kinds of sacrifices that were detrimental to their wellbeing. But God showed up with Israel and said you will be different. You will only worship Me and I have given you a strict set of rules for worship and I will manifest real power on your behalf if you are obedient and follow Me.
That hasn’t changed, we the Church, the Body of Christ must always be different and that may mean we can’t engage in things that the world does. It may mean boycotting Disney films that add gay characters. It may mean declining social events because of their content like Halloween parties and it may mean not listening to the top 40 songs on the radio or going to concerts. We are called to worship different, to live different, to speak different and to love different.
We want the millennials to come to the church but we shouldn’t have to conform to their likes to get them, they should be seeking the church as a place to change what they like and how they have been living. That is what the church is really supposed to be. When you are done doing it your way. When you get the revelation that the world has no real happiness for you. You can come to the church and find out who you are and why you are here. But how will they know where to find the church and how will they know it is different if we are trying so hard to be like the world?
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” (1 John 2:15-17).
If all that is in the world is the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, then we shouldn’t have those things in the church in the name of drawing the people. Jesus said if He be lifted up He would draw all men to Him (John 12:32).
As an evangelist, I understand the desire to capture this generation for Christ and I can tell you it seems difficult on the surface because they are so different due to the access to technology they have but our best tactic is prayer. Let the Lord lead us in how to capture this generation. Pray for your children, take them to church, and be an example of the difference that Christ makes. That is something we can all do to turn a generation to the Lord!
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