It seems lately that there are young evangelists rising up in Christianity that promote “raw, gritty, in your face” testimonies or salvation. Young men are being invited into churches, with their gothic clothes to take the pulpits. I am not an old fogey who thinks you have to come dressed a certain way to present the gospel. So let them come with their black eyeliner, and long hair, and tattoos.
BUT come HOLY.
The thing that bothers me about this movement is that they do not come HOLY. They come into the pulpit and defile it’s holiness by sharing without shame about their pre-Christ orgies, debauchery, and blasphemy. This part of the message usually takes 30-40 minutes, and spending the last 5-10 talking about how Christ saved them. One such individual used the phrase “banging so many girls” FROM the PULPIT. The church laughed in embarrassment.
Overall, the church appreciated this honesty and raw testimony of the grace of God. Any detractors were labeled, “old wineskins.” This movement is compared to the Jesus People Movement, and the detractors as those who thought Christians couldn’t look like Hippies.
In fact, one such group of evangelists have said that they can actually reach people that the rest of the church can’t. They have said, that because they wear dark/demonic clothes, cover themselves in tattoos and speak with profanity–that the world can actually relate BETTER to them.
The church agreed.
What is so interesting to me is that this really isn’t seen in the Bible. In fact I don’t think that the disciples or Paul for that matter really paid much attention to the style of their clothes, hair, etc. They didn’t feel like they needed to dress like pimps to reach the prostitutes. They didn’t wear pagan charms to reach the sorcerers.
In fact, what about Elijah, Jeremiah, and Isaiah. Where does the Bible describe their image (aside from when Elijah had to strip and lay on his side for days at a time)? These men were strange and different, but it wasn’t the outside that set them apart. They were different because they were HOLY. They were set apart for God’s service.
Looks don’t matter. God saves anyone at anytime from any place.
He doesn’t discriminate.
But He does sanctify.
And after 10 years of walking with God, you should begin to feel shame when you talk about “banging girls” from the pulpit.
And I will go as far to say that God can use anyone He wants. And I am sure that some legitimate fruit has come from these so called “relevant” ministries. God’s WORD will not return void but it will accomplish that which He intends it to.
BUT I do believe 100% that God can use an OLD FOGEY that is FILLED with the SPIRIT to do a million times more to reach the lost than a relevant kid in a pulpit, who looks and talks like the world.
There is something to be said about waiting on the Lord, spending time in His presence, and moving in the anointing of His Spirit.
Being SET APART.
Striving for Prophet,
My prayer is that these young evangelists would stop trusting in their own coolness to reach the lost, and begin to see what can happen as they move in His Spirit and HOLINESS.
New International Version (NIV)
Imitating Christ’s Humility
2 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Do Everything Without Grumbling
12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
14 Do everything without grumbling or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky.