The definition of “Christian” and the pursuits of church people in our world are at odds with the examples set forth in scripture.
Rock and Roll concerts with smoke, flashing lights and hipsters singing never ending repetitious choruses will definitely draw a crowd. Focusing on being “relevant” forces the church to constantly adapt to the culture in which it hopes to exist.
These statements are indicative of the state of the church in the United States today. For a few decades, gurus who use worldly wisdom to grow commercial business and secular companies have been telling the church how to attract a crowd. Some of the new offerings include yoga classes, compromising the plain truth of scripture so as to not offend anyone who might have an alternative opinion as to lifestyle, and cheapening the grace offered at Calvary.
Churches are more worried about being “hip” than presenting he unadulterated word of God to sinners who are headed to hell, and religious people who are fooled and also on their way to eternal separation from God. Sadly, this is not a new phenomenon.
In Revelation 3:15-19, Jesus takes the church at Laodicea to task for similar conduct.
15 “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! 16 But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth! 17 You say, ‘I am rich. I have everything I want. I don’t need a thing!’ And you don’t realize that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. 18 So I advise you to buy gold from me—gold that has been purified by fire. Then you will be rich. Also buy white garments from me so you will not be shamed by your nakedness, and ointment for your eyes so you will be able to see. 19 I correct and discipline everyone I love. So be diligent and turn from your indifference.
The church saw itself as rich, with every good thing included in their lives. Jesus revealed the truth of their existence. He called them “wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.” What a contrast. The church had listened to its own justifications for its movement away from God’s truth. They were relevant to the culture in which they found themselves and therefore irrelevant in doing God’s real kingdom work.
The church is only relevant to sinners headed for hell, broken people in need of spiritual healing, and faithful follower who need encouragement when the truth of scripture is presented as written and repentance and affirmation take place. Psychological talks, watering down the gospel message and adapting the church’s teaching to fit the likes of sinners is a sign that the church has diverted from the reality of the truth of God’s word. This produces weak, anemic, immature followers who have no staying power.
Many people today who have bought into the Laodicean example are told with conviction that they have nothing to worry about. They are guaranteed a place in heaven by the church. God’s word requires genuine repentance, spiritual cleansing, and a desire toward holiness. Whose diagnosis is correct? God’s word or the chameleon church that attempts to “be inclusive and non-offensive?”