Sunday, January 14, 2007
Preaching Against Someone's House?
I read this earlier this week over on MMI - Ed Stetzer is one of the most thoughtful guys out there on the whole issue of speaking capital "T" Truth into every nook & cranny of the world. The fight goes on. Like a giant tug of war, each side is pulling hard. The battle lines: Cultural relevance versus biblical faithfulness-a classic tyranny of the “OR.” Yes, cultural relevance can be confusing. On the one hand, the church can be so focused on cultural relevance that it loses its distinctive message. Don’t think it won’t happen-it has happened to countless churches and denominations. On the other hand, it can decide that culture does not matter. That leads to a church whose message is indiscernible and obscure to those who are “outside.” Let me propose an alternative: our churches need to be biblically faithful, culturally relevant, counter culture communities. Not everyone buys into what I’ve just said. Whole ministries exist just to tell you not to pay attention to culture. To them, a virtuous church is one that is culturally irrelevant. In their view, a mark of holiness is not just being disconnected from sin but also being disconnected from sinners and the culture they share with us every day. Preaching against culture is like preaching against someone’s house-it is just where they live. The house has good in it and bad in it. Overall, culture can be a mess-but (to mix metaphors) it is the water in which we swim and the lens through which we see the world. And the gospel needs to come, inhabit, and change that and every culture (or house). Man, I long for the church I pastor to be insanely relevant - not "hip"... I think turning 40 may have killed most of my desire for coolness points off. But I don't want to preach & teach just so the faithful can nod & smile & pat me on the back. OTOH, I don't want to be so comfortable with the culture around us that we back off of what we believe... that we find ourselves longing for the approval of people "on the outside" so much that we're willing to roll over & play dead on things we know to be True. You can read the whole article at Catalyst.