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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Spiritual Biohazards (AKA worldliness...um, I mean cultural relevance)

In speaking about Church relevancy, John MacArthur in an article in Pulpit Magazine, said

Whole churches have thus deliberately immersed themselves in “the culture”—by which they actually mean “whatever the world loves at the moment.” We now have a new breed of trendy churches whose preachers can rattle off references to every popular icon, every trifling meme, every tasteless fashion, and every vapid trend that captures the fickle fancy of the postmodern secular mind.

Worldly preachers seem to go out of their way to put their carnal expertise on display—even in their sermons. In the name of connecting with “the culture” they want their people to know they have seen all the latest programs on MTV; familiarized themselves with all the key themes of “South Park”; learned the lyrics to countless tracks of gangsta rap and heavy metal music; and watched who-knows-how-many R-rated movies. They seem to know every fad top to bottom, back to front, and inside out. They’ve adopted both the style and the language of the world—including lavish use of language that used to be deemed inappropriate in polite society, much less in the pulpit. They want to fit right in with the world, and they seem to be making themselves quite comfortable there.

Does not the Bible say to “come out from the world and be different” and ”Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind”? If we renew our mind from a sinful life style and transform our mind like the Bible says, how can we let this stuff into our churches today?

Yes, we should be accessable to people. Yes, we should love them. Yes, we need to preach in a language that the world can understand, but no, we don't need to fill our minds with all of the swill that the world has to offer. Whatever happened to abstaining even from the appearance of evil? Instead, we charge headlong into bombarding our conscienceness with all manner of worldy lyrics as well as television and movie references for the sake of being culturally relevant.

By incorporating worldliness, the minister/preacher/pastor renders his vocabulary and his subject matter at times tasteless, indecent, crude, and utterly inappropriate for a minister of Christ.

I'm of the opinion that it is possible to be overexposed to our culture’s dark side. I don’t think anyone can survive full immersion in today’s entertainment environment and remain spiritually healthy. We need to be change agents for the culture, in that we set the styles, etc.

There is another aspect that we should not overlook and that is the people outside the "target audience range" of the church. What does cultural relevancy mean to them? They are part of the culture, but their styles and preferences are overlooked.

Oh well, I guess the majority rules in cases such as these... and here I thought that the Gospel was for everyone, not just rockers or gansta rappers or people who wear shorts and flip flops to church.

The Gospel is for everyone! If we just preach Christ crucified and the full council of God without all of the extra worldly trappings (there's a reason they call them trappings), we could lift Jesus up and He will draw all unto Himself.

1 comment:

Servant of the Most High said...

Be Holy for I AM Holy, that is the standard! You are right; we are supposed to be a peculiar people, not strange but unique in the respect that we have more joy and zest for life than those around us, a fire that is fueled by Christ. We should refrain from all evil and dedicate our lives to becoming HOLY! I know there are those who say that I am a legalist to this I answer by quoting our Lord, when He said, "If you love Me you will obey Me" and what did He teach. Did He teach that we are to become like the world or have all experiences and knowledge of the world? Maybe if we look intently at the His Word, the Sciptures, we would see that we are to transend the world and be Christ to this world. Which leads to the next question, what was Christ to the world of His day, He was a teacher, He taught people about the Kingdom of Heaven, and established part of that Kingdom, His church. He may have hung out with the sick but He did not become diseased to heal them, He remained pure, I doubt that He changed His mannerism when He dealt with the Jews as opposed to the Samarians, He was Holy, He projected Holiness, He was joyful in His Father, and projected His joyfulness. This IS the life we are to live, we do not have to jump into the sewer that is this world to save the drowning, dying people, (as a shirt I once saw, said)we need to be the moon and reflect the SON, Jesus, He is the only way for people to be saved. They are not saved by our cultural relevance they must hear the Gospel. They are not saved by us knowing all the slang and filth of this world, they are saved by believing what they hear, that is the Gospel of Jesus. They are not saved by us knowing all the trashy movies and songs a God hating and denying society offers, they are saved, by hearing the Gospel, believing, the Gospel of Christ and by repenting and being baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. They are not saved by worldly preachers and worldly churches programs, they are saved, by hearing the Gospel, believing, the Gospel of Christ and by repenting and being baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and persevering.

Leave the world to it ruler, Satan, he was given authority over it and it for now belongs to him. Live the Kingdom Life, as God has commanded "Be ye Holy for I AM Holy"

Love to all His people, and Love to all mine enemies!

In Christ

Steven