“CounterCulture Disciples of Christ”. That is what we are or what we should be. “Do not be conformed to this age but be transformed through the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2) — the ultimate CounterCulture statement. A lot of folks think that simply means not getting involved in the typical culture of ordinary society — hanging out in bars and nightclubs, street-life, drug use, non-stop consumerism, self-centredness, materialistic living, and so on. But it goes so much deeper than that. Let me expand…

You probably read that above quote from Romans and thought, “Hang on, that should really be ‘conformed to this world’. He must be using one of those New Age Bible versions instead of the Authorized King James Version”. Actually, almost every single Bible translation that you could gather uses the word “world” there (including the KJV, which also has its flaws, as any student of the original languages will affirm). But the Koine Greek word in the original manuscripts does not use the word which is normally translated as “world”, which would be κόσμος, kosmos. Instead, it uses the word αἰών, aión, meaning “age”. This is subtly significant. As Kenneth Wuest puts it in his “Word Studies in the Greek New Testament”:

“The word ‘world’ is aión, which Trench defines as follows : “All that floating mass of thoughts, opinions, maxims, speculations, hopes, impulses, aims, aspirations, at any time current in the world, which it may be impossible to seize and accurately define, but which constitute a most real and effective power, being the moral, or immoral atmosphere which at every moment of our lives we inhale, again inevitably to exhale”, — all this is included in the aión (age), which is, as Bengel has expressed it, “the subtle informing spirit of the kosmos or world of men who are living alienated and apart from God.” The Germans have a word for it, the zeitgeist or spirit of the age. This masquerade costume which saints sometimes put on, hides the Lord Jesus living in the heart of the Christian, and is an opaque covering through which the Holy Spirit cannot radiate the beauty of the Lord Jesus. The world says to that kind of a saint, ‘The modernism of your appearance nullifies the fundamentalism of your doctrine’”. (Kenneth Wuest, “Word Studies in the Greek New Testament”, Vol.3, William B. Eerdman’s, 1955, p.207).

So, when the word, aión, is used in the New Testament, it does not so much represent the kosmos as it does “the subtle informing spirit” of it — whatever happens to be the current zeitgeist of the age. Thus, when we are called not to be conformed to this age, we are being exhorted to keep ourselves unaffected and uninfected by the trends, fads and fashions, popular ideas, bandwagons, lifestyles, moral philosophy, or whatever else is in vogue at any particular time in this fallen world and also in the visible church which has been well and truly corrupted. The same word, aión, is used in 2 Corinthians 4:4, “the god of this age which blinds the minds of unbelievers”. That same “god” also blinds the minds of many of those who profess to be ‘Christians’, as I will show below.

The Lord Jesus Christ actually “gave Himself for our sins” precisely “to rescue us from the present evil age” (Galatians 1:3-4), where the Greek is also aión. It is to this evil age — out of which Christ has rescued us — which we are not to be conformed. This evil age in the midst of which we are presently living is coming to a climax via the “mystery of lawlessness” which undergirds it, and which energizes it, but which has been under some Divine restraint to prevent it from climaxing before its time (2 Thessalonians 2:7-8). From this — this evil age and the mystery of lawlessness which permeates it — we who are genuine disciples of Christ have been rescued and should therefore have no part in it whatsoever otherwise we make a mockery of that rescue.

Currently, the “subtle informing spirit” of this kosmos — the zeitgeist of this present evil age — would involve all the ‘wokeness’, political correctness, all the facets of warped sexuality and what I call ‘Pride-ism’, gender ideology, ‘spirituality’ based entirely on subjective experience rather than objective truth (e.g. New Ageism), the glorification of freewill, feminism, disinformation and lies, the so-called “Law of Attraction”, widespread narcissism, psychological operations and mind-control, ‘apocalyptic’ hysteria (false teaching about the end of this age), Transhumanism and “Human 2.0” alongside one-world globalism, and so many other aspects of lawlessness before God.

Much of that list has spilled over into the visible church too, as I will demonstrate here, resulting in the likes of the “Gay Christian Network” and “OneBodyOneFaith”, plus many denominations which have compromised regarding matters of sexuality. We have whole movements in the Christian scene which are based entirely on subjective experience rather than objective truth (e.g. the Charismatic-Pentecostal Movement, “slain in the spirit”, tongues-babble, false revivals, etc.) or on the “Law of Attraction” (Prosperity Theology, Power of Positive Thinking churches, such as Norman Vincent Peale’s church in New York which had such a formative influence on that deceptive clown, Donald Trump). We have women pastors and teachers (“Christian” feminism). We have a blasphemous and narcissistic glorification of freewill which has spun way out of control (as I demonstrated in my previous paper, “You Were Once Darkness”). We have disinformation psyops disseminated by many professing ‘Christians’ (e.g. QAnon). We have ‘apocalyptic’ hysteria (false teaching about the end of this age in the form of much baloney about the ‘mark of the beast’, ‘666’, Christian Zionism, the whole Israel-first schtick, the Hebrew Roots Movement, a pre-tribulational “rapture”, appalling interpretations of the Book of Revelation, etc.). We have Vatican support for Transhumanism and globalism. We have so many different “movements” and -isms which all vie to present themselves as the “real” Christianity but are up to their eyeballs in the zeitgeist of this age. The unclean foulness of this aión has come into the visible church with a vengeance (literally, cf. Revelation 12:17)But as Kenneth Wuest put it: “The world says to that kind of a saint, ‘The modernism of your appearance nullifies the fundamentalism of your doctrine’”. Conformity by the believer to the zeitgeist of this age is, as Wuest similarly put it, “a masquerade costume”If worn often enough, it becomes one’s skin rather than merely one’s costume.

Do not be conformed to the zeitgeist of this age, whether it is in the world or in the visible church. If necessary, you will have to make a stand to the ‘Nth’ degree, even standing contra mundum (one versus the world).

When you were spiritually “dead”, as an unbeliever, “you walked according to the aión of this kosmos” (literal translation of the Greek in Ephesians 2:1-2). You walked according to the aión, the zeitgeist of this present evil age. But now you have been “delivered from the dominion of darkness and transplanted into the kingdom of God’s beloved Son” (Colossians 1:13). That aión is like a cult — an ungodly culture. Now you know what it means to be a CounterCulture Disciple of Christ.

So you will need to stand apart from the practitioners of the zeitgeist of this age — apart from those who you consider as “friends” if they do not share your stand — apart from your family if they try to undermine your faith and drag you down into their conformity to this evil age — apart from your work colleagues if they try to use their positions to undermine your spiritual stand — even apart from your church and all churches if they are drinkers of the spirit of this evil age. That is what it means to be CounterCulture. Instead, you will love to live in that state of continual transformative metanoia which renews your mind — “mind” there meaning the very heart of you with all its godly desires, righteous will and devout aspirations.

Alan Morrison