Are We Relevant?
I was listening to a major sports radio station today. The anchors were speaking about the new cover of the swimsuit edition for the latest "Sports Illustrated" magazine. They were discussing the controversy over the picture of the young woman and her bikini bottom being pulled too low.
The two men, in this segment of sports, contended that in order to remain relevant (appealing enough to make money) SI had to give more to their readers who now have pornography at their finger tips. These sports anchors went on to say that the Sports Illustrated folks were very wise in choosing this provocative picture for their cover so they could increase sales and again stay relevant.
So many churches today, like Sports Illustrated, are trying to be relevant to the culture today. I applaud their initial thinking. We need to be aware of the culture around us to know how best to bring the truth to them. But it's the truth we must bring them.
Many churches in trying to reach today's culture by being "relevant" are unfortunately diluting the truth. They are tickling their audiences' ears with the desires of men (2 Timothy 4:3). They are turning away from the truth.
They believe that by speaking to them with this diluted truth that they then somehow more relevant.
I contend that just the opposite happens. They actually lose relevance. They no longer can offer them the free gift of God, eternal life(Romans 6:23). No longer can they offer them the Great Physician who will be effective in their lives for they are not taught why they need Him (Mt. 9:12,13).
By becoming more like the world that surrounds us the church will lose its' light (Mt. 5:16) She will lose her distinction from the world and lost souls will no longer be able to find her.
God's word has the power to save mankind (Rom. 1:16). If we alter the word we take away its inherent ability to save. We offer no relevance to a sin sick world. You see, that is how we will always remain relevant; offering the salvation of Christ to lost souls (Luke 19:10).