Is it just me, or have you ever noticed that the Christians who sport NOTW (Not Of This World) on their clothing, cars, and flesh seem to be the ones in our churches who look and behave most like the world?
What say you?
They are annoying to a certain degree. If they are new in the faith, I could cut them some slack. If they aren’t, then I’d wonder if they really are saved. Our identity is in Christ and we are defined by how much of Christ is in us and NOT ON US or our cars, or our forearms and legs.
My first exposure to this symbol was at Costco where I saw a woman wearing a very tight and low cut tank top with it on the chest. That experience sorta ruined the whole trend for me and ever considering sporting it myself.
LOL – what an interesting observation – and Jason’s comment really brought a smile to my face.
I have never seen (or heard) of this symbol before. Now when I do see it, I will understand what it means. :)
Fashion you can ditch , cars you can sell , but those tattoos are there for life.
Yes, I have seen that before, and yes, Pilgrim, you are right. It seems to be flaunted by those who think that they are somehow exempt from actually following the words they sport.
I echo Katy. Have not seen it yet and will now know what it is when I do.
I, too, haven’t seen (or heard of) this new “trend” within the WWJD-crowd. Guess I must be either old-fashioned, anti-tattoo, a “non-joiner,” or maybe I’m an “intolerant sort” who simply dislikes the seemingly-never-ending myriad ways to display one’s “individuality.” I wonder if this new “trend” will pervade the rank & file Christian church of today where the youth culture(s) and/or “hip” factor has been THE preeminent place in “ministry” – replacing regulative worship, prayer, sound preaching, and from-the-heart worship? I’m 44, and don’t consider myself an “old fuddy duddy,” and I’d like to consider myself “with it” on most fronts. This trend (if it’s even a trend) disturbs me though.
I’m reminded of Christ’s answer to the Lawyer (scribe) in Mark 12:34, where He says, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” Although the Lawyer had answered correctly (i.e. had a form of godliness), he wasn’t part of the kingdom. A person can be an inch away from Heaven, and go to Hell upon their death. I pray that the God of grace, would be gracious and pour out repentence and faith upon those who truly seek Him – in this case, the youth among us.
Just because I say “I’m a Cadillac”, doesnt mean that I am. If you have to display who you claim to be on the outside, you may want to check if it’s really there on the inside
I’ve not seen it but this is fleshly. To me it’s a little bit like when the Pharisees wore their phylacteries to try and have this outer showing of how devout they are.. God looks at our hearts and anything that is used that is of the world and adopted as a “Christian” means of showing your love for Christ is just bad practice.. If the attitude of our hearts are right with the Lord then who needs to see by being flamboyant? Live for Christ and let our faith be seen by God the Father by expressing itself through love rather than physical markings or bumper stickers.
I don’t care for “bumper sticker Christians” myself.. We’re not supposed to be conformed any longer to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of our minds”
It is thrown all over the place here in southern California and mainly by the younger generations. Yet for MOST, you see no remorse of sin, no seperation from the world, and no desire for holiness but the exact opposite. You usually see them driving down the street with their bumper sticker on their cars playing un-Christ like music, walking down the street wearing clothing that does not represent modesty with the emblem on those unmodest garments.They flaunt their fleshly attitudes and behaviours as if they were never called to be holy and seperate from the world. It makes my heart grieve, yet when I witness these events all I can do is take a moment to pray for those who are smearing the name I love so much. I would never, nor allow my children, to support a symbol of that nature.
“look and behave most like the world”
Well, looks and behavior are two completely different things. God does describe certain behaviors as sinful, but when you start to hunt for sin in the way someone ‘looks’ I think that we may have very little Biblical basis for much of it.
Sometimes it’s difficult to wrap one’s brain around the twisted thinking of today’s emerging spirituality, but to look like, act like, and sound like the world, and yet say they are not of this world makes perfect sense to those with this mindset. In fact, the more worldly they can appear, the more “missional” they consider themselves. Pointing to passages like John 17:14-17, and 1 Cor. 9:19-23, they say: “See, Jesus doesn’t want us to separate ourselves from the world. We need to engage the culture we are in, being all things to all men. And in doing so, we can share the Gospel to them.”
Seemingly logical on the surface. But what they fail to consider is that as regenerated individuals and disciples of Jesus Christ, citizens of heaven, holy and separated unto God, we are to display to the world what a holy (non-worldly, Godly), regenerated, follower of Jesus Christ and citizen of heaven is supposed to be like. And in so doing, we offer a living example of lives miraculously changed by the living God to serve Him in power and joy.
But if we display ourselves as individuals as worldly as they are, who now somehow “belong to Christ”, the message we give to the world is not one of being changed, holy and sanctified, but merely “religiously cool”, where you really don’t give up anything to follow Christ, you just have a different focus than they do. Such is not the message of the Gospel.
