It is disturbing to see how many people in the church, and in leadership positions within the church, have lost their moral clarity. I couldn´t believe my eyes when I picked up a Christian magazine and read the feature story written by a young man who was the Director of Youth for an entire region. The accompanying picture was even more disturbing because it showed a group of Christian young men covered in tattoos and all the other paraphernalia of a typical street gang. If I saw them coming in my direction I would toss my high heels and run for the hills. The accompanying article explained that they were just a group of hard-rocking, head banging Christian artists touring with secular groups such as Marilynn Manson so that they could ´minister´ to that culture.
The youth director explained that this was similar to what Hudson Taylor, the great missionary to China, did when he cut his hair in a blunt shoulder length style and changed to their native attire. He did not want to be disconnected from the culture and society around him. He did not want to have a barrier between himself and the people he was trying to reach with the gospel. Well, there is no comparison and this foolish young man has missed it entirely! Marilynn Manson is NOT the social norm nor the culture of our times. It is a subculture. He (Marilynn is a man) represents anti-establishmentism and rebellion. Rebellion to social customs. Rebellion to cultural behavior. Rebellion to the NORM. This satanic performer is drawing youth into a downward spiral that leads to hell itself!
The article went on to explain how the apostle Paul quoted in I Cor. 9:22, ´I have become all things to all men so by all possible means I might save some.´ (NKJV) Common sense alone clearly interprets this statement´s meaning. Paul would not become a drunk to reach the drunkards, nor a prostitute to reach those that are in the sex trade. I find it absurd that someone cannot see that if Hudson Taylor later went to a tribe in the deepest jungles of Brazil, where they run through the bushes naked, that he would definitely NOT shed his clothes so he could preach Christ more effectively.
Instead, how about doing what the scriptures teach. How about ´Lifting up the name of Jesus and HE will draw all men to Himself.´ (John 12:32 NKJV paraphrased) Or, how about, ´Come out from among them and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and TOUCH NOT the unclean thing and I will receive you.´ (II Cor 6:17 NKJV emphasis added) The Apostle Paul, whom this young man quoted, had some very definite and opposite instructions, such as, ´Abstain from all appearance of evil´ (I Thes. 5:22 NKJV)
There is a vast difference between assimilating and fitting into a culture versus conforming to and tolerating their abominations and condoning their abominable things. We are told to love them and preach the gospel of salvation to them, not mimic their behavior. Or, as Romans 12: 2 states; ´And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.´
We are told to confront the darkness, not embrace it. Otherwise, as someone once said, "If you do not change your direction, you will end up where you are headed." So, my questions is, "Who is influencing whom? Is Marilynn Manson conforming to Jesus or is this group conforming to the world?"
It´s not very difficult ... if it looks like a duck and it walks like a duck; and it quacks like a duck, you want me to believe it´s a .......WHAT?
In closing I want to share the commentary from the Living Bible referring to a passage from Judges chapter 19 which nicely sums up what I am saying -- ´The Israelites lost their purpose, and soon every man did whatever he thought was right. When they stopped letting God lead them, they became no better than the evil people around them. They set standards far below God´s which caused all sorts of evil to follow, with the ultimate results affecting a future generation.´
What our message to this generation and the next needs to be are the life-changing words of Jesus, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matt. 4:17 NKJV)
Copyright Donna Martonfi www.psalm40ministries.com