The Church must remain relevant. That is so simple a statement that the profoundness of it is, perhaps, easily missed. The church as a responsibility educate its members, which starts, as mentioned in previous forums, in the home. While it is more of the topic of for the other assigned forum, forming a viable (and decidedly Christian) counter-culture is what Dreher (2017) seems to have in mind.
You know, that’s a remarkable point: Should the Church be “relevant” at all? What exactly does that mean? Is it the goal of Christian leaders and educators to teach relevancy? With whom are we seeking to be relevant? Importantly, other than bronze tools or smart phones, what is substantially different about human nature today from medieval Europe, 1st Century Rome, ancient Greece, Egypt during Hebrew slavery, or Sodom and Gomorrah?
Here’s Exhibit A in the relevancy wars: RELEVANT Magazine, a “Christian lifestyle magazine exploring the intersection of faith and pop culture.” Today’s topics: Churches are racist (historically false). Avoiding relationship killers (no mention of the marriage covenant). Actor Will Ferrell hospitalized after SUV flips(?). Youtuber bullies young Christian girl, YouTube does nothing (surprised?).
The actual God reminds us He is:
– Timeless. Gen 1:1, Rev 1:8, Rev 4:8
– Omniscient: Prov 15:3, Ps 33:13, Ps 147:5, Is 40:28
– Eternal: Ps 33:11
– Unchanging: Num 23:19, Heb 13:8, James 1:17
– Unsurprised if the world hates us: 1 John 3:13
Os Guiness wrote, “Evangelicals have never strived for relevance in society as much as they do now. Ironically, they have never been more irrelevant.” Meanwhile, Paul writes to the Church of his day, “Now I say this and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds” (Eph 4:17). And it was the churches in Revelation that were set apart and suffered that were blessed, not the lukewarm and corrupt compromisers.
This sounds legalistic. It isn’t meant to be. We should, perhaps, define what we mean by relevancy before we stake it out as a mission of the Church.
Grace and peace,