If you’re a believer and you’re reading this on your Macbook Air, throw a hand in the air.
You’re probably a sexy Christian.
Well, hold on. I meant that you probably subscribe to this sect of Christianity that’s called “sexy Christianity.” Maybe that was the wrong way to put it, but as we are made in God’s image and he is the perfection of beauty (Psalm 50:2, ESV), it might be accurate nonetheless.
If you’re a trend-follower on social media, there’s a chance you’ve seen this post. It’s been making the rounds from internet town to internet town, but I want to take another look. And again, for emphasis: This is just another look. It’s not a stern rebuking or a tongue-lashing worthy of a band of picketers against unity; I simply want to dive into the world of sexy Christianity and poke around a little bit.
Macbook Air or not, I probably found you in the midst of poking around. You’re a part of this sexy Christianity, which is described as follows by the author, Kyle Donn:
My generation of believers loves the idea of radical Christianity. It’s edgy, compromises everything, it’s dangerously transparent, and it’s simple. Phrases like “I just want Jesus” are its slogan – its very breath. Verses are tattooed on our backs, and Greek words are penned into our wrists and biceps. Our sweatshop-free clothes are ripped and dirty. Our coffee is fair-trade. Our books are doctrine-heavy and well worn. And maybe we’ll even have a drink or a cigar here and there over a deep theological conversation. Today, most of us have made our pilgrimage to an African orphanage or held the hand of the dying somewhere in the third-world. We are not like our parents – who worry themselves that our bold-faith is going to leave us homeless and maybe dead.
Do you see yourself in that? Despite my lack of excitement for tattoos or TOMS shoes, I know two things: This is me… and there’s a good chance it’s you as well.
We’re all world changers. The brands we love and causes we stand for drive us to action because God’s love compels us. We would likely rather die than see another child go waterless in Uganda. That’s okay. We come in different shapes, shoes, and sizes, with different causes, creeds, and capacities. And Kyle is right, “When a believer is more interested in the idea of loving Jesus than actually loving Jesus, then that is not Christianity.” But sexy Christianity isn’t sexy, just like antiquated Christianity isn’t antiquated. Christianity is Jesus. It’s the rock. And yes, this may be a simple, tattoo-worthy message, but it’s the truth. Christianity isn’t defined by who we are, but who God is. When we start moving the compass needle off of ourselves and onto Jesus, this no longer becomes a heart issue. His next sentence says:
And we ought to wage a war of wrath upon it – mortifying, dismembering, and crucifying it, and then putting it in a tomb where it belongs.
The belief that sexy Christianity needs to be dismembered is only a lack of understanding. Again, sexy Christianity is just plain normal Christianity. The second we begin to iterate and denominate who is doing what and wearing what, unity evaporates. God is not sitting in some massive courtroom, gavel in hand, waiting to tell the hipster that he’s less adored than the man in the blank sweatshirt. Clothes don’t matter! God’s favor doesn’t fall solely on the man in the blank sweatshirt just because he wears nondescript clothes and doesn’t tell anybody about it. Jesus says, “Come!”
Come if you’re wearing skinny jeans. Come if you’re wearing no jeans. Come if you love Starbucks or fair-trade or your own brew. Come if you like brewing beer. You are who you are and God has called you to dance down to the water and take a drink.
Radical Christianity isn’t going out of style, because it isn’t radical, it’s normal. Radical might be a buzzword (and that will die), but it only exists because we struggled to quantify it when this mold of living rolled onto the scene. Just like generations past had their own way of doing things, so do we. This Christianity thing has been around for thousands of years and we are just the latest manifestation of Jesus’ love to the world.
You are who you are.
You are living in a world that is unlike 50 years ago, or 500 years ago for that matter. You were created at this very time for a very specific purpose (Esther 4:14). You will glorify God more while on this earth than at any other time in human history. This Jesus you love and His Christianity thereafter is not going out of style, and neither are you. Sure, we’ll change with our surroundings–––I’ve said “y’all” more times during my time in Florida than I ever did in the north–––but we’ve come to expect the evolution of our hearts and minds.
Take me, for example. I wasn’t a very great person for awhile, but slowly, Jesus let the temporal crumble. I was a man who couldn’t name the Gospels, for crying out loud! And now look: I founded this very outlet and later its’ sister. I walk with a massive group of college students on a weekly basis… and I hated churchy college gatherings! Hashtag, redeemer. Hashtag, blessed. If you’re an instagramming, homosexual-loving, bring-the-fire type of Christian, know this:
“Be yourself. Above all, let who you are, what you are, what you believe, shine through every sentence you write, every piece you finish.”
That’s a quote from author John Jakes, and besides the literal authorial meaning, isn’t that what we’re going for? To be who you are, fully in Christ, letting God shine through all of it? Yes. Yes, that’s what we’re called to be.
God doesn’t want cookie-cutter lovers with no heart and soul. He wants you. Every piece of you, every flaw. So run to him. Take your cultural relevance with you, because you’ll need it. Just like bikers reach bikers best and you reach those in your circle best, God will you use in any condition. All you have to do is run.