Im not a fan of arguing about issues that are trivial and really amount to nothing…but I couldnt read the comments and just let it go. I know you guys are sharing what you believe, but have you though that maybe, just maybe, they are doing what they believe is alright too. I understand that there may be immaturity in some of the ways people display this “symbol” but are you able to see into their hearts? Are you able ti see
what God is working inside of them? We cannot judge each other’s motives because we cannot see them. We can judge actions, but even then, instead of smashing a brother or sister in Christ, we should lovingly teach and educate into spiritual maturity.
I will admit that I have some NOTW clothing and even an NOTW sticker on my car. I am not asahmed of the gospel of Christ. I have found many opportunities to share the gospel and open up conversations with other people because of it.
Please do not get me wrong though… Im not saying that a sticker, shirt, tattoo is enough and that it is all a good Christian needs! No way!!!! We are called to be lights! Jesus asks us to follow his extremely RADICAL way of living! Dying to self, living for His sake! We are to be selfless and always looking to meet the needs of those around us! We are an extension of Jesus on this earth! We are His hands and feet and this world needs to see more than a sticker or tattoo to realize that!
I love Him more than anything in this world! He has given me more than I could have ever hoped for throug hinself! His GRACE IS ENOUGH! :)
While I despise the idea of the “consumer” Christianity and “bumper sticker” Christianity that people are talking about here, but some of the comments reveal a less than Christlike attitude toward these people. Comments saying that we don’t care about a certain kind of christian is so patently antithetical to the gospel message as to be hardly any different than the Pharisee who said “God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector” in Luke chapter 18.
The first part of Julie’s comment was spot on. Many of these folks are likely babes in the faith. Even if they have been in the faith a long time, they are likely and sadly still feeding on milk. That being said, we are still to love them as brothers and sisters just as the Apostle John said in 1 John chapter 2. Otherwise we ourselves may prove our own lack of saving faith.
Flash-in-the-pan, flavor-of-the-month emergent, hip, cool, trendy, “relevant” Christian cultism on display. Soon enough, someone will write a book about it, a worship album will be recorded about it, a traveling sideshow seminar will occur because of it, millions of dollars will be fleeced from the ignorant sheep, it will be the newest hashtag on Twitter, and blah blah blah.
If people really want to ‘mark themselves for Jeeeezus!’, then let them take 39 lashes on their backs and bear the scars the rest of their days, pointing to them as some display of piety, holiness, suffering, and true commitment. (Just don’t tell the Catholics. They’ll start doing it regularly. You know how Catholicism does so love its acts of pain to show fealty)
I remember having long hair, earrings, a nose ring, tattoos, and the whole biker/bada$$ look when I was brought into The New Covenant. It upset the Fundamentalists and made the charismatics swoon. I grew out of it as I matured in The Spirit. These folks who crave this NOTW fad simply need to mature in Christ. Simple enough. Jesus is not a trend. He is LORD. Or have they not learned this?
As I looked at the “tattoo” and read through these comments, I was reminded of a message my pastor taught on Philippines 3:2; “Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who *mutilate* the flesh.” ESV (my emphasis)
I suppose if the shoe fits, one should wear it. Oh well, Just a thought!
Well said RS…
Paul said “Do not be conformed any longer to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind”
–Quote- “God says over and over in the Old Testament–“I am the Lord your God”—in other words I am the Master and you are the servant and I have the right and the power and authority to tell you what to do with your body. Now we humans don’t like that of anybody telling us what to do especially what to do with our own body. But the truth of the matter is God does and can tell us what to do with our own bodies. Don’t commit adultery, do not murder—I am God, I am the Lord I am in charge not you therefore I can tell you how to act how to worship and how to approach me. The truth principle of the matter is, don’t mark up your body because it doesn’t belong to you. Don’t commit adultery because your body doesn’t belong to you. It belongs to ME I’m the Lord so don’t mark up your body
, once the Spirit of God take residence in a person, when you are saved by that New Covenant of salvation by grace through faith in Jesus, they know enough to know that that’s not appropriate behavior because after all God didn’t change and that kind of behavior is not appropriate behavior. In Lev. Redeemed, peculiar and special people were to act and dress appropriately because “I am the Lord” so you’re going to be my people and demonstrate that you are my people by the way you look and act and dress and eat and worship because Israel was his chosen nation.
