“Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” – Romans 12:2, MSG
Except we have conformed to the patterns of our world. Instead of adapting to our culture to be positive change agents in it, we’ve adopted its ways and our world has changed us — for the worse.
The other day I walked in to one of our local trendy clothing stores. I wasn’t attempting to find some clothes for me for a mid-life crisis. No, I thought they might have some colognes or phone accessories that might be of interest. I struck out on those items, but while there I observed some things about the music OF our modern world — the kind of music many of our youth continually pour into their brains via earbuds most seem to use.
I was repulsed by what I heard. Don’t get me wrong, I like all kinds of music, so the modern style was pleasant to me. What was so disturbing was the lyrics.
Besides being extremely laden with the worst profanities, it was all narrowly focused on overtly nasty subject material. I stuck around to see if all the music pounding through the store was like that or if it was just one song. It was every song. Each one was all about pretty much one thing.
Over and over again between the repeated usage of the f-word was vivid descriptions of various kinds of sex, wanting it, planning it, doing it, repeating it, etc. Further, each song had graphic descriptions of body parts, different sex acts, positions, etc. It was simply a boatload of classless, shameful, graphic, extramarital sex talk, with the most vile, descriptive language.
The customers were mostly teens. They seemed to delight in the music and lyrics pounding through their heads. After all, it’s what they are used to listening to, apparently. Parents and grandparents seemed oblivious.
Some of you reading this column might be thinking, “What’s the big deal? Don’t be old fashioned.” Yes, some Christians actually think this sort of thing is just fine. You see, we’ve become so much like the world we don’t recognize the difference between right and wrong anymore – not like we used to.
Many Christians think cussing (using foul language) is okay “as long as it doesn’t offend anyone.” Then, they move on to insult people who are offended, saying they’re old fashioned. So, the idea is to just accept foul, obscene, and perverse language and activities because to reject those things would be outdated.
My Bible and yours says, “But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander and obscene talk from your mouth (Colossians 3:8, ESV).” The NIV says to “rid yourselves of… filthy language.” Additionally, our Bibles teach us that sex outside of marriage is sinful and against God (1 Corinthians 5:1; 6:13; 7:2; Colossians 3:5; Hebrews 13:4; etc.). God’s people aren’t to even have a hint of sexual immorality in our lives (Ephesians 5:3), so pouring lyrics of it in our heads is antithetical to Scriptural Christianity. It’s simply not OK!
People of God, be careful what you accept and what you allow into your heads (music, movies, books, internet, conversations or whatever).
God has better for us. Choose wisely; be different.
Jeff Adams is pastor for Paramount Christian Church. His column appears weekly in the Nisqually Valley News. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.