Pleasure from the Profane
When I was a teenager, people like my “over-zealous” religious friends, or perhaps my parents or grandparents would say certain music or TV shows or movies contained offensive content, and as such, they refused to watch them or listen and even suggested (how dare they!) that I should do the same. I found their suggestion distasteful, rigid, and rather unnecessary. After all, I enjoyed my media and it wasn’t that bad and I wasn’t hurting anyone, and…. thus continued my justifications in like manner.
In the 90’s some brilliant entrepreneur even marketed sanctification in the form of WWJD bracelets with the intent that every lustful, self-absorbed teenager, when faced with moral dilemmas would look to their wrist, note the time, and look to the other wrist and ask themselves, “would Jesus watch ‘Bikini Death Slasher 3’?”
Though the intention was good, methods like WWJD suffered from at least two flaws. First, I figured that Jesus liked and did the same things I did. Or at least he didn’t care.
And second, asking “What would Jesus do?” assumes I have no idea how to proceed. But even more fundamental, it does not address the root problem: I enjoyed the profane.
Christians do not defend the faith because they don’t live the faith. We ogle at acts of flagrant, sometimes deviant sexuality between couples (sometimes more) which carries on in our living rooms as we watch in approval. God is cursed, Christians are mocked, and we pay huge subscriptions fees to watch it. We sing it, dance to it, and on Sunday we sing “amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that lets a wretch like me do whatever I please.”
We enjoy the profane and look down on stiff Christians who think otherwise.
Even now, there are those of you rolling your eyes at me, and you’ve probably labeled me a fundamentalist.
Let me cut to the chase. You cannot call evil “good,” you cannot enjoy the profane, you cannot embrace the world without mocking the cross you claim as the basis of your salvation. To do so breaks your fellowship with Jesus and His body.
As a teenager, it was a sign of my own spiritual immaturity combined with lack of discipleship. I was a toddler in Christ and I was a spiritual mess, inside and out. Why else would I, a born-again, redeemed-by-the-sacrifice-of-Christ believer enjoy the profane?
To end, my concern isn’t that other believers start being “more moral.” My fear is that our love for Christ is so small that it is completely swallowed by our hunger for the profane. As an adult, my hunger for the profane isn’t gone. But my hunger and thirst for righteousness consumes the flesh’s desires. Many Christians read “you cannot serve two masters,” and say “amen,” so let us also recognize that “you cannot follow Christ while finding pleasure in the profane.”