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Sickened by “Relevance”

August 12, 2009

What this world needs is for us to stop hiding behind our relevance.
Blending in so well that people can’t see the difference.
It’s the difference that sets the world free.

(What the World Needs, by Casting Crowns)

This morning, I read something on a friend’s blog that deeply troubled me.  It was about our previous church and their obsession with the world and its culture.  This church, in its attempt to be “relevant”, adheres itself to the very things that Christians are to shun.  It does this in a very dangerous and insidious way.  The pastor of this church takes things from the world that sound “almost” right and merges them with scripture.  He preaches sermons based on TV shows that praise sin.  He titles his sermons on songs by musicians who are known for their new age and/or anti-Christian practices.

Why is this a problem?  I mean, after all, some of the lyrics in the songs are good.  And what is wrong with pointing to a TV show in a “what not to do” type of sermon?

2 Corinthians 6:14-18 says

Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?  What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?  What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.”
“Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord.
Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.”
“I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.”

When we bring the sin-filled products of non-Christian musicians, actors, writers, etc into our churches we are yoking ourselves with unbelievers.  We hare saying to unbelievers, “Hey!  We are just like you.  We listen to the garbage that the world offers.  We fill our minds with songs about pre-marital sex, transcendental meditation, and all sorts of other filth!  We watch shows that glorify people who have extramarital affairs.  And we just can’t get enough of foul language!  And not only do we listen to it, we preach about it and make it the focal point of our services.  We are just like you!”

“We are just like you.”  That tells unbelievers that we have nothing to offer them.  We are not different than they are.  We spend our days and nights reveling in the same sinful thoughts and activities as they do!  And we don’t even try to be any different.  We just want them to know that we are soooo uber-cool!

I am sickened!  I am disgusted!  I am angry!  Pastors like this are leading people astray and they will have to answer to God for that!

What we need to be saying is “We WERE just like you.  We are no longer who we used to be.  We ARE new creations!  Let us show you what God’s love has done for us.  We are no longer the same, but we understand you because we WERE just like you!”

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. ametanoia permalink
    August 12, 2009 12:28 pm

    I know what you mean. In Christianese, I translate “relevant” as cheese. I once visited a “relevant” church, and they used the chorus from the James Blunt song “You’re Beautiful” in worship. That was the last time I visited. Yes, language, music, etc. evolve as people and culture changes. But the Church doesn’t need to put it’s efforts in “keeping up with the times.”

  2. August 12, 2009 2:25 pm

    Thank you. Yes, we are called to be in the world, but not of the world. I compare this effort to be “relevant” to what Jesus told us about He being the vine, and we are the branches. This quest for relevance is no less than an effort to break away from the vine. Broken branches will wither and die. When the truth of Jesus Christ gets lost amid the noise of relevance; well, I wouldn’t call that church “Christian.” Too bad. Too sad.

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