As we near the rapture, the religious landscape is becoming more secular. Ignorance and misinformation makes a more dangerous environment for the believer. Many young people see the church as “archaic and not relevant, nor valuable, to their everyday lives,” Every culture represents Jesus as a reflection of itself. This results in ignorance and misinformation.
As we move away from an absolute view of Christ we enter into what I want to call a “hipster view” of Jesus. A hipster is a person who follows the latest trends and fashions, especially those regarded as being outside the cultural mainstream. Feelings and image drive the hipster to be culturally accepted and culturally relevant. The 21st-century hipster is a subculture that is defined by claims to authenticity and uniqueness yet, ironically, is notably lacking in authenticity and conforms to a collective style.
A hipster view goes hand in hand with the “freethinker view” that saturates our culture. Webster defines a freethinker as a person who thinks freely or independently : one who forms opinions on the basis of reason independently of authority especially : one who rejects or is skeptical of religious dogma. A person who rejects accepted opinions, especially those concerning religious belief. Psychology Today refers to free-thinkers as “often defined by their rejection of religion, or at least of any organized form of religion. Freethinkers include atheists, agnostics, and rationalists. No one can be a freethinker who demands conformity to a bible, creed, or messiah. To the freethinker, revelation and faith are invalid.” Their definition of freedom is not the liberty a believer experiences in absolute truths.
An ecumenical belief ties in with these two previous views which makes up this cosmic lie. Ecumenism is a movement or tendency toward worldwide Christian unity or cooperation, through compromise. The avoidance of absolute truth delivers a broad definition of truth that is acceptable avoiding offence. This progressive way of thinking produces a cultural liberalism in which elevation of feelings and what is acceptable defines values on culture.
As a Bible-believer, we are called to guard what is sacred. General or non-biblical views can lead to compromise. What feels right is not always right in Proverbs 14:12. As we study and learn absolute truth we are precise and informed of the character and nature of the true Jesus. Our savior and Lord came as the promised messiah, to seek and save the lost.
The world says that the historical Jesus was weak and irrelevant and his power operated from another source. Many misunderstood what he stood for and thought he was a failure. In 1 Corinthians 1:25, “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. […] For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.” Jesus is the Absolute Truth–He is something that is true at all times and in all places. It is something that is always true no matter what the circumstances. This fact cannot be changed and surpasses all barriers.
Was Jesus a revolutionist? Yes! He was not able to be manipulated by people but rather he rallied people unto His Father and His teaching. He was not a conformist or having duplicity, but with a singularity of purpose, He was loyal to His Father. The world says that Christians are “narrow-minded” but in actuality, but absolute truth brings us into a large place in our heart. He satisfies the longing heart for what it was designed for–Him! He was radical, reflecting the truest form of truth for He is the Source.
Many today have relegated Jesus as a sort of “nice guy” and “cool teacher” status. Actually, He was far edgier than that. “Jesus was a total revolutionary,” writes Dave Burchett in When Bad Christians Happen to Good People. “He granted status to women where none existed in the culture. His views were strange and upsetting to those in power…”
Here is a good contrast of Jesus’ mindset to the worlds:
- Kingdoms are about ruling people. God’s “Kingdom” is about serving people.
- Kingdoms are about hierarchy. God’s “Kingdom” is about equality.
- Kingdoms are about dominance. God’s “Kingdom” is about openness.
- Kingdoms are about control. God’s “Kingdom” is about freedom.
- Kingdoms are, ultimately, about power. God’s “Kingdom” is about weakness.
Jesus overcame everything that was thrown at him–even the grave! As we follow Him, we will be like Him!
Don’t lose sight of the biblical Jesus. Jesus is not meant to fit into our culture–we are meant to fit into His reality. The church and believer loses their effectiveness the more it looks or acts like the world. No wonder our methods don’t work; they are mixed with “hipster” ingredients.
Peter states in 1 Peter 3:1, “Beloved, I now write unto you; in both which I stir up your pure minds by way of remembrance:” Peter is pointing to absolute truth, thinking in a pure mind. A true seeker of the faith may know what they want, not necessarily what they need. As we present the Jesus of the Bible, we discover the mystery of who He really is.
Our personal interpretation loses the true meaning of the biblical Jesus. There are many things in life we will not understand by natural means, but when we consider who Jesus is we will interpret Him correctly. His truth will set us free every time.