Recently, I was asked the question, “where do you see God in pop culture?” Here was my reply:
In pop culture? I’m not sure that I do see God per se… I know that I see God in infamous culture. What do I mean by that? …. well, the world has a severe rape culture, I see God meeting victims in their shame and brokenness and their victimhood healing those wounds in this life and the next. I see a racist culture where God works to reconcile the oppressed and the oppressor through the Cross. I see entire cultures and people riddled with mental health problems amid a pandemic to which God wants to give transformed minds.
I’m not a very good Christian. Sometimes my language gets the better of me, lust and sexual desires get the better of me, hatred, pain and anger overcome me. There are some good reasons as to why this is the case. Mostly, however, I am a broken-hearted man, a sinner that has been trapped by darkness, and perpetuates sin. I am a man that Jesus redeemed through His atoning sacrifice. But I can sniff rubbish a mile off. Where do I see God in pop culture? I don’t. God transcends it and walks intimately with those who desire Him in it and works to save those who are trapped by it.
We all jump on the next hype train, the new fad, the new bee’s knees when in reality they’re all meaningless distractions from that which matters most – God and real authentic spiritual connections with the people around us. Many of these people live in insufferable pain and hardship. At the same time, we toddle along to the movies and drink our lattes (something I do all the time).
The aim of life is to live it in such a way that we’re all moving from Genesis 3, longing for Genesis 1 and 2 while eagerly anticipating a more glorious Revelation 21. We lament the loss of our Garden and the separation we had with the Father, as we rejoice in the reconciliation we have in the Son. At the same time, we hunger and thirst for the final day where God will make all things new. The story of the Bible grounds me even if it’s sometimes snatched away from me. The story of the Bible pierces every culture, especially that of the infamous. God wants to partner with us in bringing the Gospel that saves, heals, and brings about new life to those who have none. Christian, it’s time to be different. It’s time to be not just counter-cultural, but in the infamous culture that we all like to turn a blind eye to and trivialise.