We are living in a time in which some people are saying that we need to re-envision the church or reinvent the church. But I beg to differ. I think we need to rediscover the church. I don’t think we need a new version of it as much as we need to get back to the original version that Jesus himself established.That is the church that changed the world. That is the church that turned its world upside down. I don’t know about the church of today. It seems to me the world today is turning the church upside down.I think the answer is to get as close as we can to the original foundation and template for the church that Jesus himself established. This is God’s original design for the church.My goal as a senior pastor is not to have a big church; it is to have a strong church—and even more to the point, a biblical church. Having said that, there should be church growth, and I think the best kind of growth is through the addition of new believers.A trend in a lot of churches today is to be relevant to the culture, so they are trying to do everything they can to connect. I am all for relevance. However, I do not believe in relevance at the expense of reverence. This is still the church. And when I stand up to speak, I am not there to entertain or to give my personal philosophy or political views. I am there to teach the Word of God and to call people to Jesus Christ.I think sometimes we are trying so hard to be cool that we have forgotten how to be biblical. Let’s keep the integrity of our message intact.
I read this devotional today and thought that truer words have not been spoken. My next thought was related to Greg Laurie’s statement in this devotional that,
“A trend in a lot of churches today is to be relevant to the culture, so they are trying to do everything they can to connect.”
Now while I am all for connecting with people in whatever ways we can as a church body, that does not include doing things that are clearly un-biblical!
For one, teaching that God wants you to “have it all baby”, insert prosperity gospel teaching here, that is wrong. God does not want to give you all things! If you had everything your heart desired, what would you want God for? God promised the Christian life would be a hard act to follow, but but well worth it. God promised to bless us…He did not promise to give us gazillions of dollars, nice cars, and big houses. Yes some of us will have those things, not all.
Another one that gets me…the use of foul language from the pulpit! It helps people to “relate” Really??? Are you serious here? How about Paul’s teaching on not using foul language, only saying what is useful to build people up and edify them(the church)?
When Paul said that he became like whatever people group he was trying to reach, he did not mean to completely turn yourself into those people. Paul tried to reach the Pharisees with the Gospel. Paul used to be a legalistic person, so he could relate to them on that level, it does not mean that he himself became legalistic. I used to drink…a lot. So I can relate to the people who do so, I can talk their language, that does not mean I’m going to go get drunk with them!
Today’s church goes to far in trying to blend in…if the church itself blends in so well with the world that people can’t see a big difference between the “church” and the “world”…is the church all that much different from the world that is not to be a part of?
The church needs to relate any way possible to today’s world and the people in it, but it cannot do so to the point of compromising the Gospel. A church needs to be a church, and stand on the same biblical values the original church did. It is one thing to offer to help people that are lost in their sins, while making it clear they won’t be judged, but helped…it is a whole different thing to modify the teachings of the bible so as not to “offend” anyone.
When I go to church, I don’t want some “feel good phony baloney”, I want to hear the truth!