Sunday, July 8, 2007

Is the Church still Relevant (2)

Last time I asked the question, "Is THE Church still relevant?". A more pointed question would be, "Is YOUR church still relevant?". Is it?

What does your church do for you? Does it make you feel good. If it does, then it is probably not relevant. I once heard it said that "a church should comfort the afflicted and afflict the comforted." If your church doesn't comfort you when society is oppressing you, and challenge you when society is not oppressing you, then it is probably not doing its job.

God has called His people to be separate from society. There are times when the society tries to imitate the church, and at those times, the people of God have it pretty easy in society because we are doing what they are trying to do, only, hopefully, doing it a little better. We are like a car running with its headlights in the daytime ... only noticible if you look close.

But, society tires of trying to imitate the church. To live a truly holy life require supernatural energy from God, one cannot do it without Him. Then some things happen, (1) society begins to resent the church for continuing to live as they no longer can, (2) the churches which have enjoyed the comfort of society begin to imitate society rather than follow God.

I heard recently that a large group christian churches had decided to focus less on "salvation" and more on the environment. I was rather upset to hear about it, not that I do not think we should take care of the land that God has given us, but in truth, what they are saying is that they no longer care if all of mankind suffers for eternity in hell, as long as the grass on this ephemeral dwelling is green and pretty. I believe that group of churches have made themselves less relevant.

To be relevant, the church needs to:

- tell people that they are doomed to an eternity in hell (and all that entails ... hell will be an eternity of suffering, not a giant party)
- Jesus is the only way out of that destiny
- how to acquire that salvation from God
- once you have done that, how should you conduct your life
- how can we thank God for providing so great a gift
- how can you entreat others to also get off the path to eternal torment and onto the path to eternal life

If your church is not focussing on those six things, if it is instead telling you how to use God to make yourself rich and get everything you ever wanted, or telling you not to worry because there are many ways to God, then your church is irrelevant.


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