James 1:21-22 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
1 Thessalonians 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.
“The first cult dominating Christianity today is to imitate what we see outside of the Church. This is a characteristic of immaturity, like a little toddler who sees someone do something and tries to imitate it without knowing what it really means. The secular media in America sets the standards for us in the Church. Churches now have “programs” directed by “emcees”. This is directly from the world of entertainment. This sacred cow of the world has been brought into the sanctuary of the living God. The Church naively imitates what it sees in the world without any regard to consequence.
There was a time when the Church set the standard for music. Then the world imitated the Church. Men like Beethoven, Mozart and Handel set the whole world singing, and the focus of their music was the Church. We no longer initiate our music; rather, we pipe in the music of the world around us. Now we go tramping out into the world in order to import into the Church the sounds of the world. We offer this “swine” on the altar of Jehovah. What blasphemy. We have so much more to offer God. Importing the culture around us instead of adoring the nature and character of Christ within us is the sad reality of today’s Christian.
Our literature is no different. If there is a best seller out in the world, you can be sure it will be imitated in the Church eventually. Instead of writing great literature that honors God, the Church and the things of heaven, we are duplicating the dreary, morally questionable literature of the world. It seems to be a trophy to some writers to see how close to the edge they can get and not fall over. I have a news bulletin. They are not in danger of falling over the cliff; they have already fallen and do not know it yet.
The reason for this is that Christianity is greatly misunderstood even by those who claim to be Christians. True Christianity is a mystery, a wonder, something alien and transcendent in this world. The Christianity of the New Testament is incomprehensible to the world. There is absolutely no way to build a bridge between the world’s standards and the Church’s standards.
Some say it is a great honor and a mark of achievement to write a book acceptable both to the world and to the Church. Something is wrong here. I cannot find anything in the Scriptures or even in Church history that in any way suggests compatibility between the world and the Church. The taste of the Church should be infinitely higher and greater than the world’s. What satisfies the Church should in no way satisfy the world. The true Christian has an insatiable appetite for Christ and the things of Christ, while the world has no such appetite.
Christ stands alone, and He does not imitate; neither does He court the world in a lame attempt to win the world. Many evangelical churches are closer to the world than to New Testament standards in almost every regard.”
Exerpt from The Dangers of a Shallow Faith by A W Tozer