Youth suicide has tripled in the past half century and people say that popular culture enforces the denial of one’s purpose. The younger generation is stuck and the horizon looks bleak. The youth of today cannot seem to fathom what objective morality or objective standards even mean.
The world of popular culture has ravaged our society. Popular Culture’s message has snuck in so subtly, that the enemy took over right before our eyes and has infected the Church, and in response, the church rolled over dead. Pop culture has won the battle, but the Church culture must win the war.
Pop culture is all hype about the ‘new and improved.’ This cultural cotton candy tasted great for about 5 seconds, but we are going to starve to death if we don’t get real food soon. Pop culture has inundated the American Church and has affected practically everything, including:
- How we evangelize
- Songs we sing
- Clothes we wear
- Meaning of the Christian day of rest
- Attitude of Worship
We simply cannot expect to influence the American culture by becoming like the mainstream culture, that is, popular culture. Here’s why: pop culture is a fad…it goes away once the bells and whistles get boring. Maybe this is why the youth have left the ‘irrelevant church.’ We taught them candy alone is delectable food, instead of teaching them to love and eat their vegetables.
Secondly, pop culture strives to gain attention. Do you know what we do with our spare time? A recent statistic showed that the average person watches 9.1 years of their life with TV/movies. That is about 2 hours a day. Do we fill that ‘spare’ time with what could be MOST God-honoring?
Here is the thing; pop culture is an anti-Christian culture. It follows, and is a medium for, the ideology of the day: Liberalism. Liberalism teaches that man is his own master and no one can tell him he is wrong. This autonomous individualism will end up isolating people (hint: increase suicide) from each other. Like a ring in a bull’s nose, pop culture will turn the masses where it leads. It turns objective morality into subjective morality.
“Popular cultures greatest influence is in the way it shapes how we think and feel…and how we think and feel about thinking and feeling.” -Ken Myers
Sadly, many Christians in the past and present, look at pop culture and it’s growing anti-Christian influence as bad, but they didn’t know how to articulate and explain their reasoning. How can something that is not sinful in and of itself become sinful? How do we know what moderation is and how far is too far? Where should we err? How best do we glorify and honor God with our time? We are to live in, but not of the world. Ken Myers states, “The Church can only engage the culture by being a culture.”
The Solution: Create a Unique Christian Culture
The Church shouldn’t hide in the woods and separate itself from society. Instead, we are to be the champions of objective goodness, truth, and beauty. The culture should look to us to know what is objectively superior. Within the Church Culture:
- Church leaders must ensure that worship is not embracing pop culture styles.
- Parents need to raise their children to appreciate that which is objectively superior: like Johann S. Bach. Refining one’s palate takes time and discipline.
- Individual Christians must examine their lives and see if they are the product of pop culture, and if so, they need to renew their minds to that which is pleasing in the sight of God.
May the Lord help us to be in the world and not of the world. May we raise our children to love that which is Good, True, & Beautiful in this growing anti-Christian culture.