Christian Goth???

Discussion in 'Defending the Faith' started by LadyFlynt, May 27, 2005.

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  1. LadyFlynt

    LadyFlynt Puritan Board Doctor

    I've been talking with a "christian goth" kid in a chat room and am curious as to how to approach her with how the two don't mix. But it all comes to appearances and I don't have much insight to the "goth subculture"...HELP, you college kids!
     
  2. openairboy

    openairboy Puritan Board Freshman

    I have no input on "goth", but get her to read Lauren Winner's book (Real Sex). This, I believe, will be a valuable tool, because Lauren is willing to discuss issues of modesty and dress as part of the Christian tradition & story line without coming across as a frumpy lady. She easily moves from discussing how dress tells a story, how it relates to Sunday mornings, and your daily activities.

    So, with the Goth, you have to peel away the layers of semi-gnosticism that suggests that 'dress' doesn't matter. What really matters is the heart! That clothing isn't really spiritual. Liturgy, clothing, and routine are spiritual activities and scarring, piercing, and tattooing matter to the Lord. The difficulty, however, is that Scripture, at least in the NC, doesn't prescribe specific 'how to's' per se, so it is important to glean wisdom from the Scriptures, tradition, and community.

    openairboy
     
  3. LadyFlynt

    LadyFlynt Puritan Board Doctor

    The funny thing is...she wears only skirts...at least two inches below the knees...lol. Gotta go beyond this.
     
  4. LadyFlynt

    LadyFlynt Puritan Board Doctor

    Well, there is true gothic and then "goth". If one is an appearance of the (more volatile) other...should one really emulate that?
     
  5. LadyFlynt

    LadyFlynt Puritan Board Doctor

    BTW, I see this as different than learning martial arts for protective or military measures and rejecting the religious side. This to me is more of putting on the appearance of evil.
     
  6. Solo Christo

    Solo Christo Puritan Board Freshman

    Colleen,

    9 out of 10 times the whole goth thing turns out to just be a phase. At face value, it is an expression with the hope of disassociating oneself from the norm. No gothic girl has to worry about being connected with the current model on the cover of Teen Magazine or be mistaken for a Britney Spears fan or whoever. So, in a funny way they try to conform no longer to the image of the world. The problem is that their expression in doing so lies in a shallow pool of vanity, and yes, it assumes (at the very least) a superficial appearance of evil of which Paul warns us about (1 Thes 5:22).

    As for the solution, for the most part it comes with simple maturity. The Christian faith really represents the complete fulfillness of everything the goth needs. At its core, our faith has a very somber and meloncholy truth: that God himself was butchered on a cross for the sins of his people. We are asked to forsake the world and believe in the truth and power of our Saviour. Once the goth realizes this in all of its tremendous gravity, they should understand that there is so much more to their longing than dressing in black and wearing excess eyeliner.
     
  7. LadyFlynt

    LadyFlynt Puritan Board Doctor

    the coming with maturity part I figured...just trying to engage her in a thinking conversation on it.
     
  8. LadyFlynt

    LadyFlynt Puritan Board Doctor

    Paul, which part?
     
  9. openairboy

    openairboy Puritan Board Freshman

    I guess I see lip, eyebrow, cheek piercings, giant holes in the ear, tattoos, crazy hair cuts, dog colors and the rest as immodest. The same would go for Paul and Jane Crouch and all things that are bling, blingin' it.

    Maybe we can work on a definition of modesty... :D

    openairboy

    [Edited on 5-28-2005 by openairboy]
     
  10. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Wonders what he's getting at:bigsmile:
     
  11. ReformedWretch

    ReformedWretch Puritan Board Doctor

    I have almost always been able to establish strong relationships with Goth kids. They feel misunderstood, but rather than conform to be understood or accepted they are going to go to extremes the other way.

    What I think they are doing is making you prove you care about them. They tend to be very pessimistic and untrusting of the "system". I've discovered that once they believe that you honestly don't care what they look like, they start to come out of it.

    I love goth kids because I have no problem showing them that I don't care what they look like. They are always amazed at the man who accepts them as they are. I've bonded with literally dozens of them and have seen most of them move farther and farther away from the goth look.
     
  12. LadyFlynt

    LadyFlynt Puritan Board Doctor

    I have no problem with acceptin them at face value...but was just curious and thought there was a conflict with the Goth culture and Chrisitianity...in some ways still do...but putting it into words.

    (BTW into country myself...teeeheee)
     
  13. openairboy

    openairboy Puritan Board Freshman

    Oh no, you wear a dog collar? I just hope it's not superglued on.
     