It’s clear-unquestionable —
In the New Testament–we see the same sort of language in the New Covenant for God’s redeemed chosen people as was in the Old Covenant with God’s restriction of our behavior on the basis of his purchase of us- his redemption of us. This is precisely and exactly what we find in 1 Cor. chapter 6. In 1 Cor.6 Paul is talking about people who are Christians who would also take part in prostitution –in this case he’s speaking to men who would go and hire a prostitute and Paul says “don’t do it” in other words this is a passage on sexual purity and sexual behavior. And God restricts (a particular behavior) and the rationale for restricting it is, (you belong to ME.) Therefore don’t do this. Verse 15- 1Cr 6:15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Never! So now he’s talking about your physical body and also about the larger body of the Church therefore your body is part of the body of Christ. “Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute?”
quotes from Jim McClarty
So we should always be reminded of anything that is inappropriate especially Christians such as tattooing your body is not pleasing to the Lord. And YES we are under GRACE and tattooing your body doesn’t make you an unsaved person — but it just doesn’t set us apart from the world and reflect God’s glory neither. God says “be ye holy for I am holy.” We are to be different from the world and more like Christ. Tattooing your body as a Christian just blends in with the world and it’s system
I got hot tongue and cold shoulder for dinner one evening when I went to a local returant and saw a young couple sitting in a booth by the door who were “pierced with their transgressions” tatooed and wearing the initials you reference. What got me in to trouble was when I asked them how close to the explosion they were because they were covered in schrappnel for Americanas!
Luke, with all due respect, this is not a trivial issue that “amounts to nothing”. This is the issue of how the ambassador of Christ is to rightly represent the Almighty God, Sovereign King, Supreme Judge, Only Savior and Redeemer of all mankind. How we represent Him in the world directly impacts the Holy and Righteous Character we are presenting to the world. For we don’t just preach words. We show the evidence of a transformed life to a fallen world, and thus the miraculous proof that verifies His Words.. When we show we are not transformed by having changed lives (no longer like we were when we were unregenerated, and thus no longer of the world or like the world), we are by our lives denying the very truths of Scripture that we are claiming in His name. Thus, to show ourselves as worldly as the rest of the unregenerated lost world (whether in appearance, behavior, speech, etc.) is to display for them that either we don’t believe the very Bible we claim to follow, or that we represent some “christ” that is not holy at all, but worldly. And since that is not the Jesus Christ of the Scriptures, that would be in a very real and practical sense, representing a false Christ to the world.
This goes both ways. We are as guilty of falsely representing Christ when we are unloving, spiteful, vindictive or proud, as we are by showing ourselves worldly. So this is not to point the finger at anyone else, nor to have an aire of superiority. We ALL need to be careful to be Christ-like, lest we fall under judgment ourselves.
That said, for my part, I hold no animosity, nor “unlovingness” toward those who wear their “NOTW” symbol. I know quite a few in youth group who would wear that proudly. The issue is not to condemn them, but to say what they are doing is a huge mistake if they also follow the bandwagon currently in vogue to look, act, and/or sound much like the world in order to “reach them with the Gospel”. It is a mentality that is sweeping the churches that, though may be well meaning on the part of many, are not realizing the counterproductive image they are bearing to the world as they claim to be the very antithesis of what they are showing outwardly. The Christian simply cannot preach one thing, and display another. You ask that we not get you wrong. I ask that you be careful not to get many of us here wrong either. Okay?
I haven’t seen these verses referred to yet so I will cite them. Keep in mind the contrast between the “Spirit’s” work and what an idolatrous human does by putting a tatoo on one’s hand? Consider verses 5, 9-11.
The entire chapter is really necessary to ponder to consider the full view of what God is saying through His prophet Isaiah negatively about tatoos. From God’s perspective He says a tatoo is shameful even when it is about the Word of God. Remember God is “Spirit” and invisible and we are to worship Him in Spirit and Truth by Faith not by marking our flesh with tatoos of His Word, verse 5: ( ‘The LORD’s,’ ):::>
Isa 44:1 “But now hear, O Jacob my servant, Israel whom I have chosen!
Isa 44:2 Thus says the LORD who made you, who formed you from the womb and will help you: Fear not, O Jacob my servant, Jeshurun whom I have chosen.
Isa 44:3 For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.
Isa 44:4 They shall spring up among the grass like willows by flowing streams.
Isa 44:5 This one will say, ‘I am the LORD’s,’ another will call on the name of Jacob, and another will write on his hand, ‘The LORD’s,’ and name himself by the name of Israel.”
Isa 44:6 Thus says the LORD, the King of Israel and his Redeemer, the LORD of hosts: “I am the first and I am the last; besides me there is no god.
Isa 44:7 Who is like me? Let him proclaim it. Let him declare and set it before me, since I appointed an ancient people. Let them declare what is to come, and what will happen.
Isa 44:8 Fear not, nor be afraid; have I not told you from of old and declared it? And you are my witnesses! Is there a God besides me? There is no Rock; I know not any.”
Isa 44:9 All who fashion idols are nothing, and the things they delight in do not profit. Their witnesses neither see nor know, that they may be put to shame.
Isa 44:10 Who fashions a god or casts an idol that is profitable for nothing?
Isa 44:11 Behold, all his companions shall be put to shame, and the craftsmen are only human. Let them all assemble, let them stand forth. They shall be terrified; they shall be put to shame together.
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