Identity in a selfie cultureFebruary 21, 2019
We are living in a “selfie” culture of self-centered self-identification, self-promotion, and self-glorification. It could not be more contrary to the Christian worldview wherein the self yields always and in all ways to the identity of Christ.
The very word- identity- is a loaded one today. Wrapped up in layers of politics and isms and causes. Some perspective is necessary if we are going to understand and influence what’s going on around us. So, step back and ask yourself, “where do I find my identity?”
In a job? In a cause? In an activity? In a group? In another person?
To be a Christian is a comprehensive identity that cannot be co-mingled with any of the self-centric ideas of our selfie age. If you are a Christian, you submit your identity to Jesus. Yes, that’s counter culture and yes, it makes Christians weirdos in an age where normalcy has been utterly redefined.
For the person who is in Christ, a process takes place over time by which the Holy Spirit brings every part of a person into intentional conformity with Jesus Christ. The Christian’s mind and conscience is conformed to the mind of Christ. And yes, the Christian life is brought into conformity with the will of God.
Nowhere does God promise that spiritual transformation, the renewing of our minds, nor the reigning in or purifying of our lives will be comfortable or easy. In fact, just the opposite. In Matthew, Jesus old his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Self-denial is not what our selfie-centered culture pursues.
Jesus knew what it would cost him to take up the Cross and so, he knew what he was asking of his disciples. Jesus said that his very life was to do the will of the Father- even unto to death on a cross. If we’re going to be like Jesus, then our will is to do the will of the Father. And how do we know the will of God? By reading His word.
Back to us. Consider what area or areas of your life that you consider off-limits to Jesus’ transforming power. Something about yourself that you consider more who you are than a Christian. It is at that precise point where you are not in full submission to His Lordship. You may be relying upon Christ for salvation but you are not in submission to Him as Lord in that area of your life. It is at that point that you are now called to take up your cross and, in obedience, follow him.
We read and hear a lot of people today whose sexual orientation or gender identity is of paramount importance to them. They want to be known, accepted and celebrated for their sexual identity. While that may be fine for secularists, it can never be okay with those operating out of a Christian worldview.
The Bible tells us that when God made human beings in His image, He made them male and female. Their gender aligned in a complementarian way with their sexual orientation, and in turn with their heterosexual attraction, expression and procreation. Those who today condemn this as a binary way of thinking must do so by arguing that things are better now than when God ordered the chaos. The issue we face today is one of confusion. Individuals are confused about their core identity and our culture is confused about that right response. The self is now exalted one to whom everyone must bow.
It is basic idolatry.
This problem is not new and it is not going away this side of Christ’s return. In the beginning, back in the actual good ole’ days, by God’s judgement things were absolutely good. God is the one who defines good and God judged what He made, male and female, were good. But we no longer live in the full beauty, goodness nor truth of God’s original design. In fact, from very early on, human beings have been asserting ideas, preferences, and plans that are contrary to God’s revealed will.
Our proclivity for self-identification, self-promotion and self-glorification is not new nor is it good. Those who would seek to redefine what is good and what is not good are doing nothing other than setting themselves up as the latest god. This fits perfectly with the American idol of selfie culture, but is unfitting in every way for those who profess Christ as their identity.
Restored Hope Network “In this time of history, when gender and sexual confusion is reaching new heights in all aspects of public and private life, our network of ministries stands on the beauty of God’s life-giving Word.”