According to recent style magazines, the shag haircut of the 1970’s has come roaring back! All the groovygirls are wearing it. Yes, trends come and trends go. And many even come around again. In fact, I’ve noticed a few Christian trends popping up in the church.
I believe that each of these trendy practices are rooted in good motives. And some of them may even be beneficial if properly used and correctly viewed as the limited tools they are. But before we jump on the bandwagon and do something because everyone else is doing it, let’s always set any practice beside God’s Word to evaluate it.
5 Christian Trends to Consider or Reconsider
- Choosing a Life Verse– Many Christians choose one verse or short passage to reflect the primary focus of their lives or serve as sort of a life mission statement. While I have spent extended periods studying and meditating on specific sections of Scripture, I’m not sure what God may have for me next year or even next week! (I expanded on this trend in “4 Cautions about Choosing a Life Verse.”) I’m afraid people would think me wishy washy because I’d be changing my life verse constantly!
- Focusing on One “Word” for the Year– I noticed this trend starting about five years ago – of course it may have been around a lot longer and I just missed it! According to one article I read, the “word for the year” is a single word a Christian chooses as a “framing word that will be my focus for the year ahead.” Words like gratitude, joy, hope, grace,and peaceare popular choices. Another Christian blogger said that choosing “one word” for the year helps her “focus on what truly matters and what will make an eternal difference in my life and the lives of those I care about.” There is a possible benefit here. If we are really struggling in one area of our Christian walk, perhaps it would be helpful to intentionally focus on that area for a while. But, seriously, does anyone else see a caution here?? I have trouble simply keeping my focus on Jesus! I really don’t think I need to add another I’m afraid that would simply take my eyes off the Prize!
- Taking Spiritual Gifts Tests– While I believe a spiritual gifts test can be a useful tool, it is a limited, manmade tool. And we should precede with caution. (See my recent post, “3 Concerns about Spiritual Gifts Tests.”)
- Boycotting Businesses–As our culture moves further and further away from biblical principles, the policies of more and more businesses reflect the change in the culture. A boycott is when, in an attempt to intimidate or change a business’ policies, Christians refuse to buy or use a company’s goods or services. Sadly, boycotts are seldom – if ever – successful in changing policy. And often, the boycott only serves to negatively impact the spread of the Gospel. (For more information and a biblical perspective, see “Should Christians Boycott?”)
- Blasting the Culture on Social Media– Yes, we live in a culture that has shifted far away from biblical principles. The American culture calls good, evil and calls evil, good. Our culture is in desperate need. It is soul sick. However, the answer is not to treat the symptoms. Raging at our culture and its practices only closes ears. Our moral diatribes only sound like foolishness to the world (1 Corinthians 2:14). We must offer the world around us its only chance of salvation – JESUS. (Note: Please don’t get me wrong. As God’s people, we must live holy lives and encourage holiness in other Christians.)
Let’s talk. Have you found any of these trends helpful or successful in your own life? What other Christian trends have you seen?