So a few weeks ago Rob Bell appeared on the Oprah show to talk about Gay marriage and his book. Rob Bell has been a pastor of a church, although it has become clear that this man is not interested in what the Bible has to say. This is a point he made clear on the show when he said that the church won't be relevant as long as it listens to 2000 year old letters. His idea is the cultural conscience has changed and thus it is only a matter of time until Christians change too. Is this true? Should Christians change with the culture if we are to remain relevant in this day and age? To answer this question I think it is important to look back at the when Christianity first started in the book of Acts. If you read this book you see a Christianity that is very counter cultural, both to the Roman and to the Jews. Let's think about Rome during the time of the church. Even someone with a basic understanding of history would understand that the Romans were polytheistic. They had a god or goddess for almost everything. Even their king was considered a god. Here comes Christianity stating that there is only one God. That all the idols that the Romans were worshiping were false. How offensive that must have been to the Romans. Denying the gods that they worshiped was a denial of their very way of life, it was un-Americ... Uh I mean un-Roman. The Christians had certain standards that they held themselves too as we can see for the requirements of elders and deacons in the church from the book of Timothy. The Christians didn't fair much better with the Jews. Because they understood Jesus to be the Son of God, and the early Jews and Christians did not get a long, even to the point of the some of the Jews stoning Stephen while a man named Saul watched. What were these early Christians thinking? Didn't they understand that if they were to reach the culture they should have been more accepting of the gods and goddesses of the Roman people? Shouldn't they have said things like, "we understand Jesus to be the son of God, but it's totally cool if you don't." These early Christians even wrote about other people claiming to be Christians and got into disagreements about doctrine and theology. The church met to talk about if the church should require circumcision in order to be a Christian and came up with a clear answer about that question.That was so close minded of them to exclude people who wanted to say that one had to be circumcised in order to be a Christian. As you can see in my less than subtle sarcasm one of the things that made Christianity stand out is that it was different from the culture. These Christians not only listened to the teachings of the apostles but they also read from what we call the Old Testament as their scriptures and of course the letters that Paul and the other apostles wrote. Christianity thrive because it simply went along with the culture, it thrived because God made a promise that the gates of hell would never triumph over His church. Christians should have no fear of moving away from the cultural norm and being weird. I pray for our culture to repent and turn to God, not for the sake of the church which I know will be fine, but for all of those who have been enslaved by our current cultural mindset. It is a way of thinking that does not hold up under proper examination, it lacks rational and requires obedience, and worst all even thought it proclaims to be all about love and acceptance, actually ends up being a mindset that is the exact opposite of love and acceptance. I can love and tolerate someone even if I disagree with them and don't like them. The prevalent worldview in our land today cannot make this claim and be honest. This is indeed sad, because many have been deceived by what is called love. This is why it is very important that Christians continue to cling to word of God and represent what true love is as God defines it, which finds it's best expression in the cross. Our Lord and savior dying for sinners like you and me. Do you feel like Christianity is going to die unless it concedes to the culture? Do you think Christians should ignore or cling to God's word? Comment below and let me know. Thanks for reading.
Here you can read various thoughts and discussions that come from the mind of our Pastor