Singer Mattie Montgomery from popular Christian metalcore band “For Today,” offered a word of caution about popularity gospel, something he says is today’s generation’s prosperity gospel.
In an interview with The Christian Post about his book Scary God: Introducing the Fear of the Lord to the Postmodern Church, Montgomery says that today’s generation has lost what it means to fear God and instead live by a “fear of man” principle.
Montgomery said, “We have been taught — especially in our social media generation — that the most important thing you can be is popular. Your value as a person is defined primarily by the number of followers you have on social media, how many likes you get.”
Montgomery goes on to note that in today’s social media world, people place their identity and their worth in their retweets and Instagram likes. The singer even goes as far as to say that people have lost the concept of self and are marketing themselves like commodities online.
He said, “Because we market ourselves and packaged ourselves as a product to be sold, if we ever come to a place in our life where people aren’t buying the product, we feel like an absolute failure. Ourselves, our individuality, our identity comes under attack.”
The veteran singer then shared a comparison between prosperity gospel – which teaches that as your faith increases God rewards you with more wealth and better health – and social media popularity.
Montgomery said, “I have a friend who once said that if the primary deception of our parents' generation was the prosperity gospel, the primary deception of our generation is the popularity gospel.”
He continued, “In our parent’s generation, we were taught that the evidence of God’s hand on someone’s life or ministry was their financial prosperity — they had a lot of money.”
“Similarly, in our generation, we are taught that the evidence of God’s hand on someone’s life or ministry is their popularity, how many people they are reaching, how many people come to their church and follow them on social media,” he added.
Montgomery told The Christian Post that he wrote Scary God to explain to people what it really means to fear God, not what we want fearing God to mean.
He emphasized, “There is this misunderstanding that I think has crept into the Church that we would call the ‘fear of the spirit of man’ that has deceived us into believing that God’s will for our lives is that we be popular or influential. The heroes and fathers of our faith, many of them could not have been described as popular or influential. But they were faithful and they feared God above all else.”
Photo courtesy: Getty Images/Terry Wyatt/Stringer