  14. openairboy

    openairboy Puritan Board Freshman

    I've suddenly turned into a crazed youth pastor. Whatever happened to those great videos in the 80's that linked every rock band with the Devil? I'll never forget the Beastie Boys "License to Ill" album cover, b/c they concluded that the crashed plane was actually a joint. Are those still around? We need an updated version, but links all things goth.

    Anyway, goth.net is a resource into the sub-culture. And, well, it is dark. Another interesting place, at least for a couple of quotes, is over at religioustolerance.org. Just throw goth into google and out pops these sites.

    I see goth kids every morning, and they are, without getting to Frank Perreti on everyone, spiritually dark. In a way different than your average person. It's kind of like the Mormons. I am always weirded out by those cats a little more than my atheist neighbor.

    openairboy

    [Edited on 5-28-2005 by openairboy]
     
  15. LadyFlynt

    LadyFlynt Puritan Board Doctor

    Paul, that's it. Trying to reach goths by being goth. But isn't that using the world's tactics? Also i think there is a rebellion (distrust as adam said) of most ppl. She sees smiles as fake.
     
  16. ReformedWretch

    ReformedWretch Puritan Board Doctor

    EXACTLY!

    You have to prove yourselves to goth kids, I kind of enjoy that challange.
     
  17. LadyFlynt

    LadyFlynt Puritan Board Doctor

    I do too, Adam. It was an interesting conversation with her. I think I'm learning some things. Or rather relearning. I'm used to this with hubby's street ministry...but I guess it took me off guard with a normal kid...lol.
     
  18. turmeric

    turmeric Megerator

    They remind me of the existentialists of the '60's, only lots more drama.. Take Adam's advice, just be cool. Engage her about Christ; she'll have to confront the "gothic" obsession with death eventually if it's more than just drama to her, but the Holy Spirit can and will clean that up. I used to be a hippie, I can assure you that's true.
     
  19. Craig

    Craig Puritan Board Senior

    Dittos to Paul and Adam...

    Keep getting to know this goth kid. She's a teenager...there's nothing particularly rational about her decisions right now :D

    I went through a phase where I started dressing a bit different...it was good at the time. I was establishing who I was as I was in college and establishing my own identity apart from my parents and older brother. Goth dress is one part of many things she's thinking/experiencing. Right thinking and believing are more important, and will prove goth dressing is just a phase (note: I don't necessarily think it's intrinsically evil...it's an interesting contrast to the plastic smiles of evangelicals)
     
  20. turmeric

    turmeric Megerator

    My unregernerate friend from work thinks evangelicals are Stepford Wives!:lol:
     
  21. Texas Aggie

    Texas Aggie Puritan Board Freshman

    I would not waste your time unless you really feel called to interact. Don't cast pearls before swine. Outward appearance is only a manifestation of what is working on the inside.

    Immodesty is not really the issue with the typical gothic... they cover quite nicely. The weirdness and obsession with the occult are key. Many engage in drug use for psychedelic pleasure (they feel close to the reality of death) and disrespect for their own bodies is a major issue. Sexual weirdness is also a fancy for them (they always look towards the extreme in many if not every area of their lives).

    I have known and worked with gothic people on numerous occasions. Their path leads to destruction... it's a spiritual stronghold and takes the workings of the Holy Spirit as well as the individual to overcome. Most despise Christians... I would question the sincerity of a "Gothic Christian." I am not saying gothic people can not become Christians.... the Spirit will clean-up this mess. Again, an individual´s outward appearance is a manifestation of what´s inside (yes, this is discerning the content of a book by it´s cover). Good luck in your endeavor.
     
  22. ReformedWretch

    ReformedWretch Puritan Board Doctor

    OUCH! I know many former "goth" kids that would have been so much the worse if I had taken that approach.

    That's like saying all Calvinists don't believe in evangelism.

    I have not found that to be true at all. Most despise fake people which sadly, many Christian are these days. If you are a Christian witnessing to a goth person, you had better be the real deal. Truthfully, real Christians are persecuted and this actually gains some goth's respect. Standing up for the Lord to the point of being a weirdo will often make goth kids believe you are for real.

    Wow, I am afraid you would see me as not being a real Christian. I dye my hair and beard black, I like to wear black (For no other reason than I like how I look in it), I wear motor cycle boots, and sleevles shirts quite often (As Larry the Cable guy says, that's in the Constitution after all! Right there in it we read "you have the right to bare arms"). Thankfully I have been accepted by my church as the real deal. If they thought like you I may have been completely disgusted with the one reformed church in our area.


