The Seductive Nature Of Pop Culture


The Seductive Nature Of Pop Culture

Why Are You So Angry? Everyone Is Doing It!

whats-hot-whats-notPop culture is understood to reflect the latest music, art, literature, fashion, dance, movies, television, radio, etc. that has gained mass acceptance in our culture. Whatever is believed to be the “in thing” often sweeps the nation as the acceptable social norm. We quickly find ourselves wanting, needing and willing to spend our hard earned dollars to acquire or participate in the latest “in thing.” Keeping up with pop culture requires no special talent or effort because we are solicited daily by the peddlers, purveyors and social propagandist of pop culture, many of which earn huge fortunes at our expense. Other areas of pop culture involve lifestyles, philosophies, attitudes and ideas that become invisible governing forces over our thinking, words, and behavior. How many of us have uttered the words “my bad” for “my mistake?” As much as I dislike that phrase, “my bad,” I have heard those words involuntarily come out of my mouth. How crazy is that? Well, not crazy at all and rather quite human. After 2 decades that phrase is still popular and I still dislike its use.

The seductive nature of pop culture is capable of influencing our thinking, imagination, creativity, choices and nearly every area of our lives. Mostly, pop culture’s influences affect the younger generation as they search to discover themselves. As the years unfold we become more grounded and less subject to the compelling and captivating forces of pop culture. However, let’s not kid ourselves, pop culture is an infectious force that must be understood if we are to navigate its uncharted waters.

The Necessity Of Discernment 

Discernment and sound judgment is necessary when making choices, especial when they involve the latest “in thing.” The seductive nature of crowd behavior is such that many fail to consider the possibility of negative consequences when following the crowd. The idea that there is safety in numbers does not extend to pop culture. There are no guarantees of a harmless journey. Moreover, to understand pop culture we must recognize its 3 primary and distinct areas of influence: the good, the bad and that which is neither.

You will be hard pressed to find a teen that has never told their parents, “everyone is going to be there or everyone has one but me, and why are you so angry, everyone is doing it.” And what parents have not anguished over knowing the “in thing” is actually a very bad thing luring their teens down a dangerous and destructive path. Welcome to the world of pop culture where popularity seems to make everything seem acceptable, even the unacceptable. Herein lies the problem. Under the seemingly harmless cloak of pop culture we discover ideas, beliefs and practices that are spiritually and morally unfit for consumption.

While young minds are at greater risk of being influenced by pop culture, none of us are completely immune from its contagion. Christians are warned not to follow the patterns of forbidden worldly behavior. Consider Paul’s instructions to the Roman believers:

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Rm. 12:2)

The Greek word syschēmatizō is translated “conform” in the KJV and “conform to the pattern” in the NIV. The idea is Christians are not to fashion their lifestyles after forbidden worldly practices and culture. Instead, believers are to go through a transforming process, a renovation of our mind. We are transformed (Gr. metamorphoō) as our minds are renewed by the indwelling presence of God’s Holy Spirit and the word of God. Just as the caterpillar morphs into a butterfly we too morph into a beautiful child of God as the illuminating presence of His Spirit transforms our minds and hearts. This is only possible when we refuse to love the corrupt world and all of its forbidden ways. John the apostle makes this very clear in 1 John 2:15 where we are warned, “love not the world neither the things that are in the world,” more specifically, don’t love, desire, crave or long for the forbidden popular practices of the world.

It is dangerous when believers view pop culture through rose-colored glasses. It is far from innocuous. Christians are commanded to separate themselves from customs and practices that dishonor the Lord. Instead, we are called upon to honor the Lord and live holy lives to the extent that we are to abstain from any and all ungodly activity. Paul’s admonition to the Corinthian church “to separate” from ungodly behavior remains applicable today:

Therefore, “Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you. (2 Cor. 6:17)

We will resist posting a lengthy list of forbidden beliefs and practices so prevalent in pop culture. These are things each of us must come to terms with as we grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ.


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