There is a lot of writing in my Christian denomination about how we need to make sure we are relevant and how we need to make public statements as a church about climate change, gun control; that we need to be more open to Darwinistic Evolutionary Theory and more ready to embrace current sexual practices in the culture in the name of love, to rethink our doctrines of atonement and hell. And that by doing this we will not lose so many young people. The concern comes from the fact that more and more folks are leaving the churches and the assumption is that we need to be more relevant to them in order to not lose numbers.
I would like to write about why I think this is not only unhelpful, but not at all the focus that the church needs to have. In fact, historically denominations that sought to be more relevant to the culture, more embracing of cultural practices and worldviews, have decreased in number so dramatically that they have had to merge with one another in order to survive at all.
The reason for this is quite simple. Such churches have nothing to say to the world that the world doesn’t already believe and become merely social clubs for folks who grew up in the institution of the church and need a place to belong even when they no longer believe in the Supremacy of Christ or their desperate need of Him.
I believe that climate change is brought on, at least in part, by human consumption and needs to be addressed, that we could use some moderate gun control laws, that one can be a Christian and still believe God used an evolutionary process to create all things, that we ought to love everyone with the love of Christ whatever they may practice, that all theories of atonement have a place at the table and that we don’t probably know everything about what hell is, but none of these things will revive the church or bring people to Christ.
The one thing we need more than anything else is an unashamed, uncompromising obsession with Jesus Christ as the LORD of all, as the One who gave Himself for us, who conquered death and hell, who calls us to repent of sin, to bow before Him with complete surrender and radical devotion that is willing to die, if need be, to love enemies in His Name, to love the poor in His Name, to long for His Presence, His glory, His renown. He is the One who casts down demonic forces, who raises up leaders and takes them down, whose love is irresistible, whose glory is what it is all about. His Word must be upheld, to refuse Him is hell, to receive Him is heaven, to follow Him is to suffer with Him in love and to hope for a new world that begins in our hearts and will someday wash away all else. Some may call this idea pietistic, conservative, or narrow minded, or even too heavenly minded to be of any earthly good, but I say it is LIFE and TRUTH and the WAY = Jesus.
Oh how I wish a single article or post or executive address would be about Jesus, pure and simple; His glory, His Name, His power, His ability to awaken the darkest of hearts! That is the reformation, revolution, revival that we need and nothing less!