Society Has Changed. The Church

Is Out-of-touch.

Society certainly has changed. The homosexual campaign must be congratulated for its extraordinary success. It has changed culture the world over – or, at least in the western world. The rest of the world remains more committed to traditional ethics but is increasingly being put under pressure from the powerful west to follow suit. Society has changed. Within living memory people, by-and-large, found the thought of two men in the same bed having sex quite repulsive. Now it is accepted and even praised. It is also true that, if the church is seen as being reactionary and old fashioned, and if it continues to teach things that most people simply cannot understand, it runs the risk of being increasingly alienated from society.

Response

But consider the alternative: the church should change its views because society has. There is no logic and certainly no honour in that. It reflects a desire to be popular rather than be faithful. It suggests the church should take its lead from society, not from God. For the Christian it is an absolutely intolerable idea. It would mean the worst sort of infidelity. Christians are specifically told not to conform to the pattern of the world but to be transformed by the renewing of their minds. Their minds are renewed as they listen to the scriptures and increasingly have the mind of Christ. Romans 12:1-2 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship. 2  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will. True worship of God requires complete sacrifice, being holy and pleasing to God. Sacrifice means counting the cost and being willing to pay the price. Holiness means being set apart for God. The Christian is to be set apart from society at large, being different in his/her willingness to obey God. Pleasing God requires doing God’s will, not deliberately denying that will. Interestingly, it is by allowing our minds to be shaped by God, not society, that we gain the ability to test and approve what is God’s will – His good, pleasing and perfect will. Not only is it anathema for a Christian to change his/her views simply to fit in with society; it is ineffective. While some will despise the church for being “out of touch”, others will respect it for having standards. It might be only a minority but it is not the church’s goal to be popular at the expense of its values. It might be that the growth of the church happens in an unseen way, like the spread of yeast in dough, but the important thing is that the church continues to engage in its mission of calling sinners to repent. Furthermore, it is only by speaking the truth that people will actually become Christians. The church that makes sinners feel comfortable might be popular and might even see great numbers attending but, if those attendees are not being challenged to repent and to follow Jesus, there will be no converts. In terms of mission, that church will be utterly ineffective. The mission of God requires the truth that convicts. Somewhat surprisingly, in practice and with some exceptions, those churches that compromise do not see great growth in numbers. On the contrary, they tend to shrivel, having nothing distinctive to offer. Growing churches are generally those that remain faithful, and that continue to preach the life-changing Gospel. God will not bless churches that promote sin. The prospect of success through compromise is an illusion.

Related pages

The Impact Of Liberal Decisions
© 2017 Peter Cheyne
A Christian’s Guide To Homosexuality
Truth In Love
Main sections Main sections

Society Has Changed.

The Church Is Out-of-

touch.

Society certainly has changed. The homosexual campaign must be congratulated for its extraordinary success. It has changed culture the world over – or, at least in the western world. The rest of the world remains more committed to traditional ethics but is increasingly being put under pressure from the powerful west to follow suit. Society has changed. Within living memory people, by-and-large, found the thought of two men in the same bed having sex quite repulsive. Now it is accepted and even praised. It is also true that, if the church is seen as being reactionary and old fashioned, and if it continues to teach things that most people simply cannot understand, it runs the risk of being increasingly alienated from society.

Response

But consider the alternative: the church should change its views because society has. There is no logic and certainly no honour in that. It reflects a desire to be popular rather than be faithful. It suggests the church should take its lead from society, not from God. For the Christian it is an absolutely intolerable idea. It would mean the worst sort of infidelity. Christians are specifically told not to conform to the pattern of the world but to be transformed by the renewing of their minds. Their minds are renewed as they listen to the scriptures and increasingly have the mind of Christ. Romans 12:1-2 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God – this is your true and proper worship. 2  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will. True worship of God requires complete sacrifice, being holy and pleasing to God. Sacrifice means counting the cost and being willing to pay the price. Holiness means being set apart for God. The Christian is to be set apart from society at large, being different in his/her willingness to obey God. Pleasing God requires doing God’s will, not deliberately denying that will. Interestingly, it is by allowing our minds to be shaped by God, not society, that we gain the ability to test and approve what is God’s will – His good, pleasing and perfect will. Not only is it anathema for a Christian to change his/her views simply to fit in with society; it is ineffective. While some will despise the church for being “out of touch”, others will respect it for having standards. It might be only a minority but it is not the church’s goal to be popular at the expense of its values. It might be that the growth of the church happens in an unseen way, like the spread of yeast in dough, but the important thing is that the church continues to engage in its mission of calling sinners to repent. Furthermore, it is only by speaking the truth that people will actually become Christians. The church that makes sinners feel comfortable might be popular and might even see great numbers attending but, if those attendees are not being challenged to repent and to follow Jesus, there will be no converts. In terms of mission, that church will be utterly ineffective. The mission of God requires the truth that convicts. Somewhat surprisingly, in practice and with some exceptions, those churches that compromise do not see great growth in numbers. On the contrary, they tend to shrivel, having nothing distinctive to offer. Growing churches are generally those that remain faithful, and that continue to preach the life-changing Gospel. God will not bless churches that promote sin. The prospect of success through compromise is an illusion.

Related pages

The Impact Of Liberal Decisions
© Peter Cheyne 2017.
A Christian’s Guide To Homosexuality
Truth In Love