Friday, November 16, 2007

Relevance and revelation

S. M. Hutchens has hit a home-run with these observations:
The relevance of the Church to modern society depends on continuation in preaching and teaching its old Message, that is, on what modernists, who are by definition not Christians, and whose relevancies are continually disrupted by the teachings of the Church, condemn as irrelevant. The attraction of the Church rests in its reliability, its deportment of itself in every way as though it believed that Truth does not change, and that one will find it here.

Yet everywhere we are seeing the death of relevance-seeking churches that profess above all things the desire of speaking to modern people in idioms they understand. The apology for this is, of course, How will they understand the Gospel message if we don't speak it in their language? But behind most of this talk is a lie. I have come to believe that church leaders who say this may be presumed, lacking evidence to the contrary, not to have an evangelical bone in their bodies. Behind it is, in fact, the question, How can I maintain the advantages Christianity has brought me and, at the same time, have the world reward me for playing its game? How can I be at the same time in the pay of God and the King of Sodom?

The Lord's answer to this is clear: one cannot serve two masters. The test of which master is being served is easy: Is the person who professes the desire to speak to the world in a language it understands willing not only to comfort, but offend those who hear him with the ancient faith, as the real Gospel, the old Gospel, always does? This is the Relevance of the Church, and the churches will never know if "religion" is actually on the decline until they test the waters by preaching and teaching the Eternal Gospel that calls men not simply to believe what the demons believe, but also to repent--which is part of believing--with all this implies about opposition to the world, the flesh, and the devil, and about the personal beliefs and behavior of the faithful.
Amen. I recommend the whole article.


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