Just imagine for a moment that Taylor Swift, Lady GaGa, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie became Christians… I mean real sincere, dedicated followers of Jesus… They start to tell the gospel and love the Bible and go to church. These super cool, famous – and let’s face it – beautiful people all of a sudden make Jesus their number 1.
What would happen?
Or what about that super cool, gorgeous girl or guy at school that everyone wants to be recognised by… What if they all of a sudden became Christians?
What would happen?
As a teenager I would often think this would be the greatest thing to ever happen. I even remember praying that God would convert some famous and popular people so that everyone would see that following Jesus and being a Christian is actually really, really cool.
It seemed to be a pretty straight forward equation: Everybody loves the cool popular person… therefore, if the cool popular person starts to follow Jesus everybody will think following Jesus is a cool thing to do and then being a Christian would be popular. I wouldn’t have to feel just that little bit embarrassed anymore when people found out I was a Christian… and it wouldn’t be awkward inviting people to church because church would be cool too. Easy!
It’s such a fail-proof logic, except for one thing… Jesus isn’t cool. Of course, Jesus is cool to Christians, but really, in the world we live in Jesus just isn’t cool. He never has been. And he never will be.
Why is this so? Well it’s because the world hates Jesus. That may sound a bit harsh, but it’s true. This is how Jesus puts it when he refers to himself as the ‘light’ in John 3:19-20
“This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. All those who do evil hate the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.“
This is why Jesus isn’t cool: because he exposes people for what they are, and no one wants to be exposed as a wicked sinner! This is also one of the very reasons why the religious leaders of the day wanted to kill Jesus (have a look at Mark 12:12).
And don’t just think that the hatred is only restricted to Jesus, because the world hates anyone who is even associated with him. Jesus knew this would be the case because this is how the world treated him… so he warned his disciples about it in advance.
Jesus said “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: ‘Servants are not greater than their master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.” (John 15:18-20)
There you have it. In the world we live in, Jesus is just not cool and neither is anyone who wants to associate themselves with him.
So what are you going to do about it? Well, you could try your hardest to make Jesus cool… but people who take this line often end up following a Jesus that is nothing like the Jesus in the gospels (a fake plastic Jesus…).
Or you could try and be the first socially cool Christian to walk this earth… but If Jesus couldn’t do it, then you’re not likely to succeed either, at least not without compromising what it means to follow Jesus and his values.
In the end there’s really only 2 options left:
- You can either give Jesus the flick and concentrate on forging your own path to coolness. This is the “Jesus isn’t cool… so don’t let him cramp your style!” option.
- OR you can stick with Jesus and be content to cop whatever persecution the world wants to dish out. This is the “Jesus isn’t cool… but I’m cool with that!” option. After all, it doesn’t matter if the world thinks Jesus is cool or not. He’s still the only person to rise back to life from the dead never to die again, and he’s the only one who can give life to world full of dying people.
I know Jesus isn’t cool. But I’m cool with that!
Note on the T-Shirt: The T-shirt slogan should more accurately say “The world thinks Jesus isn’t cool. But I’m cool with that.” Except that’s not nearly as catchy or provocative as “Jesus isn’t cool”. The T-Shirt is deliberately designed to be a conversation starter, and hopefully the article above will help you in that conversation. When your friends read the shirt and ask “why is Jesus not cool?” you can say “because Jesus shows us that we’re evil and we need help”. You can then ask them about how they think of Jesus and what they they think about the tough things Jesus said.
What about the image? The image on the shirt is trying to make fun of how people view Jesus, particularly the popular Anglo-Saxon meek and mild looking images of Jesus that make him out to be too harmless to bother with or just irrelevant.