    :chained:
     
  23. Jeff_Bartel

    Jeff_Bartel Puritan Board Graduate

    Not to get off topic, but I think looking at this verse might be helpful

    The only thing I would like to comment on is the verse in 1 Thess 5:22 about abstaining from the "appearance of evil." I have heard this verse (or at least the thrust of it) used several times throughout this thread, and to be honest, this is one verse where the KJV does a dis-service.

    In context, the verse should read "Abstain from every form of evil" NOT "appearance."

    Jamison Fausset Brown Commentary on 1 Thess. 5:22
    From Vincent's Word Studies (on this passage):

    From the Pulpit Commentary:

    William Hendricksen and Simon J Kistemaker:

    :2cents:
     
  24. Texas Aggie

    Texas Aggie Puritan Board Freshman

    Adam,

    I see the "real deal" as obedience to the law of God... this witness speaks volumes and you do not even need to open your mouth. I agree with you that gothics despise fake people, but they also despise God's law.

    As for the calvinist/evangalism comment, .... I said "many" not all. Obviously not all gothics engage in such acts.

    Motorcycle boots & sleeveless shirts do not constitute interest in the occult. Some people also look stellar in black (I personally love black). We both know the characteristics of the gothic underworld and I doubt you would want your daughters involved with such a crowd.

    Parents can only discern the moral state of their children's friends based on their outward appearance and what flows out of their mouths. Man can only see the outside of the cup. It is our responsibility to teach our children to guard their gates and prevent all sorts of garbage from entering the temple of God (it all starts with just a little interest). The Holy Spirit can not work contrary to the law of God but an individual's will can suppress the action.

    As for your appearance, I am not your judge. Your dress and appearance is between you and God (I have no idea how near you are to him). Looking at your picture, you do not appear to have a gothic look; therefore, I would probably discern you are not of that mind-set or under such influence.

    As far as your outreach to gothic kids who would have been "worse off" without your witness is a separate issue concerning gifts provided to the church by God. You may have been bestowed with such a gift to reach to the elect who are living in this type of sub-culture. I do not have such a gift.

    Many gothics (and those who dress contrary to the norm) do care very much about what people think... they have a very high degree of vanity and haughtiness. It's the norm and the geeks who wear pocket protectors who really don't care what the rest of the world thinks (these people are more nonconformists).
     
  25. ReformedWretch

    ReformedWretch Puritan Board Doctor

    Not all of them! In fact, reformed Christians could reach "goths" much better than Evangelicals. What Gots see in Christianity most times is not "God's law" but mans. They see Christians who live as they please, but tell them that they can't because they haven't "accepted Jesus". To Goths, this is idiotic. Some will even say a little prayer with an evangelical to "get them off my case".

    The goth kids I have worked with and loved appreciated my stance and refusal to back down from it even it cost me relationships, comfortability, etc. Even when they chose not to believe, they respected "real" Christianity. SO few have shown them that.

    I have a diary that one of my gothic girls gave me when she graduated high school. It is very enlightening.
     
  26. openairboy

    openairboy Puritan Board Freshman

    BLAST! I wish I could blame some sort of textual variance, but, alas, it is poor/thoughtless typing. I can only imagine readers wondering what sort of goth kids I have met. To my knowledge, none of them or possibly all of them are into dog colors. That evil dalmation look that the kids are going for has to be nipped before it spreads to our youth. Our culture is truly going to hell in a handbasket with this new dog color look.

    openairboy
     
  27. Texas Aggie

    Texas Aggie Puritan Board Freshman

    Adam,

    I have no doubt that Christians could reach Goths... providing God has given them an ear to hear and eyes to see (otherwise, there is absolutely no interest). The love for God's law comes from God himself under the terms of the New Covenant. The law and Spirit are given so that our will is now conformed to the will of God. Interest in the occult is not something His Spirit would encourage and Goth as a fashion choice portrays a message of rebellion as well as an identity to this sub-culture.

    Self-proclaimed Christians who live a life as they please portray a false witness (which can be extremely detrimental). I'm with the Goths on this one (I believe this is idiotic also).

    My perspective: we are incapable of choosing to believe. We will not and we can not come to know God unless he shows us His covenant. Once this occurs, then the individual may begin to draw near to God. God has provided His law and His Spirit that we may walk according to His will. God has an infinite number of ways to reveal Himself to the elect.

    Evangelism is a gift from God that not everyone has (the Goth arena would be extremely difficult). Obedience to His law is something that everyone will notice... they will either hate you or want what you got (a type of peace). If one does not see God's law in a Christian then they are probably not looking at a Christian.

