This interview raises some very interesting questions about how the church should relate to the culture. What should the boundaries be? How about sermon preparation and planning? What do you think about this pastor's approach?
The church definitely needs to be relevant. We must not build and stay in our holy huddles. Christ calls us into the culture. However, if we spend all our time on the felt needs of the culture, we will neglect their real need - forgiveness of their sin which separates them from the Holy God who will judge them.I guess my question is how much time is spent on the Biblical message? Is cultural relevance, or Christ the Savior the central theme? Once I walk out of the building, leave the hype behind and again face my very real world will you have shown me Christ or will I need to go look for another escape to replace the one that just ended? Is the church any more relevant if all it does is mimic the unsuccessful attempts of the world to fill the deepest void mankind experiences?
Eldora,I find myself asking some of those same questions. Are we called to be relevant? That's a tricky word. It is highly subjective from man's point of view. The fact is, the world is always going to do a better job of being "relevant" to the world. They can do concerts, movies, and sports better than the church.But what is always relevant is the Word of God, particularly the Gospel. The world doesn't know this. Through preaching, witness, and Christ-likeness the church becomes a means by which God shows sinners what they truly need. I am incredibly interested in being relevant, so long as relevant means giving people what they need rather than bowing to their undisciplined desires.
I think it interesting the way we read and/or listen to statistics. Less people in the pews on Sunday doesn't necessarily equate into less Church. Do you see what I'm saying? People leave the Church for many reasons...sound teaching being one of them. When churches are faithless, they can expect to decline in numbers; on the other hand, when churches are faithful to Christ that doesn't necessarily guarantee numerical growth. Even seasoned church goers (and some of Jesus' own followers) wallow back in the face of hard Gospel truth. To God alone be the glory for those who see the Truth for what it is and remain faithful in the face of adversity...Of course we are called to be relevant. We should always be connected with what is at hand in our culture...we should always have a bearing on the world in which we live. Todd is right in suggesting that "relevant" is a tricky word, but the Gospel will never cease to be relevant...and those who engage pagan cultures with truth and grace will never cease to be effective. Your last paragraph was great, Todd. Keep up the good work.
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