Friday, September 20, 2013

The Changing Tapestry of the Church

Church is changing. No longer is it a part of the cultural fabric of society. Less and less people are attending church and even many of those that attend do not hold to the foundations of Scripture. There is a great pressure on the church to conform to a changing society if it wishes to survive and churches are looking for a “balance”, if a balance can be found. The younger 20-something generation has all but abandoned the traditional teachings and practices of the church in favor of an alignment with the new “tolerance culture”, that to them, just feels right. John Dickerson writes in his book The Great Evangelical recession, that culture is shifting faster than it ever has. If we look back to the 70’s or 80’s or even early 2000’s we will see the most rapid cultural shift our nation has ever seen. In the last 15-20 years, culture has shifted more than it had in the previous 100 years.

In a society that is marked with its doctrine of tolerance that’s lived out in its embracing of any behavior or activity that feels right to a person, it is amazing how intolerant it is of the church. I would go as far as to say our society has moved past just a distaste for church and has settled on a disdain for it. The voice of the church has been tuned out and there is no room for its teachings or practices. Churches are left with either conforming to the culture or becoming obsolete.

Paul said:

Romans 12:2 (NLT)
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. 

I am not fearful. Truth is still truth. Jesus is still the only way to the Father. The Church is still the hope of the world. If this is true, then it is up to the church to infect the culture and stop allowing the culture to infect the church. It is time to show love…real love, a love that is sacrificial. It’s time that the church becomes a positive presence in times of suffering. It’s time that the church open its doors to the morally decayed in order to offer the cure they so desperately need. In fact if we do conform to the behavior and customs of this world we will only succeed in diluting or withholding the only thing that can bring healing.

Pray for the church. Stand firm in what you believe. Love the world like Christ does. This is our calling!

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