Celebrities have been claiming to be genuinely converted for decades. Some of them have been downright defiant about the particular degree to which they mixed their new life with the old. Most professing Christians gave them space to work both sides of the fence. Some only voiced belief long enough to sell a “gospel” album, then went back to being “silent witnesses.”
One singer/songwriter that was not even loosely connected to Christianity wrote a popular song regarding his spiritual status.
“Me and Jesus, got our own thing goin’
Me and Jesus, got it all worked out
Me and Jesus, got our own thing goin’
We don’t need anybody to tell us what it’s all about…” Tom T. Hall, 1972
Of course, that’s not the way God’s Kingdom works (Ephesians 4:11-16). In one of the verses, he explains how he felt about traditional Christianity.
“I know a man, who once was a sinner
I know a man, who once was a drunk
And I know a man, who once was a loser
He went out one day and made an altar out of a stump”
Then he sings the chorus again indicating that such an experience can be customized to make one an “island Christian” without any guidelines or standards except “me and Jesus.”
Back then, the attempt to promote an unbiblical customized arrangement with Christ wasn’t very effective or an organized trend. The “Me and Jesus” philosophy had no chance of becoming a successful Movement. The song became popular because in every beer joint sat daily scores of individuals who held the same philosophy.
But that was before the Internet. It was also before “Designer Churches” that had completely severed any continuity with historical Christianity. It was before churches started from scratch with a small group and in a relatively short period and became megachurches. From the beginning, they re-defined terms, tweaked doctrine, and in some cases tossed out doctrine and added new doctrine. The result was a “Me and Jesus” theological system that emphasizes music and does not include anointed preaching, the conviction of sin, the new birth by the Holy Spirit, et cetera. One might call it “Mesus” religion.
Very troubling is that the line of demarcation between light and darkness is presently so blurred that an entire church of several thousand may engage in pagan-style worship and even salacious imagery. They have no clue as to what they are doing or where it was sourced from. It is no surprise that they accepted and support a blend of light and darkness as the best method of “reaching the unchurched.”
The concept of “Designer Christianity” actually began during the 1960s Counterculture Movement. The CCM’s religious alter ego, the Jesus People Movement, brought about catastrophic changes in Christianity via music. The Charismatic Movement erupted not long afterward and “Designer Churches” began popping up everywhere.
The incremental severance with historic Christianity went on for decades until the Seeker-sensitive Movement emerged. The severance underwent a massive surge—a complete makeover of church meetings so that they appealed to and lured the so-called “unchurched.” (I should insert that they did not need to be “churched,” but saved.)
The Seeker Movement gave birth to the Emerging Church, which became the Emergent Church Movement. The staples of those churches are motivational speaking, music-based experience, and salvation by mental assent. Add all that to the much splintered Charismatic Movement, its autonomous pastors, prophets, and apostles, and an overload of heresy. The entire teeming mass of change, subtraction, and alteration is New Christianity.
Now that the perverse transformation of Christianity has gone beyond critical mass, neither the participants nor their leaders accept even a hint of truth concerning their error. They are incapable of spotting deception. In fact, in many cases, they embrace deception as a new revelation. Furthermore, the generations now in, or coming into, leadership were born during the apostasy. A great number of them do not have spiritual birthdays, i.e., they were never born of the Holy Spirit.
They have never witnessed preaching so anointed that lost souls either repented or exited the building. Indeed, they would be repulsed by such preaching today and likely call it heresy. They were not there during the great revivals where sinners wept before God—their hearts broken with conviction. When they rose up from their knees they stood before God and humanity as new creations—old things had passed away and they were clearly identified as supernaturally changed. Thus, “Designer Christians” do not know anything about true Christianity and do not want to know. I have tried to discuss true Christianity with many of them to no avail. They consider truth as “pharisaical legalism” and an attempt to infringe upon their “liberty in Christ.”
In my opinion, an example of a “Designer Christian” is Rob Bell, a contributor to New Christianity. I have attempted to discover a description of Bell’s salvation experience. I cannot even find a “conversation” experience. It appears that he simply wandered into Christianity from his musical career, began teaching, speaking, and decided to create a “Designer Church,” which became a megachurch. His influence on millions of Millennials and younger generations is inestimable. After millions of book sales, numerous sold-out speaking engagements, his “Designer” influence remains significant. All of that he accomplished while inviting Paul’s assessment of “understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.” (1 Timothy 1:7)
Therefore, when celebrity Rapper Kanye West claimed to be a Christian by his own concept of soteriology, “Designer Christians” totally and without the slightest reservation embrace the deception. Furthermore, their nearly unanimous response was/is to accuse the watchmen and truth speakers of prideful and arrogant unwillingness to accept that God could save a wealthy worldling. Of course, that is completely untrue and off point. Salvation is for whosoever will, but “will” means belief in the true Son of God and His Gospel, not another Jesus and Gospel.
“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” – Galatians 1:6-9
He was not alive when Tom T. Hall’s song hit the airwaves. But it is easy to understand that the Rapper’s lyrics follow the same “Designer Soteriology.”
“To the hustlers, killers, murderers, drug dealers, even the strippers / Jesus walks for them.” – Kanye West
“I hope this take away from my sins, and bring the day that I’m dreaming about / Next time I’m in the club, everybody screaming out”—“Jesus walks with me.” – Kanye West
Thus, we know why the millions of Millennial professing Christians do not understand or accept our warnings about West’s “Designer Soteriology.” The fact is that it bears no dissimilarity to their own “Designer Christianity.” West is merely presenting what the Seeker-sensitive and similar Movements and their numerous religious “stars,” have been presenting for decades. He does not need to discover or accept a biblical paradigm and follow it. He created his own paradigm based loosely on his interpretation of what it means to become a Christian. Furthermore, he mixed in the philosophy of his rap lyrics. It is not a Holy Spirit experience, but a mental assent to which one adds his or her own experience from whatever source. Since music sourced from the world system is the primary stimulus in “Designer Churches,” it is the source experience for most “Designer Soteriology” as well.
The truth is that New Christianity is established on “substitute faith.” It is neither “new” nor is it genuine Christianity. It is actually progressive apostasy that historically emerges from the third or fourth generation after a great revival. This current emergence is likely the great and final apostasy.
The incredibly sad reality is that to believe the deceptions that birthed New Christianity’s “Designer” doctrinal system, one must reject love for truth. We must be nearing the period when God will send a strong delusion to the ones that reject love for truth and believe the lie.
What is “the lie?” It is to believe that the False Prophet is of God and that Antichrist is God. Thus, the Christian religion that invited the False Prophet to his throne will be unoffensive and unproductive in making saints out of sinners. As fantastical as that may seem, we are obviously nearing that moment. Many professing Christians have accepted New Age paganism. They read books by individuals, such as Bill Johnson, that claim to have new revelations from God. They draw circles, practice Contemplative Prayer, Yoga, and believe that Satan’s lying signs and wonders are God’s validation of their beliefs and practices. They support heretical movies such as Roma Downey and Mark Burnett’s depiction of Christ, and William Paul Young’s “The Shack.” They believe that “Jesus Calling” truly came from Christ and not a demon spirit. They believe that individuals such as Steven Furtick and Joel Osteen are genuinely called by God. They believe a covey of false prophet and prophetesses no matter how bizarre their prophecies.
Why wouldn’t they believe a Celebrity Rapper with Designer Salvation? What’s not to believe when one is him or her self submersed in “Designer Christianity?”