    I would agree with you that reformed believers over evangelicals could reach Goths better. Reformed Christians understand the role of God's law and an individual's will as it relates to sanctification. Most evangelicals believe all one needs is a mere belief in Christ. After all... the devils believe.
     
  28. MICWARFIELD

    MICWARFIELD Puritan Board Freshman

    I know many "Christian Goths". Those with whom I am aquainted bear much Christian fruit, are intellectual, and spend much of their time sharing their faith with the lost.

    I think that perhaps with some Christians, it's not so much a matter of holiness as it is a matter of feeling uncomfortable with the way goths look. I'm sure that the Pharisees were quite uncomfortable with John the Baptist and his attire as well (not the perfect analogy, I know).

    My friends are living Godly lives and are sharing gospel truth with the unregenerate. They seem to treasure God above all else. I believe that our Lord is pleased with them. I feel no need to ask them to change their shirt. That might make some happy, but I doubt God would be impressed.

    What does a Christian really look like? I know that we are supposed to avoid all appearance of evil, and to not be conformed to this world.
    Am I allowed to wear Nike shoes, or should I chuck them out because some gangsta rappers wear them. Are Raiders shirts acceptable?

    I know a local Reformed congregation where the members dress exactly like many crooked politicians and businessmen. They have the same shortly trimmed haircuts and expensive suits. Is that the appearance of evil? Or does the whole appearance of evil thing only apply to styles that we arent comfortable with?

    I had the misfortune of meeting a very corrupt and utterly depraved man a few years ago. He goes by the name Max Hardcore. DONT LOOK HIM UP!! He is a pornographer and is very sick. Part of his image is that he dresses like a cowboy - hat, jeans, boots, and all. This man is the epitome of evil humanly speaking. Perhaps I should rebuke all my christian friends who dress exactly like Max Hardcore (I live in a cowboy part of San Diego).

    So now, black clothes, business suits, and country attire are out. What am I left with? Cheesy WWJD shirts? None of this has anything to do with true holiness. We are called to glorify God and be soul winners not clothing inspectors. Obviously, if a professing christian is wearing a stripclub shirt or something of that nature theres a serious problem.

    Mike
     
  29. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritan Board Doctor

    Let's not confuse not having the gift with not having the responsibility. I don't think you are suggesting that.

    Let's start our own Christian Goth thing. Remember the real Goths in the 400's and 500's? That's what I am talking about!
     
  30. Texas Aggie

    Texas Aggie Puritan Board Freshman

    Responsibility of the Christian lies with obedience to the law. This is the best witness one could possibly portray. Man looks on the outside and will see the workings of God within the Christian. You don't even need to open your mouth... unbelievers will either hate you or want what you have.

    The body of Christ has been given certain gifts... not all are apostles or prophets or teachers or workers of miracles. He didn't make everyone with the same gifts. He did make quite a few husbands, fathers, wives and mothers. This is a tremendous responsibility that many people need to take heed to before worrying about the rest of the world (not to mention taking heed to themselves first).

    As far as the great commission, I see twice as much teaching as I do baptizing in Matthew 28:19-20. We have a tendency of getting people baptized then sending them out to zealously evangelize, or even worse... become Sunday school teachers. These same newfound Christians suffer from a lack of discipleship from the church and gain very little Spiritual maturity on their own accord because they squelch the Spirit within. Backsliding is a common result, living a life of willful sin and portraying a false witness. Now we are right back in Hosea 4:6.

    There is already great confusion concerning a gift of evangelism verses responsibility. We must provide an answer and defend the faith. Obedience to the law will have you answering and defending the faith on a daily basis without you even asking one person if they know Jesus Christ. In addition, God has an infinite number of ways to reach His elect. He may use a jackass or a burning bush... or he may even use you without your knowledge or consent.

    As far as the Goth fashion, it's more than a shirt, a pair of shoes or a hairstyle. Wake up. They deliberately intend to identify themselves with this sub-culture. It is a culture of darkness. You may need to take a look and see where this sub-culture places their values, their identity and their beliefs.

    As far as "Christian" Goths, they are still addicted to their lifestyle. A "Christian" Goth displays an outward appearance of darkness, death and open rebellion. There is no outward manifestation of God indwelling inside nor is there an outward appearance of obedience to His law. What communion hath light with darkness? Take a look at 2 Corinthians 6:14-15. Goth fashion sends a message... do you want your children to portray that message?

    There is a difference between dressing like a cowboy and dressing gothic... you know that Mike. Don't try and split hairs on this issue. You know very well what goth attire portrays.
     
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