There is a general feeling today that the church (i.e. Christianity) is no longer relevant and is generally dismissed as an insignificant dinosaur that is out of touch with modern culture. The God it worships, the morality it teaches, the salvation it preaches are considered unimportant in most people’s lives.
What’s interesting about this is that these sentiments have gained strength over the past three decades at the same time the church was “reinventing” itself so it could be seen as relevant, cool and hip. Worship services were changed to resemble rock concerts. Sermons were crafted to rival stand-up comedy routines, storytelling times or pop psychology that made “self” the center of the universe. Sanctuaries were transformed to look like a Starbucks, and the church changed its mode of presenting the truth from anointed boldness and clarity to “non-threatening” and comfortable drivel.
The very result the church growth experts were looking for — the church becoming popular in society with many people attending — never happened. In fact, it seems like just the opposite happened — more people are turned off Christianity than ever before. Why?
I believe because in our crazy, mixed-up, violent world people are looking for something different, something that has real, honest answers to the questions they ponder, and the modern church just offers them more of the same thing they already have.
Whatever happened to simple, uncompromised Christianity? A Christianity that didn’t invest time and energy into being cool or relevant, but knew that Jesus is already relevant, and always will be, and invested energy into passionate prayer, authentic worship (regardless of music style), and anointed, uncompromised preaching and teaching. Whatever happened to reliance on the Holy Spirit instead of on ourselves?
My friends, I believe that Jesus is enough in any culture, even in our high tech, postmodern, relativistic society. We don’t have to reinvent Him so that He is attractive to people. He is already awesome and attractive. Let’s just pray fervently, know Him intimately, proclaim Him passionately, live His truth out uncompromisingly, and let the Holy Spirit do the rest.
Pastor Frank Nolton
New Hope Community Church