Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Irrelevance of Relevance

There is an idea among many Christians today that we as the church need to become more relevant to the world around us. I completely agree with this! If the church is not a relevant source of influence within society, then we as the church are not operating the way God intends us to. However, many Christians have gone in the wrong direction in regards to becoming more "relevant."

I believe that the intentions of many Christians to become more "relevant" are honest and good. They want to reach out to the lost around them. I am all for that! However, many Christians believe that in order to properly reach the world we need to become more like the world, so we can better relate to them, and so they can better relate to us. In doing this they believe that they will become more "relevant" to those people.

In this attempt to become more relevant, Christians become completely irrelevant to the very people they are trying to witness to. If a follower of Jesus is no different from an unbeliever, why would anyone want to become a Christian? God commands us to be holy, a people set apart (1 Peter 1:16). We cannot neglect holiness for the sake of relevance. If relevance take priority over holiness, we then need to begin to question our motives and our intent. We can still be relevant and keep our holiness. In fact, part of the church being relevant is by the people within the church living holy lives. By doing this, Christians are no longer the people that can't party on Saturday night because they have church the next morning. But instead, the church is a people set apart from the world, not living for themselves, but for God.

Then there is the idea of making church services more "relevant." Let me be real and honest, I enjoy having drums, fancy lights, and sub-woofers at church. However, if our main focus to reach people is our cool music, we have lost the point. It needs to be about Jesus! If people aren't coming into our churches and eventually staying because of Jesus, then we are not accomplishing the mission that Jesus gave us to make disciples (Matthew 28:19), and we are becoming eternally irrelevant.

So, if our current attempt to be relevant is not the right way to reach the lost, what should we do? We need to be the church that God calls us to be! We can't forsake our holiness in order to be relevant. Instead, we need to stick to the message of Jesus, which transcends all periods of time and is always relevant! We as the church should not try to do anything else to win the lost! We shouldn't try to reach the lost with loud  and "relevant" music, or by being like them, but through the message of the gospel! It is only when we stick to Jesus, and what he did, that the church is truly relevant. Otherwise, in our own attempt to become relevant, we will become utterly and sadly irrelevant.

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