Relevant is Irrelevant

Recently the midget and I were visiting a church. We had done our homework, knew this church was a solid Bible believing church. There was an opportunity to visit a ‘get to know our church!’ meeting, so we jumped on it. I for one was curious how the church would present themselves when they were ‘pitching’ their church.

We went, sat down in the cozy little room with a few other people, and the pastor sat across from us and started into his prepared speech:

“We as a church aim to be relevant.”

Midget and I must be excellent Vulcans, because neither of us showed any emotion at this but each of us were dumbfounded at this being the first thing stated. If we had not already educated ourselves to this particular church, my immediate reaction would have been to write it off as not worth my time.

Why the strong reaction? Because I would like to argue that if as a church your first goal is to be hip and in the know with the world, to use the words of Blimeycow– you’re doing it wrong. Going to Scripture:

“If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you.” John 15:18-19

 
Believers are supposed to be odd ducks. In our work places, lives, relationships, there is supposed to be something different about us. (I’m not talking about legalism here- but I will in a later post.) How I live my life, my actions, my speech, my dealings with other people, should be different from ‘the norm’. I am not relevant. There are choices in my life that I have made that for the world and culture I live in today make me irrelevant. My goal for my life should be to reflect my faith and trust in Christ. Then, if I am to reflect Christ, why should my church try to reflect the world?

 I understand the motive behind the statement the pastor made. We need to live in the world, even if we aren’t of it. And to do that we need to be aware of what is going on and not live in little Christian bubbles. But I think we need to be careful in our quest to make the church approachable and not lose sight that we will never ‘fit in’  100% with the world, and if we do, we need to seriously re-evaluate our actions. 

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3 comments

  1. Ironic, I was just reading this: http://blogs.christianpost.com/christianity/something-is-wrong-with-the-church-457/

    A lack of relevance and … well, anything is what has disappointed me most in the modern church. It’s no longer relevant because it fails to discuss anything IMPORTANT. Many churches are cowardly. Few of them tackle the issues we ought to be talking about. And the ones that do are so “slamming people over the head with the Bible” that they’re a total turn off — to unbelievers and believers alike.

    On the one hand, watching the American church die is frightening (and I’ve seen it happening all around me — less than 10% of our county attends church, yet most are conservatives and/or would claim to be believers)… but on the other, I’m interested to see what God does next. Will the church depart, paving the way for smaller groups that focus on discipleship?

  2. “It’s no longer relevant because it fails to discuss anything IMPORTANT. Many churches are cowardly. Few of them tackle the issues we ought to be talking about.” <- This I totally agree with. The church needs to be aware of the current issues that the world is struggling with AND ADDRESS THEM. *But* address them in a way that does not water down the gospel. But seriously churches, talk about these things. Don't pretend like they don't exist.

    My frustration with 'relevance' is in the aim of some churches that in aiming to be 'all things to all people' they don't talk about the truths of the Bible. They skim over anything which goes again the grain. Even churches that are teaching the truth, they tend to shy away from issues that could make the world look negatively upon them.

    (BTW- Thanks Charity for your support of my new little blog, I really appreciate it.)

    1. My philosophy is — the world hates us anyway, we may as well tell them what they don’t want to hear. 😛

      No problem. I’m sorry I don’t comment more.

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