In December 2015, Taffy Brodesser-Akner from GQ Magazine wrote an article called “What Would Cool Jesus Do?” which was an in-depth look inside Hillsong Church in New York.
The article starts off by saying: “It’s the church of choice for Bieber and Durant. It’s where the cool kids spend Sunday morning after Saturday night at the club. For ye of little faith, it’s hard to make sense out of Hillsong. Is it legit? Is it a hipster cult? And why’s everyone wearing Saint Laurent? GQ’s Taffy Brodesser-Akner joins the flock to find out if Christianity can really be this cool and still be Christian”
In September 2015, Buzzfeed published a video called “I’m Christian, But I’m Not…” In this video, self-professing Christians state that they’re Christians and then proceed to give a list of stereotypes that they don’t fit into. Coincidentally, all of these happen to be exactly what secular liberal thinkers would want them to say. This video could have a whole post to itself, but I will refrain from mentioning it further.
What strikes me about these 2 largely popular pieces is that they are both attempted efforts to make Christians seem cool to the watching world. I hope you will read this post to the end.
Jesus. The Most Offensive Man To Ever Live?
The very term “Christian” implies that we are followers of “Christ.” So who is this Jesus that Christians follow? He was potentially the most offensive man to ever live. Here’s why…
It is an interesting mark of a man from history that He has the ability to offend every generation and every nation in some fashion. Some people suggest that Jesus didn’t exist at all and was merely invented and His teachings fabricated. If this were the case, it seems likely that there would have been a generation and nation in which He was invented that would find Him inoffensive; however, this is not the case we have with the historical person of Jesus of Nazareth.
In Jesus’ own time, He wasn’t cool. He was often getting on the nerves of the religious Scribes and Pharisees. He would walk around and tell people that the way that they were living was wrong and that they should follow Him alone. Jesus was so uncool that people wanted Him killed.
In fact, when Jesus was on trial for death the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, followed a custom to release a prisoner at the feast of Passover. It was down to Jesus and a “notorious prisoner” (Matthew 27:16) called Barabbas. The crowd would rather have a convicted criminal roaming free than this so-called “cool Jesus.”
Jesus Offends Other Cultures
Jesus offends Atheistic cultures by telling them that there is a God. He doesn’t leave the option open to suggest that there is no such thing as a God. Not only does He suggest that there is a God, but He suggests that this is not a deistic god who doesn’t want involvement with His creation. This God exists and cares if we reject His existence.
Jesus offends polytheistic cultures by telling them that there is only one God. He doesn’t leave the option open to suggest that there are multiple gods/goddesses. He doesn’t believe that there is a dualistic good God and bad God who are fighting against each other for power.
Jesus offends other monotheistic religions by telling them that He is God. He doesn’t leave the option open to suggest that He is merely a prophet or good teacher; rather, He openly claims to be God and the Messiah/Saviour of people. He says that He is the only way to be saved.
Jesus was not a politician. He offends right-wing and left-wing politics. He offends first world countries all the way to third world countries.
He didn’t believe in relativism. Jesus wasn’t the sort of guy who said “whatever is true for you, is true for you.” He believed “I Am the Truth.” As mentioned, He went around and made truth claims all the time about how people ought and ought not to live. How uncool is that?
Christians Are Not Cool
Christians, you follow the potentially uncoolest person in history. Isaiah 53:3 tells us that “He was despised and rejected by men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not.”
Jesus reminds you in John 15:18-21 that: “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me.”
Do you have a personal relationship with this same Jesus? It may be easy to cherry pick all the sayings about love that give you comfort, but if He is real and truly speaking then there should inevitably be a point where He contradicts your already preconceived ideas.
Read the Bible and God will speak to you. While we all love to see you cozying up to your decaf, soy milk, caramel latte, and reading 1 Corinthians 13 again, remember that Bible reading is between you and God, not you and your Instagram followers.
Christians, you’ll never be cool because you follow an uncool Jesus who was despised and rejected by men. We follow Him because He is Truth. No matter how much truth may offend, it will always be true. As hard as this truth may be right now, He promises that the best is yet to come for Christians. You may not be cool now, but you’ll be praised for eternity by the only One whose opinion matters.
– Tyson Bradley