The Church & The Cult of “Me-ism”

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Culture is rapidly changing. Millennials (fueled by Gen-Xers) are growing up in a “me-ism” culture – “life on my terms” in other words. Christian Millennials and Gen-Xers have not been immune to this thinking and are subtly embracing the cult of “me-ism” by connecting it to their faith and approach to scripture and the church. We want God & faith to be on our terms – or at least as close to our terms as we understand them to be reasonably possible. 

“Me-ism” is a result of subjective relativism where truth, rules and laws no longer have a clear universal standard that is accepted by the culture.

The argument against “stale”, “out of touch” churches that lack “progressive thinking” is typically rooted in skepticism and distrust of cultural establishments. Furthermore,”me-ism” is a result of subjective relativism where truth, rules and laws no longer have a clear universal standard that is accepted by the culture. Barna Group President David Kinnaman makes an important statement about the Millennial generation: “For the next generation, the lines between right and wrong, between truth and error, between Christian influence and cultural accommodation are increasingly blurred.” [1]

The problem with us is that God has already defined the rules in which we play by, whether we like it or not.

Yes, let’s agree that life is not always as “black and white” as our pastors and popular Christian book writers would seemingly make it out to be. We can learn from this generation to loosen the grips on our Christian one-liners and works-based dogmas. However, let’s also be clear that life is not found in the 50 Shades of Grey (pun intended) that our modern culture would like to believe it is. The problem with us is that God has already defined the rules in which we play by, whether we like it or not. According to his Word, mankind either serves the creature or the Creator (Romans 1:20-25). Our choice is finite and always at odds within ourselves – there is no secret passage or hidden code to break that allows for a third option. The truth is this: follow the way of the world (Satan) or God by faith in Jesus Christ.

…The religion of “me-ism” cannot and will never save them.

Millennials and relativist thinkers will have a difficult time embracing this stark truth of reality because it’s contrary to everything that is being fed to them in today’s culture. The answer for the church, however, is not to embrace more of the world but rather continue to stand on the truth of a reality in which God has revealed to us through his inspired Word. (Admittedly, the church has sometimes demonstrated to be overly legalistic in its interpretation and teachings from scripture, and it’s here where Millennials can engage and enhance the church in a healthy, educated and responsible manner!)

The gospel of Jesus Christ – saved by faith and the grace of God alone through his risen Son – is not, nor has it ever been, a popular message. But, I assure you that the culture will once again be hungry for it when they realize that the religion of “me-ism” cannot and will never save them. As for the Christian, remember what Paul wrote to the Corinthian church,

“Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20, NLT)

“You do not belong to yourself” is translated in the ESV as, “You are not your own.” Take note of this: faith is not on your own terms. We live dependently and fully abandoned to the One true God who purchased your allegiance away from Satan and the world to him alone through Jesus Christ. We live to bring Him honor and glory for as long as we live in our mortal bodies – dead to the cult of “me-ism” and alive in Jesus Christ!

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[1] David Kinnaman, You Lost Me: Why Young Christians Are Leaving Church And Rethinking Faith (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2011), 12.