Nearly 2000 years ago the church was established in Jerusalem. From that fateful day
onward the church has reached out into all the world. So much so that even the worldly had
taken notice. Those in Thessalonica had perceived that the world had been turned upside down
by the preaching of the Apostles (Acts 17:6). This occurred around 25 years after it was
established. In less than 25 years the church had such an impact upon its surrounding cultures
that it could no longer be ignored. What I find utterly amazing is that as the church was growing,
and while the church certainly faced some interior controversies, it never waned from the
standard which God had set, or least not in its early days.
As the moral code of our society continues to break down I have often wondered what
Paul would have said. What would John have said? What would Jesus have done? I find it hard
to imagine that they would have tolerated what the average “Christian” does today. In a recent
survey among Catholics here in America stated that 78% would be more apt to follow their
conscience than that of the teachings of the church. 62% think same sex marriage should be
legal. 74% think abortion should at least be legal in some instances. If we think these alarming
numbers are only among the lost Catholic church we are gravely mistaken. These numbers are
on the rise among Christians as well. How sad it is that more and more Christians would openly
accept their conscience as their guide over the word of God. How sad it is that Christians would
openly accept the murder of innocent children as sometimes acceptable. How sad it is that
Christians think that the destruction of the first institution which God gave, the family, is okay. To
get an idea for how bad things have gotten, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, a member of one of
the most storied Catholic families in American politics, stated, “"Gay marriage is part of a larger
refusal on the part of the church to listen to, and to understand, the people in the pews.” (Keep
in mind that Catholics believe that authority derives from the church.) Ms. Turner further
complicates the issue when she wrongfully assumes that authority for religious matters derives
from the masses. And again, before you think that this is not an issue for the Lord’s church… it
is. It has already happened. This is why more and more churches are giving up the battle on
marriage, divorce, and remarriage. This is why more and more churches are giving up the battle
against abortion. This is why more and more churches are giving up the battle against drinking.
They are too afraid that they will lose members. Preachers are too afraid they will lose jobs. So,
the church and the preachers try to remain “relevant” in today’s culture by pretending that God’s
word is malleable and changes wit the times.
I am no expert when it comes to church history. But, it does not take a doctor’s degree to
see what is going on in the New Testament. The church was not established and preached to a
bunch of puritan minded people. It was preached to a people who were not just knee deep, or
neck deep, but completely submersed in sin. The Jews, while a religious people were so
caught up in tradition that they had corrupted what God had initially given. God was calling for
them to cast aside the burdens of the Old Law and find rest for their wearied souls in Christ. Had
God listened to the masses, Christ would have never been raised from the dead. It was the
masses that crucified Him. Unto the Gentiles there is not a better place to turn than that of the
Corinthians. In I Cor. 6:9-11 Paul rattles of a list of sins that the Corinthians used to engage in.
Among these were homosexuality, adultery, drunkenness, fornication, and covetousness; 5
sins that are plaguing our country today. It sure doesn’t seem like Paul was compelled to cast
aside the truth for the sake of the people.
My friends, it doesn’t matter what we think is right. It doesn’t matter what we think is fair.
What matters is what God has said. Let us be certain we stand upon His word, after all that will
be the standard by which we will be judged (John 12:48).
So back to the question proposed in the title. Is the church not relevant enough? That all
depends upon the angle you take. I believe that the church should be relevant. I believe the
world absolutely needs what God’s church should be preaching. However, God forbid the
church strive to look like the world in an effort to be “modern.” Like Jeremiah once said, “Seek
ye the old paths (Jer. 6:16).” ~WTK