While the enemy is doing his utmost to minimize Jesus, not to be outdone, by and large the spiritual leaders of the day, regardless of denominational affiliation, are themselves busy tearing down the household of faith brick by brick. One of the most useful and effective tools these men have in their arsenal as pertains to their pursuit of making the house of God wholly unrecognizable, is the notion of cultural relevancy.
Think back on it, and you will be surprised how many times you’ve heard preachers insist that the church has to be culturally relevant in order to reach the world.
If it were not so tragic, the notion of cultural relevancy would be downright funny. It is absurd on its face to think that in order to pull someone out of the muck you must first do a summersault into the muck, and backstroke alongside those in the mire in order to relate, and be relevant in their worldview.
Maybe it’s my translation of the Bible, perhaps I missed it somewhere along the way, but having read the gospels pretty regularly for the last quarter of a century or so, I have yet to find any passage wherein Jesus insisted we must be culturally relevant.
He didn’t say, ‘go into all the world and be culturally relevant,’ He said, ‘go and preach the Gospel!’
The problem with cultural relevance is that culture is always trying to push the envelope. The culture of yesteryear is not the culture of today, and sadly, the culture of tomorrow will look very little like the present culture. A small stud in the ear becomes a gauge (if you haven’t seen these things they are downright scary, it’s where people actually stretch out their ear skin until it just flaps there) then two gauges, a nose ring, an eyebrow ring, tattoo sleeves, face tattoos, branding, cutting, and whatever else culture seems as hip, and relevant. I’m waiting for the first guy just to peel off his face like a grape, and see the trend take off like gangbusters.
Pretty soon, unless you’re a transgender taking the pulpit in full drag, while having a lesbian parishioner carrying your gender neutral child whom you plan on naming Quince, well, you’re just an old fuddy-duddy who refuses to change with the times, and embrace the new culture.
I’ve been keeping track of the culturally relevant churches throughout this once great nation, and one thing is demonstrably undeniable: the more culturally relevant a church becomes, the less spiritually relevant it is!
In the end what we end up doing is offering the same kind of worldliness as the world offers, only at a 10% cost of one’s yearly income. If there is no difference between the house of God and the children of darkness except that I perpetually sow seeds in the hopes of reaping a financial harvest, why not cut out the middle man and just buy lotto tickets with that money?
While we’re on the topic, we give because our hearts compel us to give, we give because we want to meet a need, or feed a hungry individual, or clothe a naked one, or care for an orphan, or help spread the gospel, but not because Jesus will send me a check for 1000% of my invested capital at the end of first quarter.
Jesus didn’t die so that we would be culturally relevant. Jesus died that through Him and His shed blood we might be saved, believe in God, and have our faith and hope anchored in Him.
So what’s the point of today’s post? The point is a simple one. If you are in a church striving to be more culturally relevant than scripturally sound, you are wasting your time and your energy, and sooner rather than later the things that will become accepted practice within its walls will make your gag reflex kick in like nobody’s